Cost of NHS dental treatments increase by up to £13 – including check ups

THE COST of NHS dental treatments is set to increase by up to £13 as dentists accuse the government of “putting up barriers to care”.

Procedures such as crowns, dentures, root canals and removing teeth will see a price increase as part of the five per cent rise in NHS dental charges in England.

The British Dental Association (BDA) estimates that 19 million appointments have been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The price hike had been due to start on April 1 but was pushed back due to the first wave of the pandemic.

The five per cent increase will take hold on December 14 – meaning those who need to see the dentist have got just two weeks to book in before they will be charged extra.

However it was recently reported that patients are facing a two-year delay for dental surgery as waiting times have doubled in the last year because of the pandemic.

Under the new prices, a routine check-up will increase by £1.10 from £22.70 to £23.80.

Treatments such as root canals or removing teeth will rise by £3.10 from £62.10 to £65.20 and more complex procedures like crowns, dentures and bridges rise from £13.50 from £269.30 to £282.80.

The BDA has said that dentists are “health professionals, not tax collectors” and added that an increase in price is a major barrier to patients.

How to avoid a trip to the dentist and maintain a healthy smile

Dental professional Dr Deepak Aulak, who is also co-founder of the Tooth Fairy App said it’s extremely important to stay on top of your dental hygiene and revealed his top tips.

  1. Avoid drinking and eating things that can stain: Dr Aulak said: "These can include wine, smoking and black coffee. If you are to have one of these, it is important to clean well after with a baking soda toothpaste."
  2. Brush daily: Brushing daily with an effective stain removal toothpaste can help. He added that you should use a paste which gently removes plaque.
  3. Floss: Dr Aulak said flossing is important and recommended using a flosser which is angled in order to get to all those hard to reach places. He added: "It is highly advisable to floss daily to help prevent cavities, gum disease as well as eliminate bad breath. Flossing helps remove bacteria and debris between the teeth, where conventional brushing may not be as effective."

He added: "Many oral health issues can be prevented through good cleaning and changes in the diet by patients themselves.

"That is why it is important for patients to be well equipped with dental knowledge of self-maintenance."

Dave Cottam, Chair of the British Dental Association’s General Dental Practice said slapping higher charges on patients struggling to secure care in the middle of a pandemic is “utterly wrongheaded”.

He said: “This inflation-busting hike won’t put an extra penny into a service in crisis, or help millions currently unable to get an appointment.

“We’ve appealed to the government for support to bring down the backlogs. Sadly this short-sighted approach will only give lower income, higher risk patients more reasons not to attend.

“Dentists are health professionals not tax collectors. These charges have ceased to be a ‘contribution’ and are now simply a substitute for decent state investment.”

Data from the government’s GP survey states that 700,000 have avoided seeking NHS treatment for cost reasons and the Adult Oral Health Survey also found that for 26 per cent of the public – cost had been a key factor when deciding what dental treatment they opted for.

It also found that 19 per cent of people had delayed receiving treatment because of the cost.

Since the coronavirus lockdown first started in March, the Treasury has lost around £400 million from the charges and is also losing around £50 million in revenues each month.

The BDA previously asked the government to provide funding for ventilation equipment which would enable practices to operate more efficiently – shortening the gap between patients.

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