Dental examination 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 of the 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, you may be entitled to free Health Service dental treatment if you are on a low income. Visit for information on help with health care costs.

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, or under 19 and 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 the treatment is carried out by a hospital dentist
  • 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 exemption certificate.

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

Back to Help with health costs


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

Eye treatment and glasses

Some people may be able to get free eye tests. There are certain criteria that qualify you for free eyetests.

Low income scheme

The Low Income Scheme may help people who still have to pay healthcare costs, but may be on a low income.