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Finding an NHS dentist

Anyone can apply to register with an NHS dentist and you are entitled to register with more than one dentist if you wish. You can attend any dentist you like, not just the dentist nearest to you.

To find a local NHS dentist click below and enter your postcode:

http://www.nhs.uk/ServiceDirectories/Pages/ServiceSearch.aspx?ServiceType=Dentist&InputError=Default

All NHS dentists will provide the following services:

• Check-up examination and assessment

• Scaling, polishing, periodontal (gum) treatments and oral hygiene instruction

• Routine fillings, root canal fillings, removal of wisdom teeth and other teeth

• X-rays, bridges, veneers, crowns, inlays, dentures

• Referral to a dental hospital for specialist treatment

If you are not confident speaking to your dentist in English, you can request that the dental practice books an official interpreter to attend the appointment with you or that they call Language Line where someone will be able to interpret for you over the phone. Neither you nor your dentist need to pay for this service. Your dentist has a legal duty to ensure that you fully understand what treatment he or she recommend for you, so that you can consent to have the treatment done.

NHS Dentistry is not usually free. However, you will only have to pay one charge for each course of treatment (this also applies if you need to visit your dentist several times to finish the course of treatment.) There are three fixed bands of charges for all treatments:

Band 1 - £18.50: This covers an examination, diagnosis (e.g. x-rays), advice on how to prevent future problems and a scale and polish (clean) if needed. 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 - £50.50: This covers any treatment carried out in Band 1, plus any further treatment needed such as fillings, root canal work or extractions (removing teeth).

Band 3 - £219.00: This covers any treatment carried out in Bands 1 and 2, plus additional crowns, dentures or bridges. If you need more treatment within the same or lower charge band within two months of completing a course of treatment (for example an additional filling), you do not have to pay anything extra.

Your dentist may also recommend that you have some private treatment, such as having your teeth cleaned by a hygienist. This will not be covered by the band system above because it is private treatment which is not clinically necessary.  All clinically necessary treatment is covered by the NHS. If you do not wish to have any private treatment done, tell your dentist.

You may not be required to pay for NHS dental treatment. For example, children, pregnant women, women who have given birth in the last 12 months and people in receipt of certain benefits are entitled to free dental treatment. To check if you are entitled to free dental treatment or help with costs click here.

Some people on a low income are also entitled to free NHS dental treatment or some help with paying the cost of dental treatment. To claim help with paying for dental costs or a refund for NHS dental costs you have already paid, ring 0845 610 1112 and request an HC1 form or click here and enter your address.

If you complete and return the HC1 form, you may then receive an HC2 or HC3 certificate which will prove that you are entitled to help with dental costs. HC2 and HC3 certificates may take up to 6 weeks to arrive.

To read the NHS leaflet regarding help with heath costs in a community language, click here.

To read the BME Health Forum’s information about dentists click here.