A Look at Dental Treatment in the United Kingdom

Many people think that they should not be paying for dental treatment; however, the NHS actually spends £2.25 billion on dental care. A a result, patients only pay a small fraction of this at £500 million per year.

There are multiple ways that you can pay for dental treatment:

  1. Capitation schemes
  2. Payment over time
  3. Insurance
  4. Loans for treatment
  5. Private insurance
  6. CashIn Wales, the NHS only charges up to £195 and England only up to £256.50.

In the event that you have issues with your dental treatment, you can return to the dentist so that they can check the issue and correct it, at no charge to you if you do so within 2 months.

There are instances where you don’t have to pay for NHS dental treatment and these include:

  1. You’re under 18 years old
  2. You’re studying full time and you’re under 19 years old
  3. You’re pregnant or have a child that is under a year old
  4. You’re currently receiving Income Support or Support Allowance or Job Seekers Allowance
  5. You currently have an HC2 certification
  6. You have pension credit guarantee credit
  7. You have an NHS exemption certificate for tax creditIn the event that you don’t fall under any of the above groups, be sure to talk to your dentist. Also, if you have a low income, then you can even apply to pay a smaller/reduced bill.

Unfortunately, if you don’t meet any of the above conditions, then you will most likely need to pay the entire cost of your dental bill. So, it is wise to always get a treatment plan and written estimate from your dentist before you undertake any dental treatments.

What is the Cost of Dental Treatment Done Privately?

Typically, private treatment doesn’t have one set cost and they vary from one dentist to the other.

How Do I Make Payments?

You can pay as you go along with your treatment or at the end. In most cases, you can give your payment at the reception desk but be sure to ask for and receive a receipt once you’ve made a payment.

What Are Capitation Schemes with Regard to Private Treatment?

These type of schemes allow you to save for particular dental treatments. You can make payments on a monthly basis through debit. There will either be an independent company or the dentist who will be running this scheme. There are usually just two plans available which are comprehensive and maintenance plans. The costs of these depends heavily on the dentist that you choose as well as the type of dental care that you require.

Maintenance plans exist in order to provide oral preventative care and these are usually made available through your dentist. Within this plan there would be a certain number of examinations, x-rays, cleanings etc.

Dental Insurance (Private and NHS)

When it comes to dental insurance, you can possibly get this through your employer or you can get it yourself. The exact cost would depend on the level of coverage that you select.

This type of insurance is meant to cover planned treatments as well as unplanned ones. So, it can include emergency dental treatment you may need after an accident whether it occurs within the United Kingdom or abroad. It also covers cash payments at the hospital, oral cancer etc.

What should you think about before you take out insurance?

You should find out if there is a particular  period that you have to wait once you have started paying until you can make your first claim.
You should also determine the exact coverage of the insurance and whether it is suitable for your particular dental needs and treatments.
What is the exact percentage of your dentist’s bill that you are entitled to get back?
Is there a policy in place where you have to pay a specific monetary amount first of the claim when you make it?
Are there limitations for certain treatments and what is the total sum that you’re covered for?
What is the insurance company’s stance on dental issues that you had previously before you bought their insurance coverage?

Private insurance

You can receive insurance through your employer or you can buy it for yourself if it is not provided by your employer. The majority of schemes do cover typical treatments and will also cover accidental or emergency type treatments and hospitalisations. So, for example if you suffer a broken jaw and then need to have your wisdom teeth removed as a result, you should be covered. So, be sure to properly read your policy to be sure what your exact coverage is.

Loans and Other Agreements

You should consider taking a loan in the event that your treatments are too expensive for you to afford. With this loan, you can borrow the full sum needed for the dental procedure or treatment and then pay it back over time. There are actually a couple of different specialised loans that exist specifically for dental treatments such as implants, in Fleet for instance, or cosmetic procedures.