Dentist

ADVICE NI’S HELPLINES REMAIN OPEN

We will not be providing face-to-face advice or training for the foreseeable future. We will contact existing advice clients by phone. Our staff will continue to support our members and can be reached via telephone and email as usual.

We are working hard to move our training, where possible, to digital. For any queries, please contact our training team at [email protected]

We can only provide advice to people living in Northern Ireland. 

Helpline contact details:

Welfare Changes ring 0808 802 0020 or email [email protected]
Tax & Benefits ring 0800 988 2377 or email [email protected]
Business Debt ring 0800 083 8018 or email [email protected]
Debt Action ring 0800 028 1881 or email [email protected]
EU Settlement Scheme ring 0800 138 6545 or email [email protected]
For Historical Institutional Abuse advice and support call 02890 645919 email [email protected]

Body
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As well as brushing regularly to keep your teeth and gums healthy, you should also visit your dentist on a regular basis. 

In fact, regular check-ups are just as important for those with false teeth. Dentures, for example, need replacing every five years and these are available on the Health Service (HS).

All treatments and advice to help keep your teeth and gums healthy are available on the HS. Cosmetic treatments, such as teeth-whitening, are not covered by the HS so you will have to pay for these.

For a list of local dentists, visit the Business Services Organisation website.

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Entitlements

When visiting a dentist you are entitled to:

  • A thorough examination of your mouth, teeth and gums
  • A treatment plan setting out the treatment proposed (and costs)
  • Emergency treatment outside normal surgery hours
  • An estimate of the cost of the treatment if you are liable to pay (Health Service and private treatment)
  • An explanation of the benefits and drawbacks of any treatment that is recommended
  • An explanation of any alternative options that may be available
  • Give your consent before any treatment is carried out and to refuse treatment if you do not want it
  • Request a second opinion
  • Stop treatment if you are not satisfied with it
  • Refuse payment for treatment if you find it to be unsatisfactory
  • View your records and have these explained free of charge

Emergency

If you need emergency treatment, your HS dentist has a responsibility to provide it if you are their registered patient. Otherwise, you should go to your GP or Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department.

If you are housebound

If you are not able to leave your home due to illness or disability, you may be able to get a home visit for no extra cost.

A dentist has a duty to visit you if you are housebound, you are registered with the dentist and you live within a five mile radius of the dental practice. Otherwise, your GP or health visitor may be able to arrange transport for you to the dentist’s surgery. Contact details of your local Trust are available on the  NI Direct website.

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Charges

All treatments and advice to help keep your teeth and gums healthy are available on the Health Service (HS) but cosmetic treatments are not.

You will be entitled to all HS treatment free-of-charge if you:

  • Or your partner receive Pension Credit Guarantee Credit, Income Related Employment and Support Allowance, Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, or Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Are a war/service pensioner (the need must be due to their accepted war disablement)
  • Qualify for a HC2 certificate under the Low Income Scheme
  • Are an HS inpatient and the treatment is carried out by the hospital dentist
  • Are an HS Dental Service outpatient (but there may be a charge for dentures and bridges)
  • Are named on a valid tax credit exemption certificate
  • Are a prisoner

If you or your partner is in receipt of a HC3 certificate under the Low Income Scheme, you will only have to pay a partial charge for treatment.

You may liable for help with health costs or you can contact the Health Charges Helpline on 0800 587 8982.

A dentist can offer you private treatment as well as HS treatment. However, all treatment that is necessary for your oral health must be available on the HS. If you feel you are being given private treatment unnecessarily, you are entitled to complain.

 

Help with costs

If you are concerned about the cost of treatment, you may be able to get help with costs.

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