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Having treatment with a private dentist is becoming more and more affordable in the UK and as the NHS dentists are only subsidised rather than free, a private dentist may not cost that much more. There are some specific groups of people who are entitled to free NHS dentistry but these are the exceptions rather than the rule.

When it comes to emergency dentistry, many people will look for a private dentist, many of whom will offer a 24 hour service. Some private dentists actually operate specifically as an “emergency dentist” and appointments at short notice are generally more widely available privately rather than on the NHS. If you are experiencing a dental emergency then getting treatment quickly is vital as delays in getting treatment could result in the cost of treatment increasing due to the problem becoming more complex to treat.

The UK is host to highly trained private dentists who often operate at the top of their professions, generally they have access to state of the art equipment within their place of practice.

Cosmetic dental treatment such as teeth whitening, teeth straightening, implants or a complete cosmetic dental make-over, this is not available to patients via the NHS. If you are looking for this type of procedure then you would need to find a private dentist who can provide these services for you.

The benefits of using a private dentist

  • You could spend more time with your dentist as they are not restricted or under pressure to meet the NHS targets
  • You do not have to register
  • You can choose to see a private dentist wherever you are located and you are not restricted to the practice being within your home catchment area
  • They offer a wide range of treatments including cosmetic dentistry and emergency dental appointments.
  • A private dentist can spend more time working on prevention rather than just cure

Are private dentists in the UK registered with a governing body?

If a dentist or dental professional wants to practice within the UK they must register with The General Dental Council.

Dental Care professionals include:

Clinical dental technicians • dental hygienists • dental nurses • dental technicians • dental therapists and orthodontic therapists

Dentists are regulated by the Care Quality commission whether they offer Private or NHS Treatment or a combination of both and there are three main types of dentist you can research on the Care Quality Commission website:

Dental Clinics • NHS Hospital Dental Services • Private Hospital Dental Services

The British Dental Association is the professional association and trade union for UK dentists.

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