NHS Dental Treatment Costs & Exemptions Explained

You do not have to pay for NHS dental treatment if, when the treatment starts, any of the following apply:

  • Free smile makeover consultations with the dentist

  • A guarantee you will see the same dentist every appointment

  • Early and late appointments available from 8am-8.30pm

You do not have to pay for NHS dental treatment if, when the treatment starts, any of the following apply:

  • You are aged under 18
  • You are under 19 and receiving full time education
  • You are pregnant or a mother who has had a baby in the last 12 months
  • You are staying in an NHS hospital and your treatment is carried out by the hospital dentist
  • You are an NHS Hospital Dental Service outpatient (however you may have to pay for your dentures or bridges)
  • You are included in an award of any of the following:
    • Income Support
    • Income-related Employment & Support Allowance
    • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
    • Pension Credit guarantee credit
    • Universal Credit (check entitlement after 31 October 2015)


  • You are named on a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate, or you are entitled to an NHS tax credit exemption certificate
  • You are named on a valid HC2 certificate
  • You will not be exempt from paying if you receive Incapacity Benefit, contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance, contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Disability Living Allowance, Council Tax Benefit, Housing Benefit or Pension Credit savings credit, when paid on their own. Medical conditions do not exempt patients from payment for dental treatment.
  • Additionally, if you are named on a valid HC3 certificate you may not have to pay the full cost of your treatment dependant on the maximum cost stated on your form.
  • If you say that you are entitled to free treatment when you are not, you may incur a penalty charge.
    • If you are not exempt from charges, you should pay one of the following charges for each course of treatment you receive:
    • BAND 1 COURSE OF TREATMENT – £19.70 This covers an examination, diagnosis (eg X-rays), advice on how to prevent future problems, a scale and polish if needed, and application of fluoride varnish or fissure sealant. If you require urgent care, even if your urgent treatment needs more than one appointment to complete, you will only need to pay one Band 1 charge.
    • BAND 2 COURSE OF TREATMENT – £53.90 This covers everything listed in Band 1 above, plus any further treatment such as fillings, root canal work or if your dentist needs to take out one or more of your teeth.
    • BAND 3 COURSE OF TREATMENT – £233.70 This covers everything listed in Bands 1 & 2 above plus crowns, dentures and bridges.