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Ask Jasmine 10: What if I can’t afford dental care?

Isobel Lawrance 15th Feb 2023 No Comments

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Welcome to Ask Jasmine, the column where I round up some of the questions I have received from readers. In this edition, I answer questions about eye tests and dental care, and even get a reader tip!

I hope these answers can help you with any questions you may have. Don’t forget to leave any questions or money saving tips you have in the comments below or email me on [email protected].




Help with my opticians

Dear Jasmine, 

I want to follow your advice from your column in the Daily Mail but opticians refuse to give me my pupil distance. So, although I have my prescription, without the pupil measurement I cannot shop around. 

Can you tell me how to get around this problem? 

Best wishes. 


Although I am not an expert on this subject, I did have a look at the NHS website and came across below; 

Why does the optician not give me my pupillary distance? 

Your ophthalmic practitioner or optometrist is not required by law to include details of the horizontal distance between your pupils (the inter-pupillary distance) in your prescription. 

The responsibility for ensuring the lenses are properly centred in your frames lies with the person fitting your glasses (dispensing optician), and they’ll have to do all the measuring. 

Any provider of glasses, whether shop- or internet-based, should have arrangements in place to be able to satisfy this requirement. 

Specsavers have a page on their website that give the option of measuring you PD online (you would need to allow access to the camera on your your device). If you are not comfortable with that, scroll further down the page it give instructions on how you or a friend can measure your PD.  

Please see the link here. 

I hope this helps 🙂 


I can’t afford my dental care

Dear Jasmine,  

After reading your excellent article in Saturdays Mail, I was wondering if you can help with an investigation into dental treatment? I’m a 77-year-old lady who has always taken care of my teeth. I recently moved home to be near my family, from Yorkshire to Bracknell Berks. I can only find private Dentists.  

My check-up was £50, paid in advance, and my filling was £130. The small crown I need will cost £650 plus the dental mechanics fee for advice on what sort of crown I need. My small denture with two teeth will cost me £1,500. I simply do NOT have the money. 

In Yorkshire, my dentist accepted I was on Pension Credit and I filled the necessary form and my dental treatment was free. The dentists here do not accept this method. I’m desperate for treatment but I’m afraid I cannot afford it.  

I used to be an NHS dental nurse and I’m sad that it has come to this. 


I’m sorry to hear that it is proving so difficult to find a dentist, and even more frustrating for you as you were a dental nurse.  

It really shouldn’t be this difficult and I completely sympathise that the options on offer are just not affordable. 

I’ve had a look on the NHS website online and have found 2 dentists in Bracknell that state they are ‘accepting adults entitled to free dental care’ 

The NHS link is here. 

Do give them a call with regard to registering, please let me know how you get on. All the best! 


Nectar card reader tip

Hi Jasmine, 

I buy my energy through Sainsbury’s and with the high costs of heating my home and using my car any savings are gratefully received. 
So, I was surprised to receive a message from Nectar, that I should consider buying something with my points that were building up because of the above, so a FREE wonderful blender £38.00 arrived from Argos and when I fill up with petrol at my closest garage and get my nectar card out, not to put points on but to spend them, an average of £ 3.00 off my bill every time. 

I am really impressed with your shopping habits, so much so that I shared your email with the team. 

A free blender using your Nectar points, you definitely are winning. 

With this awful cost of living crisis, it’s heart-warming to know that you are finding ways not only to make savings but also to benefit from the points you earn. 

Thank you so much for sharing.

All the best, Jasmine 

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Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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