Now the NHS do charge for treatments, and they're pretty reasonable, even so a crown can cost £214. People on low incomes can get help if they receive benefits or get under £1600 a year you don't fit the criteria you may still not to be able to afford the dentist if your teeth suddenly go wrong.
In Exeter we have another way, we are lucky enough to have the Peninsula dental school for dentists where you can get all sorts of treatments free. The experience is pretty good, the students have nearly finished their four year training and all work is supervised by an experienced dentist. They take things slowly, explain everything is done gently.
The location is fairly central near to the new Waitrose supermarket. Many of us end up with dentists a long way from home so if this is closer it may be a great option. You are also helping the dentists of the future while you save your cash. Also a visit to the dentist many be less of a horror story.