My wife and I had treatment at the dental surgery half way down Tooley Street opposite the City Hall about seven years ago, after returning from life overseas.
They did some varied work on my teeth, mainly redoing old fillings, and were competent but emptied my wallet very quickly. I stopped at getting crowns done.
My wife had some cleaning done there by a large blonde Israeli girl hygienist, who was very rough, and insisted on unnecessarily splitting the treatment into two sessions, and charged £75 per session.
We didn't go back..
That was seven years ago, though, but from friends' experiences, I think that basically you still need a mortgage to go to any dentist in central London.
Now I usually have my dental treatment done in Germany, whenever I am there. They have a scale of set charges which are reasonable, and some work is eligible to be done on the national insurance E-111 form. The dentists are excellent too.
I use Dr kwan who is on the new kent road near the shopping centre. I have only had limited work done the odd filling etc. He certainly doen't fill teeth for the sake of it. But he is very good with my kids. His is one of the few dentist that is still taking on NHS clients. Not sure what the other dentists at the practise are like.
As for braces my eldest son has just been referred to Dulwich Orthodontic centre who do a limited amount of NHS (under 16s only) I have been very quick in getting an inintial appointment after expecting a long wait as it not a private consulation.
The appontment is next week so I can report back then. In the meantime you could look at their website www. dulwichortho.co.uk
I use a fantastic dentist on Waterloo Road. His name is Y K Ho. I hadn't been to the dentist for ages after going to one in Borough High Street that just didn't care.
although he is private, he won't force anything unnecessary on you and his work is of an exceptional standard. He doesn't make loads of small talk and if you don't need a dental clean, he won't do one for the sake of it.
He also agreed to see my 7 year old son, when normally these private bods aren't interested in children at all! And he didn't charge for him either.
As far as braces are concerned, unless it is REALLY needed I would steer well clear - I had braces for nearly two years when I was about 23 and it was really unpleasant - I couldnt wait to get them off --but having started couldnt really just have them taken off until it was properly finished (and now my teeth have reverted to what they were like before anyway!).