Once registered as an NHS patient, you have access to any treatment, advice, and care you need to keep your teeth, mouth and gums as healthy as possible. Your dentist will explain which treatments are available on the NHS and which are private.
Generally, cosmetic procedures will need to be paid for privately.
Adults are offered a treatment plan which includes an enhanced clinical examination. You’ll then receive any further treatments to maintain and improve your oral health.
To ensure the best possible care, it’s important that you attend appointments as recommended by your dentist.
During your dental check-up, you may be asked about any changes to your medical history, medication or any new allergies. You’ll also be asked about any changes you have noticed, such as lumps or bumps, or if you are having any specific problems. You may also be asked if you smoke or drink alcohol and, if so, how much.
After they’ve established how your general health is, they’ll do the following:
Dental practices can provide preventative care as part of the Childsmile programme for children up to 17 years of age.
Maintaining good oral health depends on a good diet, regular tooth brushing and intervention from the dental practice. The good habits and preventative care learned through the Childsmile programme need to be maintained in older children and delivered in dental practices.
You can get free dental treatment if you’re:
Please take evidence of any exemption with you to the dentist.
Around 40% of all patients, including children, are exempt from paying the cost of their NHS dental care.
You may be entitled to dental treatment at a further reduced cost through the NHS Low Income Scheme (LIS). The LIS is designed to provide help with NHS charges for those who are not automatically entitled to free treatment but have difficulty paying.
This scheme is income-related and based on your financial circumstances.
Find out if you are eligible for free or n reduced-cost NHS dental treatment.
Your dentist may inform you that they have to apply for prior approval before your treatment can be started. Dentists are required to seek approval from the NHS NSS Practitioner Services for certain treatments and treatments of high value. This process may take a little time and delay your treatment slightly.
Your dentist will be able to explain what treatment is and isn’t allowed on the NHS.
An NHS dental examination (check-up) in Scotland is free of charge for everyone.
Following a dental examination, the dentist will advise you of any treatment you require and the likely cost. They must also provide an itemised account if requested.
NHS patients, who pay for their treatment, pay 80% of the treatment costs (including any X-rays), up to a maximum of £384. Any costs over this maximum will be fully subsidised by the NHS. You’ll never pay more than £384.
A dentist can ask for payment in advance. They can also charge a patient if they fail to attend an appointment without giving due notice.