Private Vs NHS – Which Dentist Is the Best for Me?

The National Health Service is viewed by many as the jewel in the British crown, providing free, or affordable health care for citizens and visitors that would otherwise be left to fend for themselves. As anyone that has suffered from immense tooth ache will attest, access to an emergency dentist via the NHS is something for which to be grateful! Yet more and more people are turning to private dental care for treatments, raising the question of which type of dental care is best. There are pros and cons for each, but which dentist is best for you? 

Private dental care 
The first con that immediately springs to mind is cost. Private dental care can be very expensive, but there are some procedures that are in fact surprisingly affordable. The reality is that if you have the money to spare you are likely to receive treatment quicker via a private practice and will also have access to treatments not available on the NHS. These treatments can include clear braces, dental implants, teeth whitening, veneers, and several other types of cosmetic treatments and procedures. Patients may also be able to access a private dentist quicker for emergency appointments rather than via the NHS. 

NHS dental care 
The NHS is a much-appreciated safety blanket for those that would not otherwise be able to afford healthcare. Although many people do have to pay for dental treatments on the NHS, there are those that can access treatments for free. People who are in receipt of certain benefits, pregnant women, and children can avail of NHS dental care, which is certainly a point in favour of the NHS. Even those that do have to pay a relatively low price for each treatment when compared with private treatments. However, there are certain treatments that cannot be accessed on the NHS as these treatments are considered cosmetic and not essential. It could be argued that the appearances of a person’s teeth may have an impact on their mental health and that the NHS should take this into account when deciding which treatments should be available via their services. 

Decisions decisions…. 
Deciding which type of dentist is best for you depends on your circumstances. It is wise to be registered with an NHS dentist so you an access their services when you need them. Your NHS dentist can also refer you to a reputable private clinic should the need arise, and many NHS dentists also provide private treatments at their surgery. Yet, if you require emergency dental treatment, the NHS waiting time may be too long, and in this instance, you will want to have the details of a reputable private practice available. 

For cosmetic procedures, a private dentist may be your only option and certainly if you require treatments such as teeth straightening and dental implants. However, it is sensible to always be registered with an NHS dentist and enquire of them first should you require cosmetic enhancements.