Date: April 17, 2014 Richard Jones

nhs dentistryUp-to-date NHS Dentistry Information for You and Your Family (Updated for 2014)

 

Quick-links Topics in this page
(Click any of the titles 1-12 below to go directly to that topic):

1. About NHS Dentists and NHS Dental Services >
2. Finding an NHS (or Private) Dentist >
3. General Dentistry Treatments >
4. NHS Dental Charges >
5. Emergency/Out-of-Hours Dental Treatment >
6. NHS Dental Services Complaints >
7. NHS Treatment Bands >
8. Help with Dental Costs >
9. Dental Treatments Abroad >
10. NHS Dentistry Exemption Criteria >

11. NHS Treatments for Pregnant Women
11. NHS FAQs >
12. The Difference Between NHS and Private Dentistry Dentists>

About NHS Dentists and NHS Dentistry

nhs_dentistryNHS dentistry services have been vastly improved with the introduction of comprehensive reforms to NHS dentistry services in 2006; with the reforms mentioned, access to an NHS dentist is now easier, and the charging procedures made easier as NHS dentistry now follows three standard pricing bands. Now patients are assured of easier and better access to local NHS dentists, as well as a standard charging system that is very easy to understand.

It is essential for everyone to have a good dental health – this includes a mouth, teeth, and gums that are free from any type of dental problem or disease. It is therefore very important for everyone to have access to high quality NHS dental services at affordable prices, to ensure that dental health is taken care of and maintained at reasonable costs.

This is Dentistry will provide you with the information you need about NHS dentistry, so you can better prepare yourself with what to expect even before you go to visit a NHS dentist. You can start your search for more information about NHS dentistry, as well as for NHS dentists, by going through the comprehensive This is Dentistry dentist directory where you can get access to the contact details of NHS dentists and private dentists in your local area – so you do not have to go too far just to find NHS dentists for your specific dental health concerns.

Finding an NHS (or Private) Dentist

It is important to have ready access to an NHS dentist, whether it is for a routine dental checkup, or for a dental treatment of an urgent nature. If you find it difficult to locate an NHS dentist, you can get in touch with your local primary care trust’s (PCT) dental access helpline for more information. You can also do the options mentioned below:

  • Go to the NHS website and look for the Find and Choose Services option – this will enable you to do a postcode search for dentists in your local area. This option can also be used to search for your local PCT, so you can get the number for the dental access helpline.
  • Using your mobile phone, text ‘dentist’ or ‘NHSGO’ to 64746. You will receive up to three text messages from NHS, which will show the results that are closest to your location (where you need to find an NHS dentist).
  • Call NHS directly at 0845 4647.
  • You can also easily find an NHS or Private Dentist in your local area right here in the ThisisDentistry.co.uk, where you will also be able to see a quick profile of some dentists; this will help you to choose the right dentist based on your specific criteria. In some cases, Thisisdentistry.co.uk also features dental practice videos, as well as patient images, for each particular dentist.
  • If you would like to quickly Find an NHS Dentist in your local area you can phone PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Services) on 0800 389 5118. They really are great and will happily give you a number of Dentists contact details.

There may be locations where there are shortages of NHS dentist, but the NHS is committed to addressing this issue, and continues to improve access to both NHS dentists and NHS services.

General Dentistry Treatments

A lot of dentists provide both NHS and private dental treatments. This is beneficial for you because you can take advantage of general dentistry treatments to keep your teeth healthy on the NHS, and you can also have cosmetic dentistry treatments and procedures done – without having to deal with two (or more) different dentists. There are times, however, that it may be confusing to determine which of the treatments can be provided through the NHS, and which ones should be paid for privately. A personal dental treatment plan will be provided by your dentist when you go for a Band 2 or 3 dental treatment. You can consult the personal dental treatment plan to see which of the treatments can be made on the NHS, and how much each specific treatment will cost.

NHS Dental Charges  – Dentistry Treatment Costs

The treatments that your dentist determines are necessary for you to be able to have healthy teeth, mouth, and gums can all be provide under the NHS. When you dentist states that a specific dental treatment is clinically necessary, there is no need for you to pay privately for that treatment.

Dental treatments under the NHS are broken down into 3 standard charges, making it easier for you to determine the amount you will need to pay; the standard charges also ensure that you are being charged for NHS care, and not for private care.

 

  • The maximum charge for a Band 3 Treatment (a complex course of treatment) is £214.00.

  • Most of the courses of treatment under Band 1 and 2 cost £18.00 or £49.00.

If you meet the NHS’ exemption criteria, you can have the NHS dental treatment that you need free of charge. For more information regarding this, go to the NHS’ Help with dental costs section below.

Emergency or Out-of-Hours Dental Treatment

There may be times when you need to deal with dental problems (and when you may need to have dental treatments) outside the office hours of dental practices – which are usually open during the daytime, during weekdays and weekends. Pain medication may be taken to deal with the discomfort caused by dental problems. For more assistance on how you can deal with a dental concern while waiting for a dental practice’s normal office hours, you can call NHS Direct at 0845 4647.

However, for dental concerns that are urgent in nature, you can get in touch with local out-of-hours dental services in your area by calling the following:

  • Your regular dentist’s practice or office – you should be able to get an answerphone message with instructions on how you can get urgent treatment out of hours;
  • NHS Direct; or
  • Your local PCT’s helpline

In cases when severe pain, bleeding, a concussion, or a head injury is present, it is best to immediately head to your local hospital’s accident and emergency department where you can get the immediate medical attention you need. Or Call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47

 

Dental Services Complaints

Should you have complaints about the dental services/care that your dentist or dentist’s surgery has provided, you can get in touch with the dentist directly to know how to proceed with filing the complaint. The dentist will try to do everything to be able to resolve the issues you have raised.

In cases when the resolution of your complaint does not leave you satisfied, you can get in touch with the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

More information on how to file a complaint can be seen on the NHS website’s complaint section, the Department of Health website, your local Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS), or from the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS).

Treatment Bands

All of the dental treatments that are deemed necessary by your dentist for you to achieve and maintain good oral health are available on the NHS. The NHS provides treatments that you need to be able to keep your teeth, mouth, and gums healthy and pain-free. Dental veneers or teeth whitening are not included on the NHS – this is because these treatments are often desired to make your smile more attractive, but are not really clinically necessary.

The list below provides you with what each treatment can include in each Band/course of treatment:

Band 1 Course of Treatment: £18.00

•    Clinical examination, case assessment and report
•    Dental advice, dental charting, treatment planning and diagnosis
•    Assessment and report on orthodontic cases
•    Radiographic examination – includes lateral and panoral headplates, and a radiological report
•    Colour photographs
•    Primary preventive measures – surface application of topical fluoride preparations and sealants
•    Study casts including in association with occlusal analysis
•    Dental hygiene instructions, dietary advice, dental and oral disease prevention instructions
•    Taking material for purposes of pathological examinations
•    Polishing, scaling, and minimal correction of dental fillings
•    Sensitive cementum treatment
•    Easing of, and adjustments to, orthodontic appliances or dentures

Band 2 Course of Treatment: £49.00

•    Non-surgical periodontal treatment – includes irrigation of periodontal pockets, deep scaling, subgingal curettage, root-planing, and all necessary polishing and scaling
•    Surgical periodontal treatment – includes gingivoplasty, gingivectomy, removal of an operculum, replacement and raising of a mucoperiostal flap, root planing, bone resection and curettage.
•    Restoration of sealants
•    Free gingival grafts
•    Permanent dental fillings in composite resin, synthetic resin, amalgam, silicate or silico-phosphate, compomers, ionomers, and acid etch retention.
•    Apicectomy
•    Pulpotomy
•    Teeth transplantation
•    Teeth extraction
•    Endodontic treatment of retained or permanent deciduous teeth
•    Soft tissue surgery – in relation to the lips and buccal cavity
•    Oral surgery – includes the removal of: a buried root, cyst, unerupted tooth, exostosed tooth, impacted tooth; and alveolectomy
•    Denture rebasing and relining, including the soft linings
•    Frenotomy, frenectomy, and frenoplasty
•    Splints (the non-laboratory fabricated splints), in relation to teeth that are periodontically-compromised, and in connection with external trauma
•    Bit raising appliances (non-laboratory fabricated appliances)
•    Addition of clasp, tooth, buccal or labial flange to dentures

Band 3 Course of Treatment: £214.00

•    Composite or porcelain veneers that are fabricated in the laboratory, including acid etch retention
•    Onlays and palatal veneers, inlays, pinlays, in alloys that contain 60% or more porcelain, fine gold, ceramics and composite resin
•    Dental crowns, including any pin or post aids to retention:
– full or jacket crown cast in alloys containing cobalt chromium/nickel chromium/stainless steel
-full or three-quarter crown cast in alloys containing not less than 33 1/3% palladium/platinum/fine gold
-synthetic resin, porcelain, or other non-metallic material dental crowns
-full or jacket crowns in alloys containing not less than 33 1/3% palladium/platinum/fine gold, or alloys containing thermally bonded porcelain containing nickel chromium/cobalt chromium/stainless steel
-jacket crown thermally bonded to wrought platinum coping
-prefabricated full or jacket crown, including any pin or post retention
•    Dental bridges, including any pin or post aids to retention:
-dental bridges in alloys containing 60% or more of fine gold, with or without thermally-bonded facings
-dental bridges cast in alloys containing cobalt chromium/nickel chromium/stainless steel, with or without thermally-bonded facings
-dental bridges in other materials
-acid etch retained dental bridges
-provision of full (completed) or partial dentures, obturators or overdentures in metal or synthetic resin, or both synthetic resin and metal, including any cast/aids to retention/wrought metal components
-orthodontic appliances and treatments
-other custom-made applications, excluding sports mouth guards

 

Help with Dental Costs

Dental costs and charges will depend on the dental treatments that are necessary to maintain healthy teeth, gums, and mouth. You will only have to pay once for a specific treatment until its completion – regardless of the number of visits to the dentists you need to do to finish the said treatment. However, if you need a separate treatment and are referred to another dentist for this – you can expect a separate (second) charge; minor treatments can be done free of charge.

NHS Dental Charges Starting 1 April 2013

Band 1 Course of Treatment – £18.00
Coverage includes examination, dental advice on how future dental problems can be prevented, diagnosis, (or X-rays), scale and polish if necessary, and the application of fissure sealant or fluoride varnish. If you need urgent or emergency care and the urgent treatment will require more than one appointment to be completed – you will be require to pay only one Band 1 charge.

Band 2 Course of Treatment – £49.00
Coverage includes all of the treatments listed in Band 1, with the addition of further treatments such as root canal work, dental fillings, or if need to have one or more tooth extractions.

Band 3 Course of Treatment – £214.00
Coverage includes treatments included in Bands 1 and 2, with the addition of dentures, dental crowns and dental bridges.

Claim for Help with NHS Dental Charges

When you make an appointment with your dental practice, inform them that you want NHS treatment and fill out the form that will be given to you upon your arrival. Put a cross on the appropriate box if you are not required to pay.

If you have a tax credit exemption certificate or a valid HC2 certificate, write the certificate number on the form.

If you are a holder of a valid HC3 certificate, write the certificate number along with the maximum amount that your certificate states you can pay. You will be required to pay the least amount – whether it is the amount stated on the certificate, or the actual charge for the treatment.

To get help with the dental costs, you will be asked to show proof of your entitlement – in cases when you are not sure if you are entitled to the dental costs help, then you are required to pay. You can claim a refund after the treatment, but you have to make sure that you keep all the receipts to be able to file the refund claim.

Claiming a Refund

Ask your dentist for a receipt showing the amount of the NHS charge, and the date you paid; you can also ask your dentist for the NHS receipt form FP64. If the refund is claimed on the grounds of low income, you will have to complete the form HC5 (D): Refund of NHS dental charges.

If the refund claim is for another reason, such as: you are pregnant or have given birth to a child in the previous 12 months, are aged under 18, or are aged 18 and in full-time education – you are required to explain your reason for claiming the refund. Attach your receipt, and include your full name, as well as the complete address of your dentist, and write to:

NHS Business Services Authority
Dental Services Division,
Compton Place Road,
Eastbourne,
East Sussex, BN20 8AD

Note: Refunds of private dental treatment charges or sundry items (like toothbrushes) are not allowed. If the treatment is a combination of NHS and private treatment, only the NHS charge can be claimed for a refund.

NHS Dentistry Exemption Criteria

A NHS patient can receive free dental treatments from NHS dentists if he meets the following criteria:

  • Under 18 years of age
  • Under 19 years of age and currently in full time education
  • An existing NHS in-patient, with the treatment being undertaken by the hospital dentist
  • Currently pregnant, or had a baby in the 12 months before dental treatments start
  • A NHS hospital dental service out-patient; dentures or bridges may incur charges

Other people can also be entitled to free NHS dental treatment if that person or his partner (civil partnerships included) receives any of the following:

  • Income support
  • Income-related employment and support allowance
  • Income-based jobseeker’s allowance
  • Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • Entitlement to a NHS tax credit exemption certificate (entitlement award notice should be used as evidence)
  • Named or included on a valid HC2 certificate (full help with health costs)

This is Dentistry can help you locate a NHS dentist in your local area through the comprehensive This is Dentistry dentist directory, so you can take advantage of the NHS dentistry treatments you need and deserve – so you can also look forward to having a bright smile with the help of a NHS dentist, without worrying too much about the soaring cost of dental health care treatments.

NHS Treatment for Pregnant Women

If you are pregnant, you can have free dental treatment under the NHS provided that you are already pregnant when you are accepted for the course of the treatment. You can take advantage of the free NHS dental treatment by providing the following:

  • MATB1 Certificate issued by your GP or midwife; or
  • A valid MatEx, or maternity exemption certificate

How to Apply for a Maternity Exemption Certificate

You will need to use the application form FW8 in applying for a maternity exemption certificate. You can get this form from your health advisor, GP, or midwife, who will also need to fill up and duly sign the form.

The MatEx certificate has a validity of one month prior to the date that the application is received, until:

  • One year (12 months) after the expected birth of the baby, or
  • In case the baby has already been born, one year (12 months) after the actual birth date.

After the Birth of Your Baby

You can also get free NHS dental treatment for one year (12 months) after the birth of your baby. To avail of this privilege, you will need to provide:

  • The birth certificate of your baby
  • A “notification of birth” form, which you can get from the midwife who delivers your baby
  • A valid MatEx (maternity exemption certificate

NHS Dental Treatment with Loss of Pregnancy

You are still entitled to free NHS dental treatment if your baby is stillborn – if you lose your child after your pregnancy’s 24th week. You will need to show a stillbirth certificate issued by your local registrar of births, marriages, and deaths to prove your entitlement.

Dental Treatments Abroad

Going abroad for treatments is an option that people are considering nowadays, and according to a recent survey by the consumer association Which? – dental treatments are some of the most popular treatments that UK residents are planning on getting from another country. However, before you decide to pack your bags and go on that trip abroad, it is best to look at all the advantages and disadvantages of leaving the UK for dental treatments, to ensure that you are getting the best deals possible.

It is believed that majority of the dental treatments that are sought abroad come in the form of advanced treatments, which include (but are not limited to): dental veneers, dental crowns, dental bridges, and more complicated reconstructions involving dental implants.

Possible Problems: Communication and Aftercare

Getting dental treatments abroad can result to great results, but there are times that the treatments do not meet one’s expectations. One of the main problems that can be encountered is the language barrier, or difficulties in communication between the patient and the dentist. The language barrier may not be solved by straight translation or with the use of a dictionary – differences in culture may result to different meanings to words and phrases, which may result to a patient not getting what he or she exactly wants from the specific treatment he or she went abroad for.

Aftercare is another issue that should be considered when deciding to go abroad for a dental treatment. A successful treatment does not guarantee that there will be no problems in the future. Should a problem arise with regards to the treatment done abroad, dentists in the patient’s local area (or anywhere in the UK) may have difficulties dealing with the necessary corrections or treatment – this may be because of lack of documentation (especially in cases when the full diagnosis and report is with the dentist abroad) regarding the procedures which were done.

Patients who have had their dental treatments abroad may not have the comprehensive information they need (and understand completely), or the reassurance that they can get from a dentist who is located in their local area, or within the UK.

Considering “Hidden” Costs or Expenses

One of the main reasons why people in the UK opt to have their dental treatments abroad is the lower costs offered by dentists from other countries. It is important to know that while the quoted costs from a dentist abroad may be lower than the one offered by a UK dentist, the hidden costs may not always be taken into consideration. Some of the “hidden” costs that can add up to a considerable sum include airfare costs, accommodation expenses, transportation expenses (by land, upon arriving in the country where the treatment will be done – taxis, buses, etc.), and dining expenses. One may be surprised that, when these surprise expenses are added up, the savings that one expected from getting the treatment abroad may not add up to anything considerable – there may be cases when going abroad for the dental treatment can bring bigger expenses in the long run.

Minimising the Chance of a Problem

Do Your Research – Just like when planning for a trip abroad, going abroad for a dental treatment should involve thorough research. The qualifications of the dentist who will do the treatment abroad should be thoroughly scrutinised; it is also important to get as much information as possible about the country where the treatment will be done.

Speak to Your Dentist – Your dentist can give you advise based on your dental history, which can come in handy should any complications arise from getting the dental treatment done abroad.

Consult with a Qualified Dentist – Before being given a cost estimate and a treatment plan, you will need to be assessed by a qualified dentist.

Consider the Communication Issues – Keep in mind that your ability to communicate freely and successfully with your dentist may have a huge impact on the success of the whole dental treatment. You may not get the result that you are expecting if you cannot get your needs and wants across, because of communication barriers.

Plan for Your Aftercare – Make sure that you have the proper documentation in English about all the procedures carried out with regards to your dental treatment abroad, so you will not have any problems for follow-up treatment in the UK.

NHS FAQs

Read about the most common questions and the corresponding answers regarding NHS dental services in the UK.

How often should I go for a dental checkup?

It has always been said that a dental checkup should be done every six months. However, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has come up with new guidelines; these guidelines state that the frequency of dental checkups will depend on how healthy a patient’s teeth, gums, and mouth are. This means that some people may need to visit a dentist more frequently, and other may need less dental checkups in a year.

Based on the condition of your teeth, mouth, and gums, your dentist will be able to determine how frequently you need to go for a dental checkup. If there are no dental problems or concerns at present, you might not need to see your dentist for up to two years – the same may apply to children; however, it is recommended that they visit the dentist at least once every year.

Why am I unable to register with a dentist anymore?

There is no longer any need for patients to register with dentists; however, dentists do keep a list of their regular patients, to be able to provide efficient ongoing dental treatment and care.

The registration system, which is no longer considered as relevant, was introduced in 1990 to keep track of how much the dentists should be paid for providing dental services under the NHS. With the old system, dentists received payments corresponding to the number of patients registered under their specific practice; these dentists were also the ones responsible for providing out-of-hours dental care and treatment for patients registered under their practices.

My dentist told me that he can only treat my children under the NHS if I register as a private patient. Is this true?

No, this is not true. Access to NHS dental treatments should not be dependent on any prior agreement to private treatment. There are a few practices that have contracts stating that they can only provide NHS treatments to children, which means that they cannot offer NHS treatments to adults.

Get in touch immediately with your local primary care trust if your dentist requires you to register as a private patient first, before your children can be seen or treated under the NHS.

Why is it difficult to get an appointment with my usual dentist?

A dental practice will do its best to be able to accommodate its patients whenever they (the patients) need them; however, this may not always be the case.

The new guidelines introduced by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) regarding the frequency of dental checkups may be the reason why the frequency of your dental checkup appointments have changed. Under these guidelines, the recommended frequency of visits to the dentist will depend on a patient’s oral health as assessed by the dentist – this means that the schedule of dental checkups may not be fixed (twice a year/every six months) anymore. People who need considerable dental care (those with dental problems or concerns that need to be monitored) may be required to have more frequent visits to the dentist, while those with good oral health (and without outstanding dental problems or concerns) may be asked to come in for a dental checkup less frequently – anywhere from every 12 to 24 months.

Most of the dentists who worked for the NHS prior to April 1, 2006 continue to provide NHS dental services to their patients. However, a small percentage of these dentists have decided to either lessen the amount of NHS dentistry that they are now providing, or have stopped providing NHS dental treatments altogether. In situations like this, it will now be up to your PCT to reinvest in local NHS dentistry services the funds that were supposed to be used to provide these services – this will ensure that the people in your local area will get the dental services they need, over time. This is because your PCT now has the funds that can be spent on dental services that people in the local area need. The PCT can now work on contracts with NHS dentists to provide the dental services that local people need; they (the PCT) can also influence where new dental practices are opened and established.

You can find updated information on the NHS dental services that are available in your local area on the NHS website.

ou can also get in touch with your PCT, or call NHS Direct at 0845 4647. It should be noted that your dentist’s ability to offer appointments may vary depending on local arrangements. Call your PCT directly if you are unable to find a dentist using the information on the NHS site.

According to my dentist, I have to pay to see a hygienist separately for a scale and polish procedure. Is this true?

No, this is not true. Once your dentist determines that your teeth need scaling and polishing, it should be a part of your dental treatment plan – and you are expected to pay a Band 1 charge; the only exception should be when you need another treatment that is included in a higher treatment band. The scale and polish is a part of your overall dental treatment plan’s cost (and a part of your NHS treatment), and it does not matter whether your dentist or a hygienist does the procedure.

Are orthodontic treatments available under the NHS?

Orthodontics treatments are available under the NHS, free of charge, ONLY for young people under the age of 18, who are determined to have a clinical need for these particular treatments. There is a rating system in place – the Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need (IOTN) – that is used in assessing individual patient’s cases, to determine the need and eligibility for orthodontic treatments. There are five grades under the IOTN, and these are:

•    Grade 1: Teeth that are almost perfect
•    Grade 2: Teeth that have minor irregularities; an example would be upper front teeth that are slightly protruding
•    Grade 3: Teeth that have more significant irregularities, which do not need dental treatments for clinical reasons; an example would be protruding upper front teeth with a protrusion measurement of 4mm (0.15 inches) or less
•    Grade 4: Teeth with severe irregularities, which require treatment for clinical reasons; an example would be protruding front teeth with a protrusion measurement of more than 6mm (0.25 inches)
•    Grade 5: Severe dental health problems; an example would be protruding upper front teeth with a protrusion measurement of more than 9mm (0.35 inches)

Orthodontic treatments are available under the NHS for cases that fall under Grade 4 or 5. Cases that fall under Grade 3 are judged on a case-to-case basis, and orthodontic treatment under the NHS can be done if the unattractiveness of the teeth is considered to be significant.

Find out more about orthodontic treatments here.

I was told that my child does not qualify for orthodontic treatment on the NHS – is there a way to appeal this decision?

The best thing to do in this case would be to get in touch with your primary care trust (PCT) – you child’s case will be reviewed by a panel of experts, to determine his or her eligibility for orthodontic treatment under NHS. The decision on the eligibility will be based on whether your child meets the criteria for treatment. You can get more detailed information about the appeals process from your PCT.

Get the contact details for your local PCT here.

I am in the UK, but I am not a resident. Is there any way that I can have a dental treatment here on the NHS?

If you are in the UK and you need treatment for a dental emergency, you can have emergency dental treatment under the NHS – even if you are not a UK resident. The urgent or emergency dental treatment involves dealing with any bleeding, temporary work to repair a dental problem; urgent treatment will also ensure that you are free from any pain from your dental concern. However, for dental problems that are not urgent in nature – you will normally be required to:

–    Prove that you are a UK resident, or
–    Be duly registered with a GP

What happens if something goes wrong with the treatment I had under the NHS?

If you experience any problems about your NHS dental treatment within 12 months, your dentist should work on the repairs or do the treatment again – free of charge. A good example would be dental fillings (done on the NHS) that fall out just after six months – the problem should be fixed by your dentist without asking or expecting extra payment from you. The same goes for dental appliances such as orthodontic braces.

In cases when an appliance needs to be replaced because of wear and tear (or if you have lost or damaged the appliance yourself), you will have to pay the full cost of its replacement.

For information on how to make a complaint about NHS dental work results that you are not happy with, go to this page on the NHS website.

What materials are used in NHS dental fillings and dental crowns?

There are various materials used for NHS dental crowns and fillings. Your dentist will recommend the material which will best suit your specific needs.

Dental Fillings – these are used to repair holes in teeth caused by tooth decay. The most commonly-used type of filling is an amalgam, which is often used to repair holes on the back chewing teeth – this is because amalgam fillings (made from a combination of metals) are very heard-wearing.

Your dentist will suggest a tooth filling material depending on your clinical or medical needs. A white or tooth-coloured filling can be offered by your dentist if repairs will be done on your front teeth.

These are the materials that are used in NHS dental fillings:

•    Amalgam (silver-coloured): a combination of metals including silver, mercury,  copper and tin
•    Composite resin (tooth-coloured): powdered glass and ceramic added to a resin base; this material is not as hard-wearing as an amalgam filling
•    Synthetic resin (tooth-coloured): just like composite resin, but this one is man-made (components do not come from plants)
•    Glass ionomer (tooth-coloured): made of powdered glass that reacts chemically with the tooth and bonds to it; however, this material is considered to be very weak, so it is only used on baby (first) teeth or around the sides of teeth
•    Compomers (tooth-coloured): a combination of composite resin (‘comp’) and glass ionomer (‘omer’)
•    Silicate or silico-phosphate: minerals which are mixed together to form a clear, hard cement

 

Related Pages

Dental Checkups
Routine Dentistry
Dental Emergency
Gum Treatments
Oral Surgery
Difference between NHS and Private Dentistry Dentists

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