NHS dental fees to rise in April
The government has confirmed that fees for NHS dental treatment will increase in April.
New guidelines mean that the cost of a basic check-up and other band 1 treatments will increase by £1 to £21.60. The price of band 2 treatments, such as fillings and root canal treatments, and band 3 services, including crowns, will also rise. The cost of the most expensive NHS dental treatments, including crowns and dentures, will increase from £244.30 to £256.50.
The price hikes in England have been criticised by the British Dental Association, which has accused the government of increasing fees to cover cuts in spending. The BDA claims the government is reducing dental budgets at the same time as charging patients more, and suggested that increasing fees will make dental care even less accessible to those who need it most.
Chair of the BDA, Henrik Overgaard-Nielsen, said that the increases will discourage patients from seeing their dentist, which will be counter-productive in the future. Going without routine appointments increases the risk of complex oral problems that require intensive treatment at a higher price. The BDA claims that the soaring number of patients seeking help for dental issues from their GP and local A&E departments is testament to the fact that people cannot afford the dental care they need.
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