Frequently asked questions

We understand you may have questions about our COVID-19 safety tariff, so we’ve put together the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions, relevant to both existing and new-to-Bupa patients who may be looking for further information.

The COVID-19 safety tariff is chargeable to all private appointments which have aerosol generating procedures, including most fillings, crowns and bridges, teeth whitening, some orthodontic procedures and some hygiene treatments.

The COVID-19 safety tariff for aerosol generating procedures covers the cost of additional items of PPE worn by staff, including respirator masks, visors and surgical gowns, as well as enhanced cleaning requirements.

We aren’t making a profit from this tariff. The entire tariff goes towards the increased cost of PPE as well as the additional cleaning in practice that’s required by Public Health England.

We’ve taken the decision to charge a separate tariff for aerosol generating procedures, rather than include it in the price of treatments. This is because we believe the additional safety requirements mandated by Public Health England will be removed over the coming months.

We are committed to keeping the tariff to a minimum and we’ll look to remove it when enhanced PPE is no longer required. We have already reduced the tariff three times since it came into effect last year.

Dentistry has more close contact and is higher risk. As the dentist is working inside your mouth and COVID-19 is most likely transmitted via respiratory droplets, dental staff must wear enhanced PPE for aerosol generating procedures and undertake additional cleaning requirements, which incurs additional costs. We want you to be safe. With these safety measures in place, there’s nothing to worry about. 

You will need to pay the safety tariff for appointments which have aerosol generating procedures. This is not covered by your subscription payment plan, so I’m afraid we need to ask you to pay separately for this when you attend your appointment.

Your dental insurance covers certain treatments and services, but the new safety tariff may not be covered. You will need to check with your insurer if it’s included in your benefit limits.

We’re pleased to let you know that for Bupa Dental Insurance customers, we’re covering the cost of PPE for treatment up to benefit limits. This means we will pay for the cost of treatment and the additional PPE costs out of the relevant treatment benefit if it is within benefit limits. For more information, please contact the Insurance team on 0800 237 777.

We’re afraid not. The safety tariff isn’t just for your mask, it’s for the increased cost and additional PPE dental staff must wear, as well as additional cleaning.

The NHS covers the cost of PPE for NHS appointments.

Social distancing measures might have eased, but mandated Public Health England Operating Procedures (which apply in all UK nations) for dentists haven’t changed. So, the tariff will remain as long as we have to keep enhanced safety measures in place. The health, wellbeing and safety of our patients, their families and our people is our priority and always will be.

We regularly review the tariff in line with Public Health England Operating Procedures and it has already been reduced three times since it came into effect in June 2020.

When Public Health England says our clinicians are no longer required to wear additional PPE for aerosol generating procedures, we’ll remove this cost for patients.

The COVID-19 safety tariff is applicable to all and does not differ for under 18s. The enhanced levels of PPE are treatment specific and do not differ by the age of patient.

In Wales: Public Heath Wales has advised that, at family appointments where all people attending the appointment live in the same household, the clinical team do not need to change their PPE between treating the different family members. Therefore, the COVID-19 safety tariff will only be chargeable once, unless PPE is needed to be changed more frequently, in which case, you will need to cover the extra cost.

In England, Scotland and Northern Ireland: The guidelines issued from Public Heath England (which covers Scotland and Northern Ireland) states that the clinical team must change their PPE between treating patients, even if they are part of the same family and live in the same household. Therefore, the COVID-19 safety tariff is payable for each patient treated.

Many images and videos used throughout our website were taken before the COVID-19 outbreak and therefore do not represent COVID best practices.

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Bupa Dental Care is a trading name of Oasis Dental Care Limited. Registered in England and Wales No: 00478127. Registered office: Bupa Dental Care, Vantage Office Park, Old Gloucester Road, Hambrook, Bristol, United Kingdom BS16 1GW.

Oasis Dental Care Limited has a number of trading names including Bupa Dental Care. For a list of all our different trading names please follow this link.