Ouch! Cost of going to the dentist will rise by 8.5% next month as part of price hikes branded ‘utterly grotesque’ by the British Dental Association
The cost of going to a dentist will rise by the largest amount for 17 years next month as part of price hikes branded ‘utterly grotesque’ by the British Dental Association.
NHS dental charges will increase by 8.5 per cent from April 24, the largest single jump since the current system of charges was introduced in 2006.
This means the cost of a filling will rise more than £5 from the current £65.20 to £70.70. The price of a basic check-up will rise from £23.80 to £25.80, while more complicated ‘band 3’ treatments such as crowns or dentures will increase by £24 to £306.80.
Government officials said the rises – the first in more than two years – are necessary to meet the increased costs of delivering dental care. But the British Dental Association (BDA) hit out at the hikes, accusing ministers of prioritising government funds over access to affordable treatment.
Around one million adults declined to see an NHS dentist due to cost last year according to data from the GP survey, with the increase meaning many more will ‘think twice about seeking care’, they warned.
The cost of going to a dentist will rise by the largest amount for 17 years next month as part of price hikes branded ‘utterly grotesque’ by the British Dental Association. [File image]
BDA chairman Shawn Charlwood said: ‘This is an utterly grotesque display of priorities from the Treasury.
‘This hike won’t put a single penny into a struggling service. Our patients are being asked to pay more simply so ministers can pay less.
‘The Government did not have to go down this path during a cost of living crisis. This is a cold, calculated political choice, that will hit millions on modest incomes.
‘Ministers must know some face a choice between heating, eating and seeking NHS care. And they are carrying on regardless.’
It comes as millions struggle to see their dentist, with three in ten children now starting school with rotting teeth.
NHS dental charges will increase by 8.5 per cent from April 24, the largest single jump since the current system of charges was introduced in 2006. [File image]
Data from the National Dental Epidemiology Programme last week showed 2 per cent of children in England have advanced tooth decay, while one in five (21.2 per cent) children had some dental plaque. Meanwhile, the number of dentists carrying out NHS work in England remain below pre-Covid levels, according to NHS Digital figures.
Revealing the rises in Parliament yesterday, health minister Neil O’Brien acknowledged it was higher than some uplifts but said it was ‘proportionate’ given the freeze since 2020.
He said: ‘The most recent uplift was in December 2020, delayed from April 2020 due to the impacts of the pandemic. While there has been no uplift for two years, the cost of delivering NHS dental care has increased.’
Exemptions and support to those on low incomes will still apply, he added.
It follows the announcement prescription charges will rise by 30p to £9.65 from April.
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