Advice to those trying to find an NHS dentist

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Comparing Private and NHS Dental Treatment Options

In the UK, patient’s can receive dental treatment either through the National Health Service (NHS) or privately. There are differences in the types of treatments available, the quality of dental materials used and costs between NHS and private dental care.

NHS Dental Treatments

Approximate Bands for Treatments
  1. The NHS provides dental treatment to patient’s at a subsidised cost. The subsidy is provided by the UK government. The charges for NHS dental services are set by the government and fall under three bands.
  2. NHS dental charges in England are structured into three bands –
  3. Band 1: £23.80 – covers basic examination, diagnosis and dental advice. This band also includes X-rays and a scale & polish if the dentist feels is needed.
  4. Band 2: £65.20 – covers treatments such as fillings, root canal treatments, and tooth extractions.
  5. Band 3: £282.80 – covers more complex dental procedures such as dental crowns, dentures and bridges.
  6. NHS treatments typically use standard dental materials, which might not be the most aesthetic in appearance or be the most durable options available.

Private Dental Treatments

Approximate Costs and Details

Below is an approximate estimate of private dental treatment costs in the UK:

  • Fillings: £100 – £250 per filling, depending on the size of the decay and material used
  • Dental Crowns: £400 – £1,000 per crown, depending on the condition of the underlying tooth and material used for the crown (e.g. porcelain bonded metal, all ceramic, zirconia etc.).
  • braces: £1,500 – £5,000 or more for orthodontic treatments, depending on the amount of teeth movement required and the type of braces used (e.g., traditional metal braces, ceramic braces, clear aligners like Invisalign).

Whites Dental also offer Dental Finance to allow you to opt for the most appropriate treatment or plan the course of treatments without stretching your finances.

  1. Private dental care offers patient’s more flexibility in terms of choice of materials, treatment options and appointment times.
  2. The costs for private dental care can vary depending on the dentist’s expertise, complexity of treatment and also the dentist’s location.
  3. Private dental treatments are able to offer a wider range of dental materials and techniques, including more aesthetically pleasing treatment options such as tooth-coloured fillings (white fillings) and porcelain crowns that are more natural looking.

4. The costs for private dental treatments such as fillings, crowns and braces can vary significantly, but they tend to be  usually higher than NHS charges due to the use of higher-quality materials, more experienced dentists, better equipment for treatment and more personalised care.

do i brush my teeth with braces on orthodontist in london waterloo | Whites Dental

The best of both worlds – Affordable dentistry and Maximum choice

On the whole, while NHS dental treatment offers affordable prices, it usually has limitations in terms of available treatments and materials used. Private dental care provides patient’s more options for treatments and dental materials, however, at a higher cost. Patients more often than not, prefer to choose private dental care for its personalized service, wider range of treatment options, higher-quality materials, more experienced dentists and latest technology.

Patient’s looking to make the transition from NHS dental treatments to private dental care often sign up to dental insurance plans provided by a range of insurance providers such as BUPA dental insurance, AVIVA dental insurance, dental insurance by Boots etc. These dental insurances often start from as low as £40/month and covers the patient for a wide range of treatments every year. The second way to make private dental care more affordable is to sign-up to monthly dental care plans such as those provided by Denplan to help budget for personal dental care. The patient pays a fixed monthly fee each month, and that covers the patient for a fixed number of examinations and hygienist visits each year, including restorative treatments. The plan also offers discounts with many dental treatments when they are needed. The plans can be as low as £30/month and help spread the cost of private dental care across the entire year.

A third of our patients we treat privately have some form of dental insurance, helping make the transition from NHS dental care to private dental care less costly.

For those of you requiring advice on finding an NHS dental clinic, you may find the link to the NHS website, allowing you to search for a suitable practice in your area of help.


Whites Dental provides treatments such as Invisalign braces, fixed braces, metal braces & ceramic braces for teeth straightening. They also provide related dental treatments such as composite bonding, teeth whitening, general and emergency dental treatments & hygienist services.

The Clinic at Waterloo offers an  experienced dental team  Easily accessible from Borough, London Bridge, Southwark, Blackfriars and Elephant and Castle, our clinic offers state of the art facilities in a warm and friendly environment. We are based adjacent to Southwark Tube station. 10 minutes’ walk from London Bridge, Elephant and Castle, Blackfriars station, Waterloo, Southbank and Borough.

Our Marble Arch dental team serves North and South Kensington, Covent Garden, Belgravia, Paddington & Marylebone, also offering a full range of dental treatments such as orthodontic braces, cosmetic dentistry and dental hygiene.

Both our clinics provide interest free – 0% interest – finance payment plan options for all types of dentistry treatments. Please contact us to book a free initial consultation on a range of cosmetic dentistry, teeth alignment, braces and smile enhancements treatments. We often have weekday, evening and weekend appointments available.

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