Going to the dentist is not something many of us enjoy. It can get expensive if your dentist recommends more complex work to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
However, there are several ways to access free NHS dental care, which could make visiting the dentist less of a concern. You should always check with your dentist whether your treatment is private or NHS, how much it will cost and whether you will be able to get some or all of it for free.
If you are entitled to free NHS treatment and the treatment you receive is a mix of NHS and private, you will still have to pay for the private treatment. In an effort to save you time, here is a guide to who is eligible for free NHS treatment, according to the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA).
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Who can get free NHS dental care
1. If you are of a certain age
You are entitled to free NHS dental care if, at the start of your treatment, you are under 18 or under 19 and in full-time study.
2. If you receive contribution-based benefits
If you are on contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance, you are not automatically entitled to free NHS dental care. However, you can request assistance through the NHS Low Income Schemesaid the NHSBSA.
3. If you receive income-based benefits
You are automatically entitled to free NHS dental care if you are on income support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance.
If you benefit from one of these benefits, your partner and any dependent young people under 20 are also entitled to free care.
4. If you receive pension credit
You are entitled to free NHS dental care if you or your partner have:
- Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
- Credit Pension Guarantee Credit with Savings Credit
If you are on pension savings credit alone, you are not automatically entitled to free NHS dental care. However, you can ask for help via the NHS Low Income Scheme.
5. If you are on Universal Credit
If you are on Universal Credit, your entitlement to free NHS dental care depends on your earnings for the most recent assessment period. You are eligible if your earnings during this period were £435 or less; or £935 or less if your Universal Credit includes an element for a child or limited ability to work.
The most recent assessment period means the four weeks which ended immediately before the date you claimed free NHS dental care.
If you are applying for Universal Credit as a couple, the income limit applies to your joint income and that of your partner,” the website adds.
6. If you are a pregnant woman
You can access free NHS dental care if, at the time you are accepted for your treatment, you are pregnant or have had a baby within the last 12 months.
To prove your entitlement, you can use a:
7. If you receive tax credits from HMRC
You can get free NHS dental care if your annual family income used to calculate your tax credits is £15,276 or less and you receive either:
If you meet these conditions, you will automatically receive an NHS tax credit exemption certificate.
8. If you are deemed to have a low income (including students and retirees)
You are entitled to free NHS dental care if you have applied to the NHS Low Income Scheme and received an HC2 certificate for full health care assistance.
If you have applied for the NHS Low Income Scheme and received an HC3 certificate for help with limited healthcare costs, you may be eligible for help with the cost of your NHS dental treatment. Your certificate tells you how much you have to pay for your fees.
9. If you are on the War Pension Scheme or the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
You can claim reimbursement for dental treatment, NHS travel costs, eye tests, glasses or contact lenses if you receive payments from the War Pension Scheme or Armed Forces Compensation Scheme and that the processing relates to your accepted disability.
You can write to:
The treatment group
You can also telephone Veterans UK on 0808 1914218.