AFF has been highlighting the issues that you face when trying to access NHS dental care for some time, but it’s a nationwide problem for military and civilian families alike. So if you’re heading overseas, Lt Col Alun Thomas, Regional Senior Dental Officer (Rest of World), points out some key things to be aware of…

  • Don’t underestimate the difficulties and restrictions when trying to access primary dental care. This is particularly important when returning to UK, and for orthodontics.

  • Ensure you complete the medical screening as explained opposite, which includes dental health.

  • If moving overseas to a location without a DPHC facility, contact Healix – – before you move. They can advise you as they provide the majority of services in those locations. If they don’t, they will direct you to us.

  • When overseas, always seek financial approval for treatment before you incur costs yourself. You can find information in the Defence Instruction and Notice 2020DIN01-091 which you should read before accessing dental care.

  • Entitlement to a level of dental care will be equivalent to the NHS and not the same as the host nation dentist would necessarily like to provide. Items of treatment are often recommended as ‘needed’ by dental providers, which would not be available through an NHS practice.

If you wish to discuss any dental concerns before you accept an overseas posting, contact me in confidence at

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