If you’re starting to plan for your retirement you may be wondering, do over 60s get free dental treatment?
The answer doesn’t have so much to do with your age, but rather your income, and any benefits you receive.
But even if you can’t get free dental treatment, you can sign up with an NHS dentist which is cheaper than going private.
This article will answer the question, do over 60s get free dental treatment and help you understand your options.
Here’s a summary of what we’ll cover:
- Over 60s don’t qualify for free dental treatments simply because of their age, some other criteria must also be met.
- Receiving benefits or low-income support is one of the only ways people can qualify for free dental treatment.
- For people who’ve reached state pension age, this could be a pension credit benefit.
- Even if you don’t qualify for free treatment, you can still use an NHS dentist.
Do over 60s get free dental treatment?
There are lots of amazing benefits that support people in their 60s, and over, to help with the cost of living.
For example, over 60s in England can access free eye tests as well as get their prescriptions free of charge.
They can also apply for a senior rail card or bus pass to get discounted fares.
But if you’re asking do over 60s get free dental treatment, you should know it’s not quite as simple as that.
No automatic entitlement
Ultimately over 60s aren’t automatically entitled to free dental treatment through the NHS.
However, some people in this age group, who also meet other criteria, may be eligible to get free dental treatment.
You can get free treatment if you:
- Or your partner receive certain financial benefits for elderly that are related to income
- Receive treatment while in an NHS hospital from the hospital dentist
- Are an NHS hospital dental service outpatient
Who is entitled to free treatment over the age of 60?
Over 60s getting free dental treatment is less about their age and more about the specific benefits they receive.
Essentially, completely free dental treatment is only available to people on a low income who can’t afford to pay.
So people over the age of 60 who have reached state pension age AND are on a low income can apply for pension credit.
If you’re wondering what benefits can you claim if you have dementia, everything you need to know is in this guide.
What if you don’t receive pension credit?
Over 60s on income support who haven’t yet reached state pension age may still be able to access free dental treatment.
You may be eligible if you or your partner receive any of the following benefits:
- Income Support
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Universal Credit
NHS Low Income Scheme
If you don’t receive any of the above benefits and still need support with dental treatment costs, you can apply through the NHS Low Income Scheme.
It is not necessary to apply for this if you already receive income-related benefits, as you are automatically eligible.
If you live in England and meet the financial criteria for this support scheme, you can apply using this HC1 form.
If you are eligible, you will receive an H2 certificate for full help with dental costs or an H3 certificate for limited help.
Refunds for treatment
If you have paid for NHS dental treatment, but you qualify for the NHS Low Income Scheme, you can request a refund within 3 months.
Use the HC5 form to send your refund request.
Scotland and Wales
Advice for claiming free dental treatment
- If you receive any of these income-related benefits and qualify for free treatment it is your responsibility as the patient to let your dentist know.
- You are responsible for providing information and proof for your claim and the dentist will provide you with any forms you have to sign.
- Keep any receipts for payments you make in case you are able to apply for a refund within 3 months of the treatment.
How does NHS dental treatment work?
Like other age groups, over 60s are able to sign up with an NHS dentist to get routine checks and treatments.
However, unlike other NHS services, dental treatment is not completely free.
There is often a charge to pay for NHS dental treatments, albeit at a significantly subsidised price.
Treatments are categorised by three bands to help you understand what you’ll pay.
NHS dental treatment bands
- Band 1 covers routine and emergency trips to the dentist to receive examination, diagnosis and advice at a cost of £25.80. It can also cover X-rays and routine removal of plaque to keep the teeth healthy.
- Band 2 covers the same as Band 1, plus fillings, root canal treatment and extractions for £70.70.
- And Band 3 covers all of the above plus complex procedures, such as crowns, dentures and bridges for £306.80.
Finding your NHS dentist
The first thing to do is to find a NHS dentist that’s in a convenient location for you, using their postcode search tool.
Hopefully, you’ll be able to find one quickly and get the treatment you need.
However, finding an NHS dentist can be a tricky business, as many practices are oversubscribed, with long waiting lists.
This means that dentists are having to turn down NHS patients, due to lack of appointment availability.
What’s the solution?
If you want to access treatment faster, you can explore the option of going to a private dentist.
Private dentistry is considerably more expensive than NHS treatment, but it can prove to be a good option.
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