Dental treatments in the UK can be quite an adventure, especially if you need urgent work done. Limited availability, excessively long waiting lists and exuberant costs are only a few of the drawbacks that Brits face when looking to have treatments like root canal treatment, tooth extraction or something more complicated like dental implants. Having to deal with a large bill often forces patients to look for alternative solutions such as loans or payments in instalments. And let’s face it – in most dental practices in the UK, especially fixed teeth over implants would cost an arm and a leg. Still, dental payment plans can be a suitable solution for private treatments that are not available on the NHS such as implants and cosmetic dentistry.
If you’re over 60 and struggling with paying for dental treatment in the UK you’d be surprised to know that you’re not alone. According to the Oral Health Foundation, 36% of Brits have reported avoiding the dentist because they fear that they won’t be able to afford the costs for it.
The good news is that there are different dental payment plans for patients in the UK. In this article, we’ll go over the cheaper solutions for tooth loss and different options for paying for your dental treatment such as dental loans, and dental credit cards and how you can pay monthly for your dental implants even if you have bad credit.
Cheaper tooth loss solutions – dental implants vs. dentures
The average prices for a full mouth dental implant treatment that you can expect to pay are as much as £14,000 – £18,000 in the UK. For toothless patients who cannot afford to get dental implants, removable dentures may be an alternative. There are different types of dentures and prices, but still, all are quite cheap and accessible, which is why most patients go for them from the start.
They can be used for both the upper and lower jaw. If you decide to go for this option, you need to get practical advice on maintenance and denture repair.
- They are a suitable solution for patients who can’t afford dental implants
- They can last for 5-10 years
- You can choose your shape and colour
- They can fall at any time which is why you’re always relying on adhesives to keep them in place
- In time they become less comfortable as the mouth will change its shape
- As they cover the upper palate, there could be a loss of taste in the upper jaw
- You’re prevented from enjoying your favourite foods since there is a significant chance to break or dislocate the dentures
Dental implants on the NHS
It’s important to note that no government loans are available for dental treatment done on the NHS. However, the government itself offers medically needed dental care at subsidised prices.
According to dentaly.org the fees for a single course of treatment are as follows:
- England: £282.80
- Wales: £203
- Scotland & Northern Ireland
Which are the cases when you can’t rely on the NHS and need to look for private practice? Those are typically cases when you can’t find an NHS dentist or the work needed isn’t covered by the NHS. The latter is divided into 3 bands depending on the complexity of the treatment and you can check them out here.
Undoubtedly the most expensive dental treatment in the UK is fixed teeth over dental implants. Most private practices offer a starting price of £2,000 per implant (some are charging even more) so it’s only natural that patients are either exploring dental implant payment plans or even considering travelling abroad to look for cheap dental implants in Hungary or Turkey.
Payment options for dental treatment
Before proceeding to the costs for dental implants and the treatment itself, your dentist should clearly explain the options and the costs involved clearly and transparently. If you are not able to pay the entire amount and you cannot wait long enough to save money to pay for it, paying for dental treatment in instalments may be a suitable option for you.
With Dentaprime F3T you get packages for full-mouth restoration with implants that are up to 70% more affordable compared to the average in the UK. They are made available through flexible financing options, such as:
Dental payment plans
This option allows you to pay monthly for your dental implants and is typically organised by a treatment coordinator at your dental clinic of choice.
With that option, there is a minimum of 20% advance of the total amount that applies. The other 80% is required in equal monthly instalments over 3 years, and the best part is- there is no interest for the first year! The first instalment is due one month after the start date of the treatment and all instalments are paid via Direct Debit.
Please find an example calculation of the instalment plan with our Fixed Teeth-in-a-Day package for both jaws:
What is a credit score and how to improve it?
To begin the approval procedure, you will have to claim a full credit report from a trusted provider in the UK – Experian.
Note: You can take advantage of the If you have a Good, Very Good or Excellent credit score, you could take advantage of our convenient instalments.
If your credit score is below the bare minimum here you can find practical advice on how to improve it.
Dental payment plans in stages
Dental implant treatments are normally broken into at least 2 or 3 stages, depending on the amount of work needed.
Every stage is separated by 3-9 months of healing period. This dental payment option in the UK is also known as the “Pay-As-You-Go” option. You pay a minimum of 50% advance payment when you get the dates for the particular treatment stage and the remaining amount week before the first appointment for the current stage.
Other payment options for dental implant treatment
Dental credit cards
Currently, in the UK there are no options for a dental credit card specifically, however you can have a credit card that you use for dental purposes only.
Generally, credit cards can offer various benefits like collecting airline points. They also offer extra security and assistance from your bank if the things you bought don’t work out as expected. Another important thing to highlight is that back in 2006 the European Union ruled against dentists’ extra charges for credit card payments. However, since the UK is no longer in the EU, there is a significant risk that those supplementary fees may come back again.
Personal dental loans in the UK
Unfortunately, not all dental practices can offer flexible payment monthly options to pay for your dental implant treatment. This is why as an alternative solution you may want to opt for a personal dental loan. If we could permit ourselves the liberty of giving direct advice – this is the least favourable option, especially in terms of convenience.
Still, if you’re looking for finance for dental implants, loans offer the following perks :
- You can select your provider
- There are more special deals available
- Flexible repayment options
Why get a loan instead of remaining toothless
Missing teeth can affect your speech, and comfort and limit food choices. Therefore if chewing is painful you inevitably change the side of your mouth that you use for eating. As a result, the jaw and facial muscles are distorted and since bone loss develops fast, missing teeth changes your appearance drastically.
According to research, tooth loss can have an impact on your overall health in numerous ways:
- Reduced fibre intake, which has a detrimental effect on the gut microbiome (because you consume fewer fruits and vegetables)
- Excessive intake of saturated fats – they leading to obesity, and an increased risk of heart disease
- Elevated rates of cancer and ulcers
- Increased risk of hypertension
Bringing it all together
If I have to distinguish one top perk of opting for private dentistry, that would probably be the reduced waiting time (as opposed to the NHS), and the fact that you have tremendous flexibility when it comes to choosing an appointment to fit your schedule. Given that we live in the age of technology and information that is available one click away, you can easily shop around and pick a dental practice of your choice that fits your budget and dental treatment of choice.
If we talk about dental implant costs in the UK – let’s face it – the extortionate prices for dental implants are one of the main reasons why Brits choose to venture abroad to look for cheap teeth with dental implants.
Thankfully, you no longer need to travel abroad to be able to afford them. Many practices offer flexible payment options if you’re not able to pay for your dental implant treatment in full. After checking your credit score, you could pay in monthly instalments or pay in stages before each following treatment.
Whichever option you choose – don’t lose hope and settle for removable dentures or worse- decide to stay toothless. This has detrimental effects on your overall health and harms your overall quality of life. Take charge today and claim your smile back!