New NHS dentist payments begin from 1 March

As of 1st March, dental practices will benefit from extra payments for taking on new NHS patients.

The new patient premiums mean that participating NHS practices will receive payments of either £50 or £15, depending on care, for each new patient treated. The payments will apply for patients who have not seen an NHS dentist over the past two years.

The level of the payment will depend on the complexity of the treatment required and is on top of existing funding the practice receives for treating patients.

It is hoped that through this scheme and other measures in the dental recovery plan, an extra £2.5 million appointments for patients will be delivered over the next 12 months.

Health and social care secretary Victoria Atkins said: "I want to make access to dentistry faster, simpler and fairer for patients – particularly those who have not been able to see a dentist in the past two years.

"This scheme is good for patients and good for dentists. It will see millions more appointments made available for those who need them, while also rewarding those dentists who are taking on new NHS patients.

"It’s all part of our plan to put NHS dentistry on a sustainable footing for the long-term and ensure that good oral health is a reality for everyone."

Jason Wong MBE, interim chief dental officer for England, said: "Good oral health remains essential for good general health and now more patients will be able to access NHS dental services thanks to the majority of dental practices across England being eligible to introduce new patient premiums.  

"This is just one part of our recently announced package of measures to improve access while also better supporting dental teams across the country to provide high-quality care."