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 women
- nursing mothers until their 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 tell the dentist.
Read our help with health costs guide for more information.
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 the NHS NSS Practitioner Services, 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 isn't allowed on the NHS.
For more information on treatment charges visit Scottish Dental