Over the next two years, a rise in dental costs will see the cost of NHS dental treatment increase by 10%. This will mean a routine NHS dental appointment will cost more than £20.
The British Dental Association said that the rise was “unprecedented” and will damage the nation’s teeth.
Health Minister Alistair Burt said in a written statement to parliament: “We have taken the decision to uplift dental charges for those who can afford it, through a 5% increase this year, and next.”
Children, pregnant women and people on low incomes will continue to receive free treatment.
Henrik Overgaard-Nielsen, speaking on behalf of the British Dental Association, told the BBC: “This unprecedented hike in dental charges will only serve to discourage the patients that are most in need of care.”
“This money doesn’t go to NHS dentists – they are being asked to play the role of tax collector, while our patients are singled out to subsidise the health service. The government has given patients another reason to avoid visiting their dentist”, continued Mr Overgaard-Nielsen.
What does this mean for patients?
- A Band 1 treatment, which includes an examination, x-rays and a scale and polish will rise from £18.80 to £19.70 in April 2016. Then in April 2017 it will rise to £20.60.
- Band 2 treatment, which includes fillings, root canals and extractions, will rise from 51.30 to £53.90 in 2016 and to £56.30 in 2017.
- Band 3 treatment, which includes crowns, dentures and bridges, will rise from £222.50 to £233.70 in 2016 and £244.30 in 2017.
In 2015 Which? found that some dentists were failing to provide clear information on costs and that, from a survey of 1,000 people, one in five were overcharged.
The Department of Health said at the time that dentists were contractually required to display up to date charges.
The survey revealed that whilst 80% trusted their dentist’s advice on treatment, around 40% said they were not clear on what treatment they were entitled to on the NHS.
The guidelines state that NHS patients should only be asked to pay one charge for a course of NHS dental treatment – even if it requires several visits to the dentist.
In 2012/13 the NHSLA received 438 referrals, compared to 722 in 2014/15.
At Pryers we have been helping people who have suffered from dental negligence for many years. Dental negligence claims can be very complex and they consequences can can be very painful and have long term effects.
Please contact us if you are concerned that you have not received the right dental care.