The NHS is currently stretched in terms of funding, so cosmetic dentistry is not covered by the NHS. They do, however, cover some dental treatments that are deemed as being necessary for your dental health.
While NHS dental services are cheaper than going private, the negatives in doing so may outweigh the benefits. For most people, NHS dental services are not free. They operate using a ‘band’ system, where treatments increase in cost depending on their complexity. There is also an urgent treatment fee for emergency or temporary care.
If you’re looking into cosmetic dental treatment, the best way forward is to find a reputable private dentist that specialises in cosmetic procedures. Here’s our guide to the links between cosmetic dentistry and NHS treatments, and how it all works.
No. The NHS can only justify providing funding for necessary dental treatments. Many cosmetic procedures focus on improving aesthetics, rather than overall dental health.
Although cosmetic dental treatments are not covered by the NHS, there are some dental health procedures that may also enhance your appearance. Orthodontic treatments are one example. Children under 18 can receive free orthodontic treatment if their dentist assesses them and the ‘Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need’ determines they are eligible. There are extensive waiting times involved with this process, so many parents go private for their childrens’ orthodontic treatments anyway.
In adults, orthodontic treatments on the NHS are reserved for severe misalignment problems that are damaging to aspects of your general health. Missing teeth may be another example that can cause issues with both your appearance and dental health. Ultimately, however, cosmetic dentistry is not covered by the NHS. There is no funding or availability to justify spending beyond immediate health concerns.
If your NHS dentist deems your treatment as being necessary from a clinical perspective, the NHS may cover the costs involved in your care. The treatments covered are for health purposes, rather than cosmetic improvements.
Dental treatments that may be available on the NHS include:
Some of these treatments, such as crowns, bridges and dentures, will naturally enhance the appearance of your teeth. However, they are only offered in situations where these procedures are required for health purposes.
When seeking dental care on the NHS, remember that not all NHS dentists are able to offer the full range of treatments listed. Waiting lists are also currently full in many areas; even if your treatment is offered, you may have to wait a substantial amount of time before an appointment. To find out more about dental treatments available on the NHS, visit their website.
The NHS does not cover cosmetic dental care. This is due to a range of factors including their limited budget, waiting lists, and access to experienced dental professionals.
Cosmetic treatments that are not covered by the NHS include:
The above treatments are easy to find if you go to a private cosmetic dentist. Different dentists may provide other cosmetic procedures; it’s a good idea to check those in your area to find an experienced provider that offers exactly the cosmetic treatment you’re looking for.
Cosmetic dentistry is becoming increasingly popular, as the standard of technology used in procedures has advanced rapidly throughout recent years. Cosmetic treatments offer a range of benefits that can uplift both your appearance and health.
If you’re feeling insecure about how your teeth look, this can have a lasting impact on your confidence levels and day-to-day wellbeing. Improving your teeth with cosmetic treatments such as teeth whitening or cosmetic bonding can therefore have a noticeable positive impact on your mental health, as well as your smile!
As we mentioned earlier, some treatments primarily designed to fix dental health problems can naturally enhance your appearance. The same goes for dental treatments designed to improve the appearance of your smile; many cosmetic procedures can help maintain your dental health as an added bonus. Porcelain veneers, for example, can strengthen weaker teeth and provide a more uniform look, covering any uneven or chipped teeth that could be causing issues as you eat.
While you can’t get cosmetic dental treatment on the NHS, this may be a good thing. Private dental surgeries can offer superior quality treatments, using improved materials and advanced technology. Although NHS dentists are equally as experienced, stretched waiting lists and budgets mean they don’t have the time necessary to focus on refining cosmetic dental treatments to the same standard as dentists working in the private field anyway. There would also be extensive waiting periods involved. If you go private, you can likely be booked in for treatment within the week!
Private dental surgeries can offer a much higher standard of care than the NHS. Many also have 0% interest dental care financing plans to help you manage your treatments on a limited budget.
At Ringway Dental, we specialise in cosmetic dentistry treatments and procedures. To have a chat about how we could upgrade your smile, why not book a free Smile Consultation with us? This 20-minute appointment with our Smile Advisor will give you a chance to ask about the procedures we offer, and how they can enhance your appearance and confidence. You can book an appointment today.