How can I find affordable dental treatment?

I've always been lucky enough to have access to an NHS dentist, but it has now closed. The problem is that all the other dentists local to me are private and there are no NHS lists. As I earn just £15,000 and live in London, I can't afford to spend hundreds on dental treatment, especially crown replacements, which I will need within the next year. Are there any ways of finding affordable dental treatment or insurance that will help me pay for my treatment?

Ask The Professionals: Joanne Roberts, director at online IFA, says:

To locate a dentist that still does NHS work, contact NHS Direct, on 0845 4647. You can also view details online on the NHS Direct website.

You say that your NHS dentist has closed. NHS Direct says that, in this event, the funds and responsibility to provide NHS dentistry remain with your Primary Care Trust (PCT).

In an emergency, NHS dental care is always available, whether or not you have a regular dentist, and the PCT is responsible for providing the treatment you need. This is one benefit of the new NHS Dentistry Regulations that were introduced on 1 April 2006. There are lists of NHS dentists available on the NHS Direct website. Some only take emergencies but others are open to take on new patients.

Dental insurance is becoming increasing popular because, as you have discovered for yourself, NHS treatment is becoming increasingly hard to access. Private dental insurance contributes towards the cost of routine treatment as well as treatment for serious dental-problems and dental emergencies.

To find out more about dental insurance and other ways to pay for healthcare, read our articles on private medical insurance.

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