Do pensioners pay for dental treatment? You don’t automatically receive free NHS dental care when you reach the state pension age, which is currently 65 for both men and women.
But you may qualify for free or discounted dental care depending on your income and the kinds of benefits you currently receive.
Otherwise, you’ll still have to pay for NHS dental services as a pensioner.
Who Qualifies For Free Dental Care?
1. Seniors Receiving Low Income Benefits
If you or your partner are receiving low income support, you might qualify for free NHS dental care.
This includes income Support, Employment and Support Allowance, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Pension Credit and Universal Credit.
Depending on the amount of benefits you are receiving and your current income, you may only get partial help with dental care costs.
2. Seniors with a HC2 or HC3 Certificate
A HC2 certificate qualifies you for full help with health costs while a HC3 certificate qualifies you for partial help.
If you have a valid HC2 certificate, you don’t have to pay anything for NHS dental care. Your dentist will ask you to fill out a form where you’ll indicate the certificate number.
If you have a valid HC3 certificate, you’ll just pay the maximum amount indicated on the certificate or the full dental charge, whichever is lower.
With either certificate, you can also pay the full amount at the dentist’s and then claim a refund later. Keep your receipts safe.
Make sure your certificate has not expired. Using an expired certificate could attract a fine.
3. Seniors with a NHS Tax Credit Exemption Certificate
An NHS tax credit exemption certificate is issued automatically if your yearly family income is under £15,276 and you receive a child tax credit, a working tax credit or both.
This certificate qualifies you for full help with health costs, including dental care costs.
Note that this certificate expires in 7 months so check the expiry date before you claim free dental care.
You also qualify for free dental care if you:
- Are receiving treatment in an NHS hospital and you are treated by an NHS dentist. However, you might have to pay for dentures (and potentially denture adhesives) or bridges if they are needed.
- Are receiving a war pension scheme. You can claim the costs of dental care after treatment.
Private And Mixed Dental Care
The above qualifications only refer to NHS dental care. If you get private dental care, even if it is from an NHS dentist, you’ll have to pay from your own pocket.
You may also receive mixed NHS and private dental care. If you qualify for free dental care, only the NHS part of the services will be covered.
It’s important to ask the dentist what kind of care they are providing: NHS, private or mixed.
What Will Be Covered?
If you qualify for free dental care, virtually all costs will be covered including diagnosis, examination, consultation, basic treatment (e.g. tooth extraction) and advanced treatments such as bridges and dentures.
However, it does not cover miscellaneous dental care items like toothbrushes, toothpaste or floss.