Home » Blog » NHS vs Private Dental Care

NHS vs Private Dental Care

Going to the dentist can be a costly endeavour. Between the exams, x-rays, and further procedures that you may have to pay for, the amount you can become quickly required to pay for teeth and gum care can become nearly unaffordable. However, when opting for less expensive dental care options, you are faced with the dilemma regarding the quality of care.

Cue the discussion of private dental care versus care provided through the NHS. When deciding whether to utilize the more affordable NHS services for your dental visits or the alternative private care option, it is important to familiarize yourself with each of the two options.

First, many individuals may be under the impression that dental care provided through the NHS is free. Though these assistive dental services may be free for some individuals such as patients under 18 years of age, patients with child, or individuals qualifying for other income assistive aid, most individuals will be required to pay a pre-determined flat fee for the particular service they will be receiving. These pre-determined costs are appealing for many individuals. Each treatment or service will fall into a “band” that designates the appropriate amount to charge a patient for a procedure. Treatments in Band 1, for example, will cost a little less than 20 pounds and may be a simple polishing, a standard x-ray, or an examination. The process is similar for treatments falling in the second and third band. Though often still affordable, these pre-determined flat fees for a visit with a NHS-recognized facility come with something else that is important to consider. Because NHS dentistry in the UK receives funding for the services they are providing, the budget they have to operate their facility with is often small. For this reason, finding an appointment with an NHS dentist can be quite challenging. Many National Health Service dentistry offices are rarely accepting new patients. What’s more, if the services you are pursuing are cosmetic or more complicated, like dental implants, adult fixed or invisible braces, they will not be offered through NHS care.

The alternative to NHS dental care is choosing a dentist that offers private services. A possible downside of choosing this method is the expense. Private dental care not only offers services at higher rates, but unlike NHS care, there is no aid provided for lower-income individuals or disadvantaged groups. After acknowledging that, however, there are many pros to consider concerning private care. First of all, referencing cost once more, private dental services often offer discounts and related incentives. These private dentists will also be able to focus on preventative measures when it comes to the health of your teeth and gums. Offering a wider range of dental services, the same private dentist you see for a standard cleaning can provide you with a counselling session and examination about being fitted with aligners or fillings. What’s more, the amount of time spent with your dentist will often be longer and more quality-care oriented. In the private sector, there are no NHS related quotas that need to be met.

If you decide to opt for private dental care, shop around and make sure you are getting the best deal. It’s a very competitive market and cosmetic dentistry may be less cost than you may think.