NHS v Cosmetic Dentistry

Dentistry is a big business and there are many options to choose from. Most towns have a variety of dentists usually offering a wide range of services. As well as choosing between these, the choice must also be made between having the work done through the NHS or being treated by a private dentist. So which is the best choice?

The main benefit of NHS dentists is the price. Not only are the prices cheaper than having the work done privately, as these are subsidised by the NHS, they are also standardised across practices and clearly structured in price bands making prices transparent. These start at £18.80 for a check-up to £222.50 for more detailed work, such as crowns or bridges. There are also a variety of people who do not need to pay for their treatment; children, anyone under 19 in full-time education, pregnant women or those on Income Support. This means that dentists can offer a service that can be accessed by all, at a reasonable price.

One option that the NHS does not provide, however, is work that is considered cosmetic such as teeth whitening. Even in cases where the work is considered necessary from a clinical point of view, the NHS dentist will offer the service that’s considered appropriate to treat the problem, rather than achieving the best cosmetic result. This means that in cases where a better-looking result can be achieved by a more expensive treatment, the client may need to either pay for a private treatment at their existing dentist or look elsewhere for treatment.

The pricing for cosmetic dentistry varies widely. This depends on the type of work carried out, the type of materials used and the dentist. A service such as teeth whitening, for example, can vary from around £300 to up to £1,000, while implants can cost over £2000. You can, however, receive the best possible result for you, rather than the standard treatment that the NHS would offer.

Essentially, the choice is really a personal one. If you have the money to spend on the best cosmetic choice, are concerned with the cosmetic outcome of your procedures or are looking to have a non-essential cosmetic procedure, then paying for the work privately is the choice for you. However, if you need a standard procedure or money is an issue, then using the NHS dentists’ reasonable and clearly priced services would be the way to go.