Join MoneyMagpie today!
Log in or Register.
Aug 08

Free dental care – get your teeth fixed!

Reading Time: 5 mins

Free dental care in this day and age might seem like a pipe dream, but it’s still available if you know where to look.

Going to the dentist is a pretty nerve-racking experience as it is, but with rising dental costs it’s getting that little bit scarier. To make the whole process less painful – and keep those dazzling smiles intact – we’ve come up with some top tips on how to get free dental treatment.


Do you qualify for free dental care on the NHS?

Pregnant woman at the dentists

There are lots of people in the UK who qualify for free dental care. They include:

  • Those aged under 18, and 18-year-olds still in full-time education
  • Those living in Scotland, who can get free dental care at any age
  • Those who are living in Wales and are under 25 or over 60
  • Pregnant women, or those who have had a baby in the last 12 months
  • Those receiving dental treatment whilst in an NHS hospital
  • Those receiving Income Support, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, or Pension Credit
  • Those receiving Universal Credit, in certain circumstances (see what they are here)
  • The spouse or civil partner of someone receiving those above benefits
  • Those under 20 who are dependents of those receiving the above benefits
  • Those with a valid NHS exemption certificate
  • Owners of an HC2 certificate, for those on low incomes
  • Those who are in prison

Now, we’re not recommending that you commit a crime just for the free dental care – and if a move to Scotland isn’t on your top ten list of things to do, then fear not.

There are other ways to get free dental treatment, and we’ve outlined some of them below.


Try student dentists for free dental treatment

Dental students

This may initially seem like a scary concept, but it’s actually a great way to get free dental care and help out the dentists of tomorrow at the same time.

And don’t worry – while they’re not fully qualified, student dentists are always supervised by someone who’s fully trained and is there to help at any point.

If you’re going to go down this route to get free dental treatment, there are a few things to bear in mind.

  • Because the students are training, they won’t be as quick as a trained dentist (and we don’t think you’d want them to rush!), so it will take more time than usual to complete most procedures
  • If you need dental treatment that is complicated, it might not be suitable for training purposes, so you are unlikely to be able to get it free
  • Student clinics usually require that you’re not registered with another dentist

On the plus side, clinics used for training students are usually situated close to the university buildings, so they tend to be in central, easy-to-access locations.

There is only a handful of universities that offer dentistry as a degree, but if you live near to, or can easily reach, Glasgow, King’s College London, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle, Sheffield, Southend or the Peninsula Dental School in Devon, you could be in luck.

Here are some need-to-know details for each institution:


Glasgow Dental School

  • Glasgow Dental School is found in the Garnethill area of Glasgow city centre
  • You must be able to attend appointments between 9am and 3pm, and only during university term-time
  • You are entitled to one free course of treatment via the Dental School
  • You can download a form with more information here
  • To book an appointment you’ll need to call the Dental School’s Student Patient Co-ordinator on 0141 211 9656
  • The school is open Monday – Friday, 8.30am – 5.15pm


King’s College London (King’s Dental Institute)

  • King’s Dental Institute is found at the Maudsley Hospital in South London
  • You’re eligible for free dental treatment at the King’s Dental Institute if you’re over 16, aren’t registered with a dentist, are in need of routine fillings, and are local to King’s
  • On your first visit you will be assessed and it will be decided whether you can be treated by dental hygiene and therapy students, or if you need to be referred to a dentistry undergraduate
  • You can only attend King’s for free dental treatment once. You can’t book another unless you are referred by your GP
  • If you fail to attend your appointment you won’t be able to book another
  • Email for an application form


Leeds Dental Institute

  • Leeds Dental Institute is found at The Worsley Building, Clarendon Way, Leeds LS2 9LU
  • An assessment visit will establish whether or not you’re suitable for treatment
  • You will need to satisfy certain criteria, including not being registered with a dentist already
  • Read the information and download the application form here


University of Liverpool School of Dentistry

  • University of Liverpool School of Dentistry is situated at the Roxby Building, 74 Bedford St, Liverpool L69 7ZT
  • Appointments take place between 9am and 5pm during term-time
  • You’ll first have an assessment visit and then, if you’re a suitable candidate, your appointment will be made
  • Dental students are unable to provide dental implants, tooth whitening, complex root canal work, complex crown or bridge work, or any treatment that should take place under sedation
  • Find out more and apply for treatment here


Newcastle University Dental Hospital

  • Newcastle University Dental Hospital is located at Framlington Place, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4BW
  • Appointments with students are available on weekdays only, between 9am and 5pm
  • Your first appointment will involve a check-up to assess whether you’re suitable for free dental treatment
  • Appointments will be significantly longer and more frequent than with a qualified dentist
  • To sign up for free dental care, first check the website, as they receive a large volume of applications and don’t always have an open waiting list


University of Sheffield (Charles Clifford Dental Hospital)

  • The Charles Clifford Dental Hospital is situated next to the University of Sheffield and the Royal Hallamshire Hospital on Wellesley Road, and is part of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals
  • The clinic offers a range of treatments including fillings, crowns and veneers
  • You cannot be undergoing treatment with another dentist to use this service
  • To put yourself forward for an appointment either call the hospital on 0114 2717800, or print and complete this form, which will need to be posted back
  • Your appointment will be for an assessment, where it’ll be decided if you need further treatment


University of Plymouth (The Peninsula Dental School)

  • The Peninsula Dental School carries out treatment in Truro, Exeter and Plymouth
  • The majority of standard treatments are available, including general check-ups, diagnosis, x-rays, dietary and oral hygiene advice, fillings and extractions, treatment of gum disease, dentures, crowns, bridges and minor oral surgery
  • The clinic is open by appointment only between the hours of 9am and 4.30pm
  • You may be added to a waiting list and contacted when a slot becomes available
  • You should phone +44 3451 558109t o arrange an appointment

There’s a list of dental hospitals across the country that you can try here.


Check you’re not already covered for dentistry

Woman smiling in dentist chair

Lots of companies now offer dental cover for their employees as part of their benefits package – so check whether you’re already entitled to this before you pay for any treatment.

Your partner’s employer might also cover you for dental work, so get them to check any details they have too.

Dental insurance policies generally cover regular maintenance visits to the dentist such as check-ups, scale and polish, and X-rays. They might also cover treatments like fillings, root canals and crowns at NHS practices and private clinics.

If you don’t have free insurance, look for your own dental insurance package by using our health insurance comparison page here.


Useful links


Sign Up – Newsletter


0 0 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
10 years ago

Hi my name is Sajjad Quader. I am an overseas student and staying in east london. Last few months i am suffering from severe dental pain. I would like to know that am i elegable to get free dental treatment? If yes then could you please tell me how can i apply for that? If know then please let me know do i det and concession?

Simon Willmore
Simon Willmore
10 years ago
Reply to  Sajjad

Hi Sajjad

Call the Dental Helpline on 0845 063 1118; they’ll be able to help!

Derek Barton
Derek Barton
10 years ago

Hi there, im actually looking to get some cosmetic work done on my teeth with veneers ( only about 5 of them ), but im finding them sooo expensive everywhere i go. I have stumbled upon this website and was wondering if Glasgow dental school would do veneers on my teeth? And if so are they free or is there a reduced fee to get them done? And also can you get them done on the NHS? I do have a job though so i dont know if i would qualify. Thank you. Derek.

10 years ago

Hi I lost a tooth,the one nearest my front tooth at the side and I was given Dentures.I also had some teeth taken out at the back so the dentist decided to have the dentures altogether when all I really wanted was the tooth at the side.However I have since lost there dentures and was just wondering if my dentist would be able to give me an alternative to a denture or should I go to a dental hospital.Debbie

10 years ago

Why are the rules for free dentistry different in England, Wales and Scotland?

Dee Co
Dee Co
10 years ago

Hiya I am looking for a dentist all the dentist i call are not taking on nh snew patients like. I would like to go to the dental hospital and let the students work on my teeth actually i need to get them out as i do wear a partial is there a way i can get on and my teeth are loose so needs attention wish i can afford it but cant can you help i dont mind travelling just need to get them done and get some dentures I live in Wakefield West Yorkshire
Thanks Dee

10 years ago
Reply to  Dee Co

Hello Dee,
Go on Google and see what dental colleges are in West Yorkshire. For example, here’s a list of colleges that do dental nursing courses They might be able to help.

Yukiko Primer
Yukiko Primer
10 years ago

I like the article. I was able to send this to some doctor I know that could use this on their website..

11 years ago

hi and thanks for the information iam not intitled for a free dental care but sound is good ,so i live in glasow do you have any information about this .thanks

Lindsey Rogerson
Lindsey Rogerson
11 years ago
Reply to  imaa

Hi Imaa, I write the family blog on Moneymagpie and Jasmine asked me to look into you request as I also live in Scotland. Below is what I found on the website of Glasgow Dental School, which seems to imply they do free treatment with student dentists. I had my wisdom teeth out at Glasgow Dental School when I was student, and they are well supervised – although that was admitedly some time ago. L Please note, if you have an urgent dental problem and you are not registered with a dentist of your own, you should contact: Emergency Dental… Read more »

Nuala Loughran
Nuala Loughran
11 years ago

I am entitled to free dental care, but don’t have a NHS dentist.
I have “the mouth from Hell!!” as I had medication in the 60’s that interfered with the natural growing prossess of my teeth.
My Dr, sent me to a dentist when I was 12/13 to sort my teeth via crowns.
Now I am in Limbo and would be prepared to let students access to my mouth!!! If I knew how to..

11 years ago

Looks like it’s in the Strand in London. Why not give them a call on 020 7836 5454?

kimberley moss
kimberley moss
11 years ago

hello! im in a pickle,im looking for an address on how to get to kings college dental school,as i desperately need to see a dentist and have been informed that dental students carry out work on the public at a cheaper rate than a qualified dentist? could you kindly forward me the address,is it on a university campus? i dont know!! thanking you in taking the time to read this e.mail. kim moss.

1 2 3 4

Related Articles


Make Money and Save Money

ideas for everyone
Send this to a friend