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An NHS dentist is a dentist who has agreed to provide NHS dental services. Some dentists may provide a mixture of NHS and private care.

What can I expect from my dentist?

What your dentist should do?

Your NHS dentist should:

carry out a thorough examination of your mouth, teeth and gums explain your treatment options, tell you what treatment you can have under the NHS, and what other work can be done privately if you need any; for more information, see  

  Why has my NHS dentist charged me for private treatment?

make sure you know how much your NHS treatment and any private treatment will cost

provide you with a written treatment plan before carrying out any dental treatment, to confirm the details and costs of the NHS treatment and any private work display a poster about NHS charges

discuss how often you need to go for a dental check-up; for more information, see How often should I go to the dentist? provide a leaflet that includes information about the dental practice and its services.

What your dentist should not do

  • Your dentist should not:charge you for missed NHS appointments; however, if you miss any, your dentist can decide not to offer you treatment in the future
  • suggest that NHS treatment is sub-standard
  • make you pay privately for an examination to assess whether you will be accepted for NHS treatment
  • 0ffer NHS treatment to children on the condition that a parent or guardian becomes a private patient
  • Although some dentists provide NHS treatment for children while also taking on adults as private patients, offering treatment for your children should not be used as a way of persuading you to sign up for private treatment.