New NHS dental charges have been announced and will take effect from 1 April 2016.
In the 2015 Spending Review, the government committed to support the Five Year Forward View with £10 billion investment by 2020 to 2021 to fund frontline NHS services. Alongside this, the government expects the NHS to deliver £22 billion of efficiency savings because we must make the best use of NHS resources.
For this reason, they have taken the decision to increase dental charges by 5% this year and next.
Band 1 course of treatment will rise by 90 pence in 2016 to 2017, from £18.80 to £19.70.
This payment covers check-ups and examinations, diagnosis, x-rays, scale and polish, preventive work, and when you need to see a dentist straight away, usually for extreme pain, swelling or excessive bleeding.
The dental charge for a band 2 course of treatment will increase by £2.60 in 2016 to 2017, from £51.30 to £53.90.
This payment covers fillings, root canal treatment, relining dentures, extractions, and also any treatment you need that comes under band one.
For example, if you have an examination and a filling you only pay the band two charge.
The charge for a band 3 course of treatment will increase by £11.20 in 2016 to 2017, from £222.50 to £233.70.
This payment covers complicated work such as crowns, veneers, dentures and bridges. Once again this payment also covers any treatment that comes under the other two bands. For example, if you have an examination, root canal treatment and a crown, you only pay the band three charge.
Speaking about NHS dental charges, the Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP from the Department of Health says: "Dental charges remain an important contribution to the overall cost of dental services, first introduced in 1951, but we will keep protecting the most vulnerable within society. NHS dental treatment will remain free for those under the age of 18, those under the age of 19 and receiving full-time education, pregnant women or those who have had a baby in the previous 12 months, and those on qualifying low income benefits. If someone does not qualify for these exemptions, full or partial help may be available through the NHS Low Income Scheme."