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You should only be charged private dental costs for treatment if you have agreed to do so. Many dentists offer both NHS treatment and private dental care, but they should always make clear to you what type of treatment you are undergoing, and what the cost will be, before they start the dental work.

Once your dentist has determined the dental work that they believe is required, they should give you a treatment plan, which you are required to sign to say that you agree with the plan and the costs as they appear in the plan. Depending on the dental work required, this could be a combination of both NHS and private treatment, but all items should always be clearly labelled on your treatment plan.

In some cases, your NHS dentist may not be qualified, or have the right equipment within the practice, to carry out some complex dental procedures that would ordinarily be available on the NHS, so they may refer you to a private dentist who is a specialist in this area, but can only carry out the treatment on a private basis, with relevant costs. You do not have to accept this referral but can instead look for another NHS dentist in your area who can carry out the treatment that is required.

Exclusively cosmetic dental treatments, such as teeth whitening or veneers, are generally not available on the NHS, so if you choose to have these procedures done, it will always be with a private dentist; again, you should always be made aware of, and agree to, the full cost of the treatment before it starts.

If you did not agree a treatment plan and the costs of the procedures involved before significant dental work was carried out, your dentist may have been negligent in your care and you might be able to make a claim.