The cost of NHS dentistry rose by 15 per cent last year, with the amount paid by patients increasing by £60 million, figures show.
The average bill for visiting an NHS dentist rose from £14.58 in 2005/06 to £16.91 in 2006/07, although the true figure is much higher when patients who receive free NHS treatment - such as pregnant women and those on benefits - are removed from the analysis.
Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley commented: "These statistics make a mockery of Labour's promise that the new charges would not lead to patients paying more for NHS treatment.
"We have now got less access to NHS dentistry, fewer resources for dentistry and higher charges."
Mr Lansley suggested that the government has been "shamelessly milking" members of the public to cover up the fact that it has failed to invest sufficiently in dentistry.