The cost of NHS dental treatment in Wales will increase for the first time in four years in April, with some charges more than doubling, despite many in rural Wales unable to get an appointment for treatment.

From April, standard charges will increase to between £20 and £260 depending on the treatment required, and urgent treatment will increase to £30.

Band 1 prices, which include examination, x-rays, scale and polish, will rise from £14.70 to £20, while Band 2 costs, for fillings, extractions, root canal treatment will go up to £60 from £47.

Band 3 prices, for crowns, dentures and bridges will rise from £203 to £260, while urgent appointments cost will more than double from £14.70 to £30.

The Welsh Government said that “any revenue generated from the increased charges will be re-invested back into NHS dentistry services”, where in rural Wales access to dentistry has been described as a “crisis.”

Mid and West Wales MS Jane Dodds MS said: “We here in Wales are currently in the midst of a dental accessibility crisis.

“Sky high waiting times across the country are resulting in thousands of people being denied access to vital dental care, particularly in rural communities where a drought of accessible services has created a dental desert.

“The price hike in dental patient charges will only exacerbate this crisis, driving more and more people towards dangerous DIY dental care."

The Welsh Government said that “despite pressure on budgets” it has increased investment for dentistry, with funding £27m higher than it was in 2018-19.

Changes to the dentistry contract in Wales also include a requirement for NHS practices to see new patients, the Welsh Government said.

Health Minister Eluned Morgan said: “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.”