What are the Differences Between NHS and Private Dentistry

Many patients are confused about the difference between private dental care and NHS so we have outlined some differences below. The general assumption is that private dentistry is more expensive but this may not always happen and usually the results of the services and care you receive are better and unlimited.


  • NHS patients are treated with the same treatment as private patients though the government does impose some restrictions and fixes the patient charges nationally.
  • Treatment needs to be functional on the NHS and not for cosmetic reasons
  • NHS treatment is designed to be cost-effective for the taxpayer and each NHS clinic works to a fixed NHS budget so naturally, this means more cost-effective materials and laboratories are used
  • We must follow government guidelines for recalling patients which may mean you may not be entitled to a check-up or clean as often as you want.
  • The government imposes limits on the amount of NHS treatment each practice can provide and the contracts are usually Monday to Friday 9-5. Once a clinic reaches its NHS limit it may not be able to offer any more NHS treatment until the next financial year. You can find more information about nhs dental care through https://www.queensburydental.co.uk/ 


  • Cosmetic treatment is not available on the NHS. This means the materials/treatments which produce the best appearance are often not used. Private treatment will always give you the best possible functional but also cosmetic results.
  • You are able to have private appointments at anytime a practice is open including in the evening after 5 pm or on Saturdays and sometimes Sundays
  • Private treatment gives us complete freedom to provide the very highest standard of treatment and materials. We have no funding restrictions and focus purely on the quality of the treatment.
  • Private work such as dentures, crowns, bridges and implants are usually sent to different private laboratories where named experienced technicians hand make the item. In our case, we have used the same award-winning private dental laboratory and technicians since 2005. There is also usually more flexibility in returning items from a private laboratory quickly.

Your dentist should always give you a choice of NHS and private treatment options to enable you to make a choice that is right for you. You should then always be given a written treatment plan so you can see the treatment required and the likely cost of treatment.