The cost of dental treatment varies greatly according to several factors; what condition your teeth are in, how much work is required, whether or not you have insurance to cover the cost, and which dental surgery you attend. With that in mind, it’s easy to see why the task of organising finance to pay for treatment can seem daunting at first, and the best way to prepare for every eventuality is to educate yourself; let’s take a look at some of the ways dental finance plans can help with your treatment.
How much will I pay with an NHS dentist?
If you are a UK citizen and you are under the age of eighteen, then the National Health Service won’t charge you anything for dental treatment – even if you require costly orthodontics, but if you are not eligible for free service, then you will have to pay for your procedure, based on how complicated your treatment is and how much aftercare you receive. The NHS divides its services into three pricing bands, ranging from a routine check-up, to things like crowns and dentures.
Band 1 – Treatments under this band cost £17, this includes; x-rays, scaling and polishing, regular maintenance, and any other minor cosmetic problems that can be dealt with on-site.
Band 2 – Treatments under this band cost £47, this includes; extractions, fillings, root canals, and any other procedures that are slightly surgical in nature, but don’t take a long time to complete.
Band 3 – Treatments under this band cost £204, this includes; dental crowns, bridges, dentures, and other dental appliances, as well as slightly more invasive procedures that might require on-going care.
Cosmetic restorations, such as teeth whitening and porcelain veneers, will not be covered by any of the price bands, because they are not considered a medical necessity and are not normally provided by NHS dentists. Similarly, orthodontic treatment for adults is also not included, as it is too expensive and generally requires a lot more of the surgeon’s attention and time. If you are interested in any of these procedures, you will have to look into private care, which is more expensive, but often gives high-quality results. For more information on how to organise private treatment for yourself or your family, call the Pearl Dental Clinic today; they offer the very latest orthodontic systems and restorative techniques.
How much will I pay with a private dentist?
As the medical landscape continues to shift in the UK, more and more dental practices are choosing to move into the private sector, rather than provide care for patients via the NHS; primarily because the three band pricing system means that there is a cap on the amount of treatment they can give, regardless of the time spent with each individual patient. Not only does this mean that dentists are earning less and working harder, it also means that there are not enough people available to provide endless care at a set price; it’s just not economically viable. With an NHS dentist, no patient will pay more than £204 for a certain procedure, no matter how long it takes or how invasive it is, but with a private clinic, each price is outlined according to the extent of the treatment and the patient’s individual condition, which is why it tends to be more expensive. Restorative procedures in particular can cost thousands of pounds, and many patients have to rely on dental financing to pay off their surgery. As well as having a higher price, the private sector generally has a higher level of customer service and they often invest the money made into the latest technology, so that they can offer revolutionary products like dental implants. Furthermore, you are much more likely to get an appointment quickly with a private dentist, and you could benefit from cosmetic treatments that are not available at an NHS provider.
Will dental finance cover work done on the NHS?
If you are eligible for dental treatment paid for by the National Health Service, then you won’t need financial assistance, and even if you do have to pay, the costs are so low that it’s unlikely you will need a loan. However, some people may struggle to pay a bill that is over a hundred pounds, and if this is the case for you, it’s certainly worth considering a small loan to cover costs, which could be paid back over the following months. You might have problems securing a loan for a very small amount – the finance company need to be sure they are going to make money out of the transaction, but there are various places, online and on the high street, that can offer loans for small amounts. Just make sure you read the agreement carefully before you sign anything, and you need to agree on an affordable payment plan, otherwise you could get yourself in hot water.
What if I can’t afford to go private?
The majority of the UK working population will worry over bills and bank accounts, so don’t assume you are the only one losing sleep over money issues. There’s no getting away from the fact that cosmetic procedures and restorative treatments are going to going to be expensive, but there are ways around handing over all your savings or running up a huge credit card bill; dental finance was created with people like you in mind – those that can’t afford to pay for services upfront, but could work around a monthly repayment scheme.
There are plenty of companies all over the country that could provide access to finances, but the first thing to do is talk to your dentist about applicable costs before you go hunting online for a loan provider; you need to know exactly what sort of price you are looking at. Your dentist should be able to break down the costs for you, outlining exactly which procedures you are undergoing – keep a record of this, it could be helpful when trying to organise a loan. Normally in this type of scenario, you will be paying for several different services; the initial consultation – which is usually a flat fee, the proposed treatment – based on the condition of your teeth, and any additions that may be necessary if you run into complications.