THE cost of NHS dental treatment in Wales will increase from April 1.

The increase in dental charges is the first since April 2020 and are overall still lower than in England.

Welsh Government say any revenue generated from the increased charges will be re-invested back into NHS dentistry services.

From April 2024, the three standard charges will increase to between £20 and £260 depending on the treatment required.

Band 1 charges, which cover X-rays and polishes will rise from £14.70 to £20.

Band 2, which includes fillings and extractions will be £60, up from £47.

Band 3 (crowns, bridges and dentures) will go up from £203 to £260. 

Urgent treatment will also increase from £14.70 to £30.

Around 50% of people receive NHS dental treatment for free in Wales.

Those eligible for free treatment include children under 18 or those aged 18 and in full time education, pregnant women or those who have had a baby within the 12 months of treatment starting, anyone who has dentistry treatment carried out in a hospital or people on certain benefits.

Additionally, the low-income scheme provides full, or partial help, with health costs, depending on individual circumstances.

Despite pressure on budgets, the Welsh Government has increased investment for dentistry, with funding £27m higher than it was in 2018-19. Included within this increase is an additional £2 million a year to address local access issues.

Changes to the dentistry contract in Wales include a requirement for NHS practices to see new patients.

Since this was introduced in April 2022, 312,000 people who couldn’t get an appointment before have now received NHS dental treatment.

Eluned Morgan, cabinet secretary for Health and Social Care: "Because of the extreme pressure on our budget we have had to consider if additional funding should be raised by increasing dentistry charges.

"This is the first increase we have made to dentistry charges since 2020. Around half of patients don’t pay for their NHS dental treatment and we will continue to protect those that are least able to afford to pay.

"It is vital we all keep our teeth and gums healthy. This is why we are working to make it easier for people to see an NHS dentist by increasing the number of new NHS places and helping dentists to focus on those who need help by changing how often we see a dentist for routine appointments."

More information on the price changes can be found on the Welsh Government's website.