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Treatment Costs

A NHS dental examination in Scotland is free of charge for everyone.

Following a dental examination, the dentist will advise you on any treatment you require and the likely cost. They must also provide an itemised account, if requested.

NHS patients, who pay for their treatment, pay 80% of the treatment costs (including any x-rays), up to a maximum of £384. A dentist can ask for payment in advance.

A dentist can charge a patient if they fail to attend for an appointment without giving due notice.

Who gets free treatment on the NHS?

NHS treatment is free for:

  • Everyone aged under 18;
  • Those aged under 19 in full-time education;
  • Pregnant and nursing mothers, until the baby is 12 months old;
  • Those with certificated exemption from payment because of income.

Please take evidence of any exemption with you to the dentist.

If your exemption from payment changes during a course of treatment please advise the dentist. Find out more about exemptions and help with costs at NHS Inform.

What is Prior Approval?

Your dentist may inform you that they have to apply for prior approval before your treatment can be started. Dentists are required to seek approval from us, for certain treatments and treatments of high value. This process may take a little time and delay your treatment slightly.

Are all treatments available on the NHS?

Not all treatments are available on the NHS. Cosmetic treatments are not available, for example, ‘white fillings’ on back teeth or a tooth coloured crown on a back tooth.

Your dentist will be able to explain what treatment is and is not allowed on the NHS.