MSE News

Under 26s can now get free NHS dental treatment in Scotland

White healthy tooth, different tools for dental care. Dental background.

Anyone aged 25 and under who is registered with a Scottish dental practice can now get free NHS treatment. The change takes force immediately and patients aren’t required to opt-in. Those who started a course of NHS treatment before their 26th birthday can also now get this for free.

The change in policy comes after the Scottish Government invested a further £7.5 million into the dental sector to help boost capacity and build-back to the sector’s pre-pandemic capabilities. 

Until now, only those aged 18 and under and in full-time education, those receiving certain benefits (income support, universal credit, income-related employment and support allowance, income-based jobseeker’s allowance or pension credit guarantee credit) or those who held a held an NHS Tax Credit Exemption certificate were entitled to free NHS dental treatment in Scotland. These entitlements will continue.   

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NHS dental charges remain the same for those aged 26 and over in Scotland

Unless you are in one of the groups entitled to free NHS dental treatment or help with the cost of treatment, those aged 26 and over in Scotland will continue to be required to pay 80% of the cost of any NHS dental treatment up to a maximum of £384 per course of treatment.

The fee structure for NHS dental work in Scotland is complex and varies depending on the treatment required, but the table below details average costs for common dental treatments.

NHS Scotland Dental Treatment Costs 

Treatment Cost
Examination £0.00
Two Small X-Rays £5.28
Simple Extraction (One Tooth) £7.52
Small Amalgam (Silver) Filling
£8.20
Scale and Polish
£12.00
Large Amalgam (Silver) Filling £20.96
Root Canal (Front Tooth) £44.20
Simple Crown (Front Tooth) £79.52
Complete (Upper and Lower) Dentures £166.04

Cost detailed is the 80% patients have to pay.

Free NHS dental treatment is also available to some in England, Northern Ireland and Wales

The following people are also entitled to free NHS dental treatment in England, Wales and Northern Ireland: 

  • England:
    - Those aged 18 and under.
    - Those aged 19 in full-time education.
    - Those who are pregnant or have given birth in the last 12 months.
    - Those receiving income support, universal credit, income-related employment and support allowance, income-based jobseeker’s allowance or pension credit guarantee credit.
    - Those with an NHS Tax Credit Exemption Certificate or HC2 Certificate.

  • Northern Ireland:
    - Those aged 18 and under.
    - Those who are pregnant or have given birth in the last 12 months.
    - Those receiving income support, universal credit, income-related employment and support allowance, income-based jobseeker’s allowance or pension credit guarantee credit.
    - Those with an NHS Tax Credit Exemption Certificate or HC2 Certificate.
  • Wales: 
    - Those aged 25 or under.
    - Those aged 60 or over.
    - Those who are pregnant or have given birth in the last 12 months. 
    - Those receiving income support, universal credit, income-related employment and support allowance, income-based jobseeker’s allowance or pension credit guarantee credit.
    - Those with an NHS Tax Credit Exemption Certificate or HC2 Certificate.

The cost of NHS dental treatment for those who pay in England, Northern Ireland and Wales varies 

For those who can't receive free dental treatment, the tables below detail typical costs in England, Northern Ireland and Wales. 

NHS England Dental Treatment Costs

Band
Treatments and costs
1   Covers an examination, diagnosis and advice. If necessary, it also includes X-rays, a scale and polish, and planning for further treatment. £23.80
2   Covers all treatment included in Band 1, plus additional treatment, such as fillings, root canal treatment and removing teeth (extractions). £65.20
3   Covers all treatment included in Bands 1 and 2, plus more complex procedures, such as crowns, dentures and bridges. £282.80

Health Service Northern Ireland Dental Treatment Costs 

Treatment Cost
Two Small X-Rays £5.03
Simple Extraction (One Tooth) £7.13
Examination £7.22
Small Amalgam (Silver) Filling £7.71
Scale and Polish £11.46
Large Amalgam (Silver) Filling £19.84
Root Canal (Front Tooth) £41.35
Simple Crown (Front Tooth) £76.93
Complete (Upper and Lower) Dentures £157.10

NHS Wales Dental Treatment Costs

Band
Treatments and Cost
1   This charge will include an examination, diagnosis and preventative care. If necessary this will include: X-rays, oral health advice and planning for further treatment. £14.70
2  

This charge includes all necessary treatment covered by the £14.70 charge plus: additional fillings, root canal treatments, extractions and periodontal treatment (for gum disease). £47

3  

This charge includes all necessary treatment covered by the £14.70 and £47 charges plus more complex procedures such as: crowns, dentures and bridges. £203

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