Dental examinations and treatment

Dental examinations

Help with the cost of dental care is different across the UK.

  • In England, there is a cost for NHS dental examinations. You may qualify for a free examination if you meet one or more criteria. We have more information about the criteria for free dental treatment and examinations below.
  • In Scotland, NHS dental examinations are free for everyone.
  • In Wales, you can get free NHS dental examinations if you are aged under 25 or over 60.
  • In Northern Ireland, there can be a charge for Health Service dental examinations. Visit for more information.

Dental treatment

In England, Scotland and Wales, you may qualify for free NHS dental treatment and dentures. You need to meet one or more of the criteria listed here when the dental treatment starts.

In England, meeting one of these criteria also means you can get your examination for free:

  • You are aged under 18.
  • You are aged under 19 and are in full-time education.
  • You are pregnant or have had a baby in the last 12 months. You will need either a MatEx exemption certificate or a MATB1 maternity certificate. Speak to your doctor, midwife or health visitor.
  • You receive a valid war pension and need treatment for your war injury.
  • You are an NHS hospital inpatient and a hospital dentist does the treatment.
  • You are an NHS hospital dental service outpatient (but there may be a charge for dentures and bridges).
  • Your weekly income is low enough – we have more information about the Low Income Scheme.
  • You get Income Support, the guarantee element of Pension Credit, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance.
  • You receive Universal Credit and meet certain criteria.
  • You are entitled to, or named on, a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate.

You will need to show your dentist proof that you qualify. For example, this could be the letter showing which benefits you get.

In Northern Ireland, you may be entitled to free Health Service dental treatment if you are on a low income or meet other criteria. Visit for information on help with health care costs.

Back to Help with health costs


You may be eligible for free prescriptions if you have cancer. There are also other ways to get help with the cost of medications.

Eye treatment

Some people may be able to get free eye tests. You will qualify if you meet certain criteria.

NHS Low Income Scheme

The NHS Low Income Scheme helps people who have a low income to pay for their healthcare costs.