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Private vs NHS Dentistry: Everything you need to know

Aesthetique Dental Care
6 March 2024

When it comes to dental care, understanding the differences between NHS and private dentists can help you make informed decisions about your oral health. Both sectors offer valuable dental services but cater to different needs and preferences. Let’s dive into the nuances of private dentistry versus NHS dentistry, covering everything from treatment options to availability.

What is the difference between an NHS dentist and a private dentist?

The main difference lies in the range of treatments offered, funding restrictions, and the standard of treatments. NHS dentists provide comprehensive care focused on maintaining dental health and addressing all clinically necessary needs. However, the cosmetic and advanced treatments available are limited due to funding restrictions.

Private dentists, on the other hand, offer a wider range of dental services, including the latest in cosmetic dentistry and orthodontic treatments. Private treatment often incorporates the newest dental technology, allowing for bespoke treatment plans tailored to individual preferences and dental health goals.

Is a private or NHS dentist better?

The answer depends on your specific dental needs, oral health goals, and budget. NHS dentistry is designed to be cost-effective, providing essential care and ensuring everyone has access to necessary dental treatment. Private dentistry offers a range of services beyond the basics, including cosmetic treatments like composite bonding, advanced treatments, and orthodontic treatments not always available through the NHS.

Private clinics often have more flexibility for those seeking emergency appointments, weekend appointments, or shorter waiting lists. Private patients also benefit from longer dental appointments, which can enhance the quality of care and patient comfort.

Choosing between private and NHS dentistry

When choosing between a private or NHS dentist, there are a few key things to keep in mind:

Treatment options

NHS dentistry covers all clinically necessary treatments to maintain oral health, including routine check-ups, root canals, and some complex therapies. However, private care might be the only option for cosmetic dentistry or specific complex treatments without a direct health need.

Length of appointments

Private appointments are longer, allowing for a thorough discussion of your treatment plan and any concerns you might have. This can be particularly important for patients undergoing complex treatments or those who value additional time to discuss cosmetic options.


Private dentistry is accessible to anyone willing to pay for their dental treatment. Many private practices offer payment plans to help manage the cost of private treatment, making it easier for patients to access advanced treatments and cosmetic procedures.

Free NHS dental services are available to:

  • Individuals under 18 or 19 and in full-time education.
  • Those who are pregnant or have given birth in the last 12 months.
  • Patients receive treatment in an NHS hospital by the hospital dentist, though charges may apply for dentures or bridges.
  • Individuals on low-income benefits or under 20 are dependent on someone receiving low-income benefits.

There are no other eligibility criteria for receiving NHS dental care; it’s available to everyone. However, the volume of patients can lead to longer waiting lists for dental appointments.


Due to the sheer volume of patients, NHS dentists might have longer waiting lists. On the flip side, private patients often benefit from more adaptable scheduling options, like emergency appointments and weekend appointments.

Expert dental care from Aesthetique

Choosing between NHS and private dental care comes down to what’s important to you and what you need from your dental care provider. If you’re considering going down the private route, Aesthetique Dental Care is your go-to dental clinic.

Here at Aesthetique, we put you first. Everything we do is about ensuring you feel listened to, cared for, and satisfied with your treatment. We’re all about making your dental care experience as comfortable and stress-free as possible. Plus, we know that the cost of dental care can be a big worry, so we work hard to keep our prices affordable. We want to ensure that great dental care is within reach for everyone who walks through our doors.

Choosing us means you’re not just getting dental care; you’re joining a family that genuinely cares about your smile and health. So, if you’re looking for a dental clinic that prioritises you and offers excellent care at prices that won’t break the bank, look no further than Aesthetique Dental Care.


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