It can be tricky to find an NHS dentist taking on patients in England at the moment.

But for those who have one and can book regular check-ups and appointments for treatment, you might be worrying about the cost.

Although it’s important to look after our teeth, the price of fillings and root canals can be daunting for some (and you won’t be alone).

With this in mind, you might be wondering if you qualify for free NHS dental care ahead of your next visit to the dentist - let’s take a look to see who is eligible.

Who is exempt from NHS dental charges?

The NHS says you do not have to pay for dental services in England, if you are:

  • under 18, or under 19 and in full-time education
  • pregnant or have had a baby in the last 12 months
  • being treated in an NHS hospital and your treatment is carried out by the hospital dentist (but you may have to pay for any dentures or bridges)
  • receiving low income benefits, or you're under 20 and a dependant of someone receiving low income benefits

This also applies if you or your spouse (including civil partner) receive low income benefits, such as:

  • Income Support
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • Pension Credit Guarantee Credit with Savings Credit
  • Universal Credit (depending on your earnings)

News and Star: How much did you pay at your last dental appointment?How much did you pay at your last dental appointment? (Image: Getty)

Some approved certificates can also help with dental costs and you could be allowed access to free NHS dental treatment if you're entitled to or named on:

  • a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate
  • a valid HC2 certificate – which is available for people on a low income
  • a valid maternity exemption certificate

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The NHS adds: “People named on an NHS certificate for partial help with health costs (HC3) may also get part of the cost of dental treatment paid for.

“People on a low income can include some students and pensioners.

“You'll be asked to show your dentist written proof that you do not have to pay for all or part of your NHS treatment.

“You'll also be asked to sign a form to confirm that you do not have to pay.”