On 1 April 2006, the most significant reforms to NHS dentistry (since its inception in 1948) were introduced.
These changes are benefitting patients by commissioning better access to local services and a new, simpler charging system.
These pages have information about what the changes mean for you and answer some common questions about NHS dentistry.
There are now three standard charges for all National Health Service (NHS) dental treatment. This makes it easier to know how much you may need to pay and also helps ensure that you are being charged for NHS care (rather than private care).
The maximum charge for a complex course of treatment has been reduced from £384 to £189. Most courses of treatment cost £15.50 or £42.40.
You still receive free NHS dental treatment if you meet the exemption criteria.
Find out more about the new patient charges.
Better access to local services
Your Primary Care Trust (PCT) is now responsible for local NHS dental services and:
* has money that must be used for local dental services
* agrees contracts with NHS dentists for services that best meet local needs
* can influence where new practices are established
* is responsible for urgent and out-of-hours care in your area
If a dentist moves, closes down a practice or reduces the amount of NHS dentistry he or she provides, the money to provide this service now remains with your PCT for reinvestment in NHS dentistry for the local community.
Over time this is helping PCTs ensure that NHS dental services better meet the needs of people in your area.