Private or NHS Dental Treatments at Discovery Dental Care?

Many patients are confused about the difference between private and NHS dental treatment. At Discovery Dental Care we offer both, the common assumption is that private dentistry is more expensive but this may not always be the case and usually the service and treatment outcome you receive is better and unrestricted.

At Discovery Dental Care we will always give you a choice of NHS and private treatment options to enable you to make a decision which is right for you.


  • 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 result.

  • Appointment times are usually more flexible within private treatment and thus easier to manage with your own lifestyle and needs.

  • 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 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. There is also usually more flexibility in returning items from a private laboratory quickly

  • Longer appointments to allow plenty of time to complete your treatment at a more relaxed pace.

  • Certain treatments are not always available on the NHS eg. dental implants

  • Tooth whitening is not usually available on the NHS

  • Orthodontic treatment for patients over the age of 18 is usually not available on the NHS and invisalign is usually not offered on the NHS

At Discovery Dental Care we will always discuss treatment options and costs with you and give you a written estimate before you commit to any treatment.


  • At Discovery Dental Care as an NHS patients you will always be treated with the same care as our private patients. The Government however does impose some restrictions and fixes the patient charges nationally.

  • NHS treatments need to be functional not for cosmetic reasons

  • NHS treatment is designed to be cost effective for the tax payer 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.

  • NHS cleaning is designed to ensure gum health and treat what is clinically necessary eg gum disease and not to specifically remove all stains or for cosmetic reasons

  • Appointment availability may be limited. You may not be able to get appointments outside school or work hours. You may also not be able to see more experienced dentists or specialists who choose to work outside the NHS

  • Some treatments are not available under the NHS at all or in certain cases eg. cosmetic treatments / dental implants or certain preventative treatments eg. fissure sealants for low decay risk patients

  • Tooth whitening is usually not available on the NHS

NHS dentistry is designed to be functional, private dentistry is usually functional and cosmetic. Each treatment plan is individual and it is best to discuss with your dentist the available NHS and private options.

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