Press Release: NHS dental patients given wrong price information

dental examWhich? (a national Consumers’ Association) has found that people could be paying more than they need to for treatment because some dentists aren’t explaining dental prices upfront or being clear about what NHS treatment patients are entitled to.

Existing rules state that dentists must have a price list displayed in a visible place in their surgery and inform patients about treatment costs upfront. Yet the research finds half of people (51%) who visited a dentist in the last six months didn’t see a price list and one in five (22%) weren’t clear about costs ahead of their treatment. The research also found evidence that some people could be being overcharged. One in five (19%) NHS patients who pay said they paid more than one charge for one course of NHS treatment over the last two years when they shouldn’t have. The full report can be found here:

Locally, we helped Which? to undertake this research by promoting its survey and sharing anonymised data and main themes in NHS dentistry issues we have picked up. We have also found that transparency of dental charges is a local issue. 17 members of the public have raised similar issues through our Helpline. This includes one person who, because they say they were misinformed and couldn’t make the requested payment on time, was charged a further £150 for the delay. However, the number of misinformed patients may be greater as many cases don’t get reported.

Healthwatch Brighton and Hove monitors dental provision in the city and promotes information about NHS dental charges.

If you have similar issues with local NHS Dentists, please contact the Healthwatch Brighton and Hove Helpline:

Tel: 01273 234040 (10am-12pm, Monday to Friday)


About Healthwatch Brighton & Hove

  • Healthwatch Brighton and Hove has legal rights to enter and view publicly funded health and adult social care settings and to be responded to within 20 days by the provider of health and adult social care services.
  • Healthwatch Brighton and Hove is one of 152 Local Healthwatch organisations that feed into the national body Healthwatch England, set up in October 2012.
  • Healthwatch Brighton and Hove has transitioned from Brighton and Hove Local Involvement Network (LINk).
  • Healthwatch Brighton and Hove is funded by the Department of Health and commissioned through Brighton and Hove City Council (BHCC), but is independent of the NHS and BHCC.
  • Healthwatch Brighton and Hove is a Community Interest Company – its work centres around being beneficial to the communities of Brighton and Hove. It works with those who plan and run health and social care services asking questions about the way services are provided and suggesting improvements.
  • For further information about Healthwatch Brighton and Hove, please contact Magda Pasiut, Engagement and Communications Co-ordinator on
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