You need to see a dentist every six months
How regularly you visit the dentist or hygienist depends on your level of dental health. If you have had a substantial amount of dental treatment in the past, then it is important that you have a check-up more regularly than someone who has not had problems with their teeth, as the dentist can monitor the existing restorations to ensure that they are stable.
It is not only your teeth that are checked, every time you visit the dentist they will check for oral cancer, the health of your gums, joint function and the general health of your mouth.
NHS dentists can perform exactly the same treatments as a private dentist
NHS dentists can only perform treatments to stabilise your dental health. They cannot offer you treatment which is considered as cosmetic or to improve the look of your teeth. For example white fillings on posterior teeth, or full porcelain (white/aesthetic) crowns are not standard NHS practice. Teeth whitening, dental implants, posterior bridges and adult orthodontics are treatments that the NHS do not offer, and can only be carried out in private dental practices.
You can register with an NHS dentist
Since 2006, patients are not registered with an NHS dentist on a permanent basis. They can access any NHS dentist they choose but once treatment is completed, the practice does not have any contractual relationship with the patient. This means just because you have seen an NHS dentist in the past, it does not automatically entitle you to access the same NHS dentist in the future.