How much do dental inlays cost?

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How much do dental inlays cost?
Dental inlays are a way to treat moderately decayed back teeth. (Keith Brofsky/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Dental inlays are generally used to treat teeth that are too badly decayed to take a regular amalgam filling but not so damaged that they require a crown. The damaged part of the tooth is extracted and a solid filling substance is cemented into the space. The filling substance is usually made of porcelain, resin, gold or other metals. Porcelain and resin inlays can be matched to the colour of the surrounding tooth and tend to cost more than gold ones. The amount you pay will also depend on whether you see a private dentist or receive treatment through the NHS.

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NHS inlays

Dental treatments on the NHS always cost a set amount, with specific procedures falling into one of three price bands. Dental inlays fall into Band 3 and cost £214 as of June 2013. Only metal inlays are generally considered to be clinically necessary, according to NHS Dentist. This means that porcelain and resin inlays will not usually be available on the NHS. If you are registered with an NHS dentist, they may be able to offer tooth-coloured plastic or resin inlays on a private basis.

Free NHS treatment

Some people are entitled to free NHS dental treatment. This includes inlays if they are considered clinically necessary. This will usually only extend to metal inlays. As of June 2013 you do not have to pay for treatment if you are under 18 or under 19 and in full-time education when the treatment starts. You are also exempt if you are pregnant or have given birth in the past year, or if you are staying in an NHS hospital and the hospital dentist carries out the treatment. You can also qualify for free treatment if you have a HC2 certificate for those on low incomes, an NHS tax credit exemption certificate, or if you are in receipt of Income Support, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance or Pension Credit guarantee credit

Private treatment

Some factors that can affect the cost of an inlay include the experience of the dentist, the location of the practice, the location of the tooth to be worked on, the size of the inlay to be applied and the substance the inlay is made of. There are no standardised costs for inlays and the fees charged for for private treatment can vary widely between practitioners. Starting costs listed on WhatClinic.com range from £163 to £750 as of June 2013. You should contact practices directly for their prices. You are entitled to see a full price list before treatment starts and to receive a fully itemised bill before making payment.

Dental insurance

A dental insurance policy can cover some or all of your private dental treatments. The cost of premiums can vary widely between individual policies but typical costs range from around £70 to £230 a year, according to Money Saving Expert. You may also have to pay an excess, which is a contribution towards the costs of any individual treatment. One of the drawbacks with an insurance plan is that you pay the premium even if you do not require any treatment. Most policies only cover clinically necessary treatments. This means you might only be covered for metal inlays, as the extra expense of tooth-coloured would be considered a cosmetic consideration.

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