Dental treatments

This is a guide to the main treatments carried out by dentists. Some are readily available on the NHS, while some may only be available on the NHS in certain circumstances.
As with glasses and prescription costs, you have to pay a contribution towards the price of your NHS alveolar consonant treatment .
The cost depends on the type of treatment and which cost band the treatment is covered by .
With the exception of tooth whiten, implants and veneers, the treatments on this page are normally available on the NHS.

Find out more about NHS alveolar consonant charges
Always ask your dentist whether the treatment they ‘re recommending is available on the NHS and how much it ‘ll cost before you go ahead .


A bridge is a fix replacement for a miss tooth or tooth. It ‘s made by taking an impression of the surrounding tooth, which will finally support the bridge .
A bridge is normally created from precious metal and porcelain and will be fixed in your sass ( unlike dentures, which can be removed ) .


A crown is a type of detonator that completely covers a very tooth. It ‘s made from either metal, or porcelain and metallic element, and is fixed in your sass .
Crowns can be fitted where a tooth has broken, decayed or been damaged, or just to make a tooth look better .
To fit a crown, the old tooth will need to be drilled down so it ‘s like a small peg the crown will be fixed on to .
It can take some time for the lab to prepare a new crown, so you probably wo n’t have the crown fitted on the same day .


Fillings are used to repair a hole in a tooth caused by decay. The most common character of filling is an amalgam, made from a assortment of metals including mercury, ash grey, tin, copper and zinc .
Your dentist will offer the most allow type of filling according to your clinical needs. This includes white fillings, if appropriate .

Root canal treatment

Root canal treatment ( besides called endodontics ) tackles contagion at the center of a tooth ( the root canal organization ) .
When the blood or steel add of the tooth has become infected, the infection will spread and the tooth may need to be taken out if root canal treatment is n’t carried out .
During treatment, all the contagion is removed from inside the beginning canal system .
The etymon canal is filled and the tooth is sealed with a fill or crown to stop it becoming infected again .
Root canal treatment normally requires 2 or 3 visits to your dentist .
Read more about root canal discussion .

Scale and polish

This is when your teeth are professionally cleaned by the hygienist. It involves cautiously removing the deposits that build up on the tooth ( tartar ) .


Braces ( orthodontic treatment ) roll out or move teeth to improve the appearance of the teeth and how they work .
Braces can be obliterable, so you can take them out and clean them, or fixed, so they ‘re stuck to your teeth and you ca n’t take them out .
They can be made of alloy, credit card or ceramic. invisible braces are made of a clear plastic .
Braces are available on the NHS for children and, occasionally, for adults, depending on the clinical necessitate .
Read more about braces ( orthodontics ) .

Wisdom tooth removal

The wisdom teeth grow at the back of your gums and are the last dentition to come through, normally in your late teens or early twenties .
Most people have 4 wisdom teeth, 1 in each corner .
Wisdom teeth can sometimes emerge at an angle or get stuck and lone emerge partially. Wisdom teeth that grow through in this way are known as impacted .
Impacted wisdom teeth can be removed on the NHS. Your dentist may perform the procedure, or may refer you to a dentist with a especial sake or a hospital’s oral and maxillofacial unit .
You ‘ll normally have to pay a charge for wisdom of solomon tooth removal. If you ‘re referred to a hospital for NHS treatment, you wo n’t have to pay a charge .
Your dentist can besides refer you for individual wisdom tooth treatment if you wish .
Find out more about wisdom tooth removal

Dental implants

Implants are a pay back alternative to removable dentures. They may be the only option if the personnel casualty of tooth has caused the talk to shrink so it can no longer support dentures .
You can use implants to replace just a single tooth or several teeth .
To fit an implant, titanium screws are drilled into the yack cram to support a crown, bridge or denture .
refilling parts take time to prepare. This is to ensure that they fit your mouth and other teeth by rights. This means they may not be available on your first base visit to the dentist .
Implants are normally only available privately and are expensive. They ‘re sometimes available on the NHS for patients who ca n’t wear dentures or whose face and teeth have been damaged, such as people who have had mouth cancer or an accident that ‘s knocked a tooth out .

Dentures or false teeth

More normally known as assumed dentition, dentures are fitted in place of natural teeth .
A full set is used to replace all your teeth. A separate fit is used to replace 1 or more neglect tooth .
Dentures are custom-made using impressions ( mouldings ) from your gums. They ‘re normally made from metal or formative .
They ‘re obliterable so you can clean them, although separate dentures can be brushed at the lapp time as your other teeth .
A entire specify needs to be removed and soaked in a clean solution .
Dentures are important if you lose your natural teeth, as losing your teeth makes it difficult to chew your food, which will adversely affect your diet and may cause your facial muscles to sag .
Read more about dentures and false dentition .

Broken or knocked out tooth

It ‘s park to break, chip or knock out a tooth .
If the tooth is just chipped, make a non-emergency dental appointment to have it smoothed down and filled or have a crown .
If the tooth has been knocked out or is ill broken, see a dentist immediately. Your dentist may fit a denture or bridge .
If you need an implant, you ‘ll be referred to a dental hospital .
treatment of whatever type can be provided by an NHS dentist and the cost covered on the NHS .
Read more about broken teeth or knocked out teeth .

Teeth whitening

Teeth whitening involves bleaching your teeth to make them a lighter tinge .
Teeth whitening ca n’t make your teeth brainy white, but it can lighten the existing color by several shades .
Standard teeth whitening involves several visits to the dentist, plus sessions at home wearing a mouthguard containing bleaching gelatin .
The wholly work takes a pair of months .
A newer routine called laser whiten or exponent whiten is done at the dentist ‘s surgery and takes about an hour .
Teeth whiten is cosmetic and consequently broadly lone available privately .
It’s occasionally available on the NHS if you have a clinical need – for example, to whiten a tooth that ‘s gone black because the nerve has died .
Read more about dentition whitening .

Dental veneers

Veneers are new facings for teeth that disguise a discolor ( rather than a damaged ) tooth .
To fit a veneer, the front of the tooth is drilled away a fiddling .
An impression is taken, and a thinly layer of porcelain is fitted over the front of the tooth ( exchangeable to how a false fingernail is applied ).

Veneers are broadly only available privately, unless you can show a clinical necessitate for them .

Common dental Q&As

read answers to the most common questions about dentists and alveolar consonant charges .
page last reviewed : 28 August 2018
Next revue due : 28 August 2021

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Category : Health

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