Health and Fitness

NHS Vs Private Dental Fees and Charges

Dental problems are inevitable! So you may need to go for dental check up and treatment from time to time. But the difference in prices is prominent at NHS to that of private dental clinic. When it comes to cost, you must communicate clearly. But often, the patients who perform dental works don’t know the clear price of the treatment.

Here, in this blog, we will provide a clear picture of the basic costs of various dental treatments at NHS and private dental clinics. By this way you can come to know if there is any hidden cost or going anything wrong with the price of a specific treatment. So, don’t miss to read it out.

New patient check up or consultation

  • NHS price: Band 1 £23.80
  • Private price: £20-£120

Firstly, try to know if there is any dental examination included in the check up or not and how long it can take! Remember, this will differ from a clinic to another. Although subsequent routine dental check up is inexpensive yet we are suggesting you to ask the ongoing prices.

Private dental appointments will need more time than checkups at NHS. Even you can get out of hours appointment (weekends and evenings). In case you want to see the dentist without taking any off from work then private practice is the most suitable option for you. You must ask the emergency dentist price if the clinic offers emergency dentistry as you may need it anytime.

Also Read : When Should Lower Abdominal Pain Be Cause For Worry?

Simple X-rays or Radiograph

  • NHS price: Band 1 £23.80
  • Private price: £5-£40

Being a new patient, you need to perform X-ray of the back teeth (bite-wings). It will include in the new patient consultation price. Sometimes, as part of check up, X-ray may require and include in the package. If you need complex specialist X-ray for entire view of mouth from ear to ear then you need to do it at private dental clinic and it may cost you more.

Scale and polish/Hygiene clean

  • NHS price: Band 1 £23.80 or Band 2 £65.20 for deep scaling
  • Private price: £25-£85

Band 1 involves the basic treatment like polish and scale only if absolute necessary. In case your dentist recommends cleaning for cosmetic maintenance then you need to make the appointment with the private hygienist. Privately, you will receive long appointment and extensive cleaning.

If you are already having regular dental cleaning from your hygienist then you must not stop it. However, no evidence is there stating that regular scaling and polishing improve the dental health. In case, the dentist suggests hygiene visit to you then ask whether it is clinically necessary or not as you can clean the teeth from NHS too.

Take care of the teeth

Patients have an integral role in preventative dental care. You must brush twice in a day using fluoride toothpaste and avoid rinsing immediate after spitting. Also you should clean in between the teeth using floss or interdental brushes. Even using mouthwash is beneficial (not just after brushing the teeth as it washes away the concentrated fluoride from the teeth). However, this is not utmost essential for most patients.

Metal filling/Amalgam

  • NHS price: Band 2 £65.20
  • Private price: £30-£175

Over time the cavity makes a prominent hole in the tooth which is easy to fill using metal mixtures. The cost of filling of each type at private dental clinic relies on the complexity and size of treatment your condition needs. For instance, the number of teeth surfaces it needs to cover.

Amalgam is hard and good for back teeth that assist in chewing. This is more usual filling type that you can find at NHS. In case you want the treatment from private clinic then it is better to upgrade to white filling.

White or Composite filling

  • NHS price: Band 2 £65.20
  • Private price: £40-£250

Composite bonding is quite tricky to perform (the surface of teeth becomes dry with bonding of resin gel) and so it can’t become harder for back teeth which are useful for grinding and chewing. You can choose the expensive lab-made bonding from the private clinics. At NHS, you will mostly get them on the front teeth. However, only your dentist can decide which is suitable for you.

Root canal treatment

  • NHS price: Band 2 £65.20
  • Private price: £45-£970

If you develop decay that infects the root and inside of tooth too then root canal can save it. Due to high demand of root canal treatment technically, the prices at the private clinic vary greatly.

You may be referred to a specialist endodontist too. But the cost you need to pay is proportional to position and size of tooth (back teeth is quite expensive) along the complexity of the treatment.

Tooth extraction

  • NHS price: Band 2 £65.20
  • Private price: £50-£370

During routine examination a few teeth will be extracted that refers to as extraction. But any other extraction needs the dentist’s referrals with advanced skills for surgery due to awkward placement or shape of teeth and surrounding bone needs removal for freeing them.

Dental crowns

  • NHS price: Band 3 £282.80
  • Private price: £250 to £1,180

Crowns mimic the shape of natural and it fits like cap on the teeth. The cost of crowns at private dental clinic depends on the materials they use and time consumed for the treatment.

Strict regulations are there for using the materials to make crowns for NHS. There are several labs which produce crowns for both NHS and private clinics. However, dentists use various technicians or suppliers for private and NHS patients. Difference is clearly noticeable in cosmetic factors like finish and matching colour.

Crowns can make use of materials like porcelain (expensive but gives natural look). But it is easily bondable on metal or precious metal (affordable option used on back teeth).

However, NHS crowns usually use metal core with porcelain wrapping that doesn’t give realistic look. There are only a few colour options to choose from and hence the match may not be accurate.

Private crowns make use of precious metals (palladium, platinum or gold) or alloy of porcelain and minerals to provide natural look.


  • NHS price: Band 3 £282.80
  • Private price: £355-£2,520

When it comes to crowns, the labs follow the strict regulations for use of material to make bridges and dentures for NHS. Then they make the dentures for private dental clinics. But there is a vast difference in aesthetics like finish and colour.

NHS dentures comprise of solid acrylic so it feels discomfort and bulky in mouth. Dentures from private may be a bit expensive yet use flexible chrome or acrylic that provides natural and comfortable feeling.

Bridges can appear better with improved comfort over dentures and deliver permanent solution over removable prosthesis. Sometimes, you can’t get bridges at NHS as it is regarded as cosmetic option than practical and minimal invasive denture option.

However, bridge compromises the dental health in the long-term. So, dentist doesn’t recommend it as the most suitable option for your teeth. But you can get the treatment from private clinic if you decide to go with it only.

How to look for an emergency dentist?

For urgent dental care, look for an emergency dentist to seek treatment. Remember that NHS also provides self-care advice. You must seek urgent treatment whether at private dental clinic or at NHS.

It is better to look for a clinic where you can get affordable price for emergency dentist in London. Also they will be there to serve out of hours providing you instant relief from any sort of dental emergency.

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