One of the big steps in moving toward independence as a young adult is taking charge of your healthcare. For most of us, checking up on our teeth isn’t very high up on our list of priorities. Unless you’re faced with outright pain, it’s easy to go several years without giving so much as a thought towards going to the dentist. However, even if everything seems fine, it’s still important to make dentist appointments at least once every two years. You might have undetected cavities, and university age students often need their wisdom teeth removed. But that leads to the question: Do uni students pay for the dentist?
Being on a student budget can make this process daunting, though. Dental expenses can be high, and you might be worried about whether you can afford whatever procedures you might need. So, here’s a rundown of how paying for dental care works for university students.
Is the dentist free for students?
Unfortunately, being a student does not automatically qualify you for free dental care. However, if you meet certain criteria, you can be eligible. If you are under 18, or if you are under 19 and in full-time education at the time of your treatment, then you qualify for free dental care under the NHS.
Other students who qualify are those who receive income-based benefits such as Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, and Income Support. If you receive Universal Credit, you may not have to pay dental fees.
Fees are waived for those who are named on an NHS tax credit exemption certificate, a valid HC2 certificate, and for some with a HC3 certificate.
If you are pregnant or have given birth in the last year, you also do not have to pay for dental treatment.
How to find a dentist
If you’ve moved away from home for uni, you will have to register with a new dentist in order to seek treatment. You can search for NHS dentists near you using a tool on their website. Let them know that you’re seeking treatment through the NHS. Some may require a referral from your GP. They will give you information about availability and waitlists. Once you locate a surgery, visit and fill in a registration form.
If you are experiencing high levels of pain, are bleeding heavily or have a facial injury, it is best to go to A&E to seek treatment instead.
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