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Health-on-Line considers the decline in NHS dentists


Following the decreasing numbers of people visiting NHS dentists, Health-on-Line considers whether insurance plans have allowed families to access the necessary treatment privately.

Recent reports have confirmed that the number of people able to access an NHS dentist has dropped by 1.2m since 2006. It is easy to assume that this decline is due to the well documented struggle to find an NHS dentist, or the price of NHS dental treatment.

Sam Bhatt, technical manager of online private medical insurance company, Health-on-Line comments, “Regular dental check-ups provide the opportunity for early detection and treatment of anything from plaque build up to gum disease, as well as general maintenance. We all need to look after our teeth and an affordable insurance plan can help ensure this is done regularly without incurring unexpected costs”

Although the price of private dental treatment can vary considerably across the country, new guidelines were introduced in April 2008 designed to clarify the cost of NHS treatment. These guidelines range from £16.20 to £198* dependant on the type of treatment required. The frequency of visits recommended is down to individual dentists, so despite these guidelines it is hard to gauge the estimated annual dental costs for an average adult.

Bhatt continues, “Being able to budget for unanticipated costs, such as dental treatment, is important to individuals and families. Insurance can offer reassurance and allow households to maintain control over their outgoings. Health-on-Line provides policyholders with the opportunity to include the dental option to their plan for just £7.041 a month”

The inclusion of this option to a Health-on-Line health insurance plan provides the policyholder with cover for 80% of dental costs up to £150 a year. This covers routine check-ups and general dental treatment including crowns and hygienist visits.

Bhatt concludes, “Couple this option with another option, Ancillary Benefits which provides cover for oral surgery, and most dental eventualities are covered privately. Considering that the Dental and Optical Cash Benefit option also includes cover for the cost of glasses and contact lenses2 then £7.04 really does offer affordable reassurance”.

* Department of Health, ‘NHS Dentists – what should you pay?’ March 2008
1 Based on 18-35 year old individual
2 Health-on-Line will pay 80% of the costs incurred, up to £250 every two years



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