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
Steven Langton
Steven Langton
2 years ago

Well I’ve the same problem , as Thomas , I broke a denture a bottom plate ! Don t ask but it’s been hell ever since , almost choking several times , as I can t brisk anything down sufficiently to eat , I have to rely on a soft diet which is kind of embarrassing for me family get together s have to be forfeited, In case I have an issue with what I try to eat , I have had food lodged in my throat and it’s just impossible to relay that while eating , and with other… Read more »

Thomas Boyle
Thomas Boyle
4 years ago

I have had the same set of false teeth for over 15 years no exaggeration they are all ground down to just flat bits of plastic , i have tried a couple of times with new sets but just can’t seem to get used to them .The reason I have false teeth was because a dentist in my area said I had pioneer of the gums which I don’t think was true ,I still get feelings in my gums and it’s not very nice I just wish I cld get a nice set made for me because I have been… Read more »

4 years ago
Reply to  Thomas Boyle

hi there Thomas. I asked my own dentist about this – he is Surinder Hundle at Lund Osler in London ( This is his reply. Hope it helps: ” It is common that false teeth wear down and will do so especially after 15years of usage. It is also not uncommon that during this time further underlying bone atrophies/is lost. This results in less support for new dentures/teeth resulting in other difficulties with new dentures arising. When new dentures are made they can take up to 6 months to settle in especially as the individual is used to old yet… Read more »

4 years ago
Reply to  Jasmine

Two of my friends have recently had dentures fitted and of course the bottom set us just useless nothing to grip onto as gum has shrunk , looks dreadful and I am really so sorry for them to have bare bottom gums after paying for this useless procedure , surely dentists in the UK can now offer mini implants to hold dentures in place Personally my dentist retired two years ago and there is still no replacement , all the NHS dentists in the practice can take no more patients No loss to lose the de that I speak off… Read more »

5 years ago

I haven’t been to the dentist in about 5 years! I want to go with someone I feel comfortable with , I am missing 3 teeth, I hate it as I have no confidence at all. And it all seems to expensive can you give me any advice? I’m from London.

Claire Thompson
Claire Thompson
5 years ago

I have dreadful teeth most have crumbled away and I have got to the stage where I am thinking I need them all out and a full set of dentures. Some might be able to be saved but who knows? Willing to be a students project but think I would like to be asleep for most of my treatment. Live in Liverpool area.

Clare davies
1 year ago

I am exactly the same mostly crumbling and need sorted wanting implants and to be asleep

7 years ago

Hi, dose anybody know the contact number for the dental collage in southend, please.

Kristina B.@Full Dental Coverage
Kristina B.@Full Dental Coverage
8 years ago

Good to know. Few years ago I had the opportunity of taking care of my teeth on a school and I must tell you, it was the best service I was given so far. Your article just opened my horizons for some new places to visit soon.:)

shaz khan
shaz khan
8 years ago

Hi my son is 3 he has really bad tooth decay his teeth have got yellow and black marks on his front 4 teeth. They were getting crumbled away day by day. I took him to private dentist and they did filling on front four teeth with out removing the bacteria as my son wouldn’t stay still. i’m really worried as the bacteria wasn’t removed will this effect his permanent teeth?

Dr John
Dr John
8 years ago

As a practicing dentist in England, and having taken in the many comments and reactions to this article, I`d just like to share the following.
I have a FREE download on my site, giving hints and tips on to `avoid the dentist`, including patient`s rights etc. This is not about selling my services, in fact, there is no connection to my practice. This is just free stuff that people need to know.
So, go to toothacademy. and get some help from someone who is trying to `beat the system`.

1 year ago
Reply to  Dr John

I know it has been a while since this was posted but I cannot find anything?

8 years ago

Hi,I did brace in my country and I have brace now,can I Do again and for free?

9 years ago

A slight correction on the King’s College Dental Institute. It is not as competitive as is written here. If you are having any dental problems, are not registered to a dentist, are available at 9am or 1:30pm on weekdays for half a day, then you may want to consider being seen by a dental student. Assessments by dental students are available monday, tuesday, thursday and fridays. All you have to do is put in a self-referral form and they will soon allocate you to a student. However, it is worth noting that only basic treatment is provided including simple fillings,… Read more »

Lee calendar
Lee calendar
1 year ago
Reply to  Neelz

How do go about getting appointment, try to download the form it’s void

Related Articles


Make Money and Save Money

ideas for everyone
Send this to a friend