Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have any medical concerns we suggest you consult your GP.

Pregnant & charged for dental treatment. Is this right?

(27 Posts)
zen1 Sun 21-Mar-10 21:54:33

Does anyone know if it's usual for private dentists to charge pregnant women for dental checkups / treatment. My sister in law is 31 wks and was told that she has to pay as treatment is only free if you have an NHS dentist. I was under the impression that all pregnant women are entitled to free treatment. I also have a private dentist and when I was expecting I just had to sign a form to say I was exempt from charges. Anyone in the know about this?

MavisEnderby Sun 21-Mar-10 21:55:43

No you should be exempt

MavisEnderby Sun 21-Mar-10 21:56:37


sanfairyann Sun 21-Mar-10 21:57:13

isn't it up to the private dentist if they accept nhs patients or not? mine did but don't think they have to

Lionstar Sun 21-Mar-10 21:57:20

I assumed it was only free if NHS dentist, sorry. Just like any other medical treatment when pregnant - if you go private you pay.

PavlovtheCat Sun 21-Mar-10 21:58:07

NHS treatment is free, with an NHS dentist if you are pregnant or for a period of time post pregnancy and in possession of the card you are issued with and will be asked for.

Private treatment is charged for as normal. So for example, i have to pay to get my front tooth capped as it is 'cosmetic' not nhs eligible, even though i have an exemption card, but i can get fillings, checkups etc paid for (but only as NHS dentist).

BelleDeChocolateFluffyBunny Sun 21-Mar-10 21:58:48

You are only exempt for certain things, the same as an NHS patient, white filling you have to pay for, silver fillings you don't. Braces you pay for, aswell as anything cosmetic. These are not covered by the NHS.

poorbuthappy Sun 21-Mar-10 21:59:04

I got free treatment whilst pregnant and for the following year at our private dentist, but I do think its up to the dentist to decide...

thisisyesterday Sun 21-Mar-10 22:01:17

no, why would it be free if you are using a private service?

that's a bit like saying hmmm well i'm entitled to a free birth on the NHS, so i'll just turn up at the Portland and get one there instead

you get free NHS dental treatment. if you choose to use a private service then normal charges will apply

zen1 Sun 21-Mar-10 22:05:05

Thanks everyone, so BelleDeChoc , if she just had a normal check up with her private dentist, should she not get an exemption for that? Don't think she was having anything cosmetic done or white fillings. Am really confused

RockbirdisdrinkingGuinness Sun 21-Mar-10 22:07:01

Hmm, I get what you're saying but choosing a dentist in this country is hardly the same as choosing a doctor. In reality, an exemption card for dental work isn't worth the paper it's written on.

zen1 Sun 21-Mar-10 22:08:42

thisisyesterday, I see what you mean, but it's just that myself and several of my friends who also have private dentists were not charged for checkups, essential treatment etc.

poorbuthappy Sun 21-Mar-10 22:11:29

Gosh I must of dreamt filling the form in and not being charged then! Or it could be up to the dentist concerned...

RuthBlackett Sun 21-Mar-10 22:13:18

It must be a dentist that accepts NHS patients and carries out NHS work... so good luck if you can actually find one hmm

sanfairyann Sun 21-Mar-10 22:13:20

presumably your dentists were nicer grin and willing to accept nhs for pregnant women so they kept your custom later on. my dentist now only takes nhs child patients - presumably they will grow up to become paying clients and it keeps the parents at the practice

hellymelly Sun 21-Mar-10 22:15:15

I always understood it stood like this-It depends if the dentist does Nhs as well as private treatment.If they are only private then you have to pay,if they also do nhs then they would get you to fill in a form and would claim for you as an nhs patient.

thedollshouse Sun 21-Mar-10 22:16:41

I'm an NHS patient and I will be having a white filling shortly. It will be free although normally white fillings are exempt under the NHS.

thehillsarealive Sun 21-Mar-10 22:17:13

hmmf trying to find an NHS dentist around where I live is like rocking horse shit.

A dental plan is the way forward for our household, luckily the company pay for it.

poorbuthappy Sun 21-Mar-10 22:17:20

So should the question be, does the dentist in question take children as NHS patients?

ilovemydogandmrobama Sun 21-Mar-10 22:21:43

Oh don't get me started on NHS/private dentists.

But, here's what I know.

Treatment on the NHS is available to all, and this includes dental. However, some dentists do not offer treatment on the NHS, so then are private dentists. The problem is when an NHS dentist tries to exclude treatment and says it's only available privately which he/she cannot do.

I needed root canal, but my NHS dentist said it was only available privately. I called the British Dental Association who referred me to another number and they said this was wrong, and reiterated that any treatment was available, however due to budget restrictions, may not do a good job hmm because of the time an NHS contract pay for.

So, yes, it would seem that NHS treatment is only available by an NHS dentist.

zen1 Sun 21-Mar-10 22:22:24

Well, I reckon I was lucky then as I also had a couple of white fillings free from my private dentist while pg as they didn't want to use mercury. It sounds like it's a bit of a lottery as far as charges go

tofto Sat 29-May-10 14:41:17

I'm a pregnant nhs dentist and will give the final low down on what you can and can't get on the nhs/private.
If you are pregnant all treatment is free on the nhs (barring cosmetic treatment). This will include white fillings as we are unable to put "amalgam" fillings (silver fillings) in due to the mercury risk. This also means we are unable to remove silver fillings whilst pregnant and the dentist may defer treatment until after the baby is born (especially if x-rays are needed to diagnose the problem).
If your dentist is soley private and has no nhs contract then you will have to pay for any treatment, including check ups.
Many dentists have a mixed nhs/private practice and may offer you nhs treatment whilst you are pregnant and for the 1st year after birth. This is up to the individual dentist though and will depend if they have space in their nhs contract.
My advice for your friend would be for her to try and find an nhs dentist - nhs direct will be able to tell you nhs dentists taking on pts in your local area. 0845 46 47 (this is the right no!)
Hope this helps!

jogojo Thu 14-Oct-10 11:01:13


I've just gone through this and successfully challenged my Dentist.

I have a 9 month old baby and recently went to have a checkup. The Dentist said I needed a filling and had advanced gum disease. He referred me to the Hygienist. When attending this appointment I was given a deep clean and told I had to come back again. The Hygienist explained that pregnancy would cause greater problems with gum disease due to the gums being of the same material as the womb and the increase in hormones. I was not charged for the filling but was charged for the deep clean. I was unaware I would be charged for this treatment and thought all required treatment would be free. I did not visit the Hygienist for cosmetic reasons.

I decided to seek advice from my local Primary Care Trust (NHS) Customer Service Team. They told me it should be free and gave me the evidence. I passed this on to the surgery and after a little bit of resistence they have agreed to refund and provide the rest of the treatment for free.

Laura358 Fri 04-Nov-16 07:07:20

I would suggest you that unless you are in severe pain don’t opt for such a treatment at this stage. I had a similar pregnancy related dental problem at about 16 weeks ago. I just did the hygiene care ( ) and my dentist at Oshawa said to wait until the baby is born so that I can get a better mould using anesthetic as I will be having weak gums when pregnant. It will be better to talk to your dentist and get it fixed if the condition is worse in your case.

PoldarksBreeches Fri 04-Nov-16 07:11:22

I can't imagine why you would think that a private dentist would provide free treatment! The NHS covers the fee for the free treatment, so a private dentist wouldn't get paid confused

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now