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NHS Dental Charges

Volume 637: debated on Monday 12 March 2018

Regulations have been laid before Parliament to uplift dental charges in England from 1 April 2018.

Dental charges remain an important contribution to the overall cost of dental services. They have existed in some shape or form since 1951, and are one of the NHS services that can be charged for under the 2006 Act.

We have taken the decision to uplift dental charges for those who can afford it, through a 5% increase this year.

This means that the dental charge payable for a band 1 course of treatment will rise by £1 in 2018-19, from £20.60 to £21.60. The dental charge for a band 2 course of treatment will increase by £2.80 in 2018-19, from £56.30 to £59.10. The charge for a band 3 course of treatment will increase by £12.20 in 2018-19, from £244.30 to £256.50.

The uplift announced today continues with the aim of finding an appropriate balance between the costs paid by service users and those met by the NHS through the contributions of taxpayers, If this uplift was not implemented resource savings from other parts of the NHS would need to be generated to make up the shortfall.

Those who qualify for free dental treatment will remain entirely exempt from charges. Those under the age of 18, those under the age of 19 and in full-time education, pregnant women or those who have had a baby in the previous 12 months, and those on qualifying low income benefits will not be impacted by these changes.

Even those not entitled to exemption from dental charges, but who are on low incomes, are eligible to receive full or partial help with dental charges through the NHS Low Income Scheme.

This policy will allow us to continue to protect the most vulnerable through exemptions and the NHS low income scheme. We therefore consider that the proposed uplifts in charges are fair and proportionate and will support NHS front line services.

Details of the revised charges for 2018-19 can be found in the table below;

New Charge (£)

Dental Charges

Band 1 course of treatment (this band includes examination, diagnosis (including radiographs), advice on how to prevent future problems, scale and polish if clinically needed, and preventative care (e.g. applications of fluoride varnish or fissure sealant). This band also covers emergency care in a primary care dental practice such as pain relief or a temporary filling).


Band 2 course of treatment (this band covers everything listed in band 1, plus any further treatment such as fillings, root canal work or extractions)


Band 3 course of treatment (this band covers everything in bands 1 and 2, plus course of treatment including crowns, dentures, bridges and other laboratory work)