6th April 2019
NHS dentist vs. private dentist – what’s the difference?
What’s the difference between an NHS dentist and a private dentist? No, there isn’t a punchline incoming, but rather a bit of guidance! Some may think that a dentist is just a dentist through and through, but some practices remain purely private or purely NHS, while others combine the best of both worlds. What’s the difference?
An NHS dentist is a dental practice that offers treatments necessary to your dental health that are partially subsidised by the NHS. You pay a small contribution to your care, and the NHS covers the remaining cost. It is categorised into affordable ‘bands’ that are:
- Band 1 £21.60: This covers an examination, diagnosis (including X-rays), advice on how to prevent future problems, a scale and polish if clinically needed, and preventative care such as fluoride varnish or fissure sealant where appropriate.
- Band 2 £59.10: This covers everything listed in band 1, as well as treatments like non-white fillings, root canal work, or removal of teeth.
- Band 3 £256.50: This covers everything listed in bands 1 and 2, as well as crowns, dentures, bridges, and other complex laboratory work.
Cosmetic treatments such as white fillings, veneers, and teeth whitening are not available under NHS dentistry bands because they are not strictly related to your health needs. Amalgam fillings (metal fillings) are available through your NHS dentist as these are necessary for the health of your teeth, but white fillings are the cosmetic option that improve your health but are not subsidised by the NHS.
A private dentist may choose not to take in NHS patients, but instead register their own patients with their own private fees. This does still mean that cosmetic treatments like those mentioned above aren’t subsidised, and neither are ‘pay as you go’ dental appointments and treatments.
The best of both worlds?
There are dentists that have the best of both worlds! For example, we at Blossom Dental Care are both an NHS dentist and a private dentist. This means that you can join us as an NHS patient and receive subsidised, health-related treatments and receive cosmetic dentistry at our own prices if you opt for it. After discussing your treatment needs and all the options available, you may choose to have some dental treatments provided privately in addition to your NHS treatment. This can be carried out at the same time as your NHS treatment. This does not affect your NHS status. We’re also family- and child-friendly, so we encourage you to bring your child to our practice for dental examinations so that we can teach them good oral hygiene lessons for life.
If you’re looking for a reliable NHS dentist or private dentist in York, then look no further than our team of skilled dental professionals. Give us a call on 01904 654889 to find out about our NHS waiting list today.