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  • FIRST POST
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 15th Sep 17, 3:10 AM
    • 37,823Posts
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    Savvy_Sue
    The mechanics of changing dentist
    • #1
    • 15th Sep 17, 3:10 AM
    The mechanics of changing dentist 15th Sep 17 at 3:10 AM
    I am currently just musing about this, may feel differently later, but ...

    The short version:
    I'm currently on Practice Plan with our dentists, not been unhappy with them, but becoming less satisfied. If I moved to another dental surgery who offer DenPlan, would I keep the PP going until I've registered with a different surgery? And would it be helpful to either practice if I said I was moving? Or would they just not care?

    The detailed version:
    I've been with our current dentists for several years. Because of Practice Plan, checkups and hygienist are free, fillings get a discount. My teeth are probably average for someone my age: I've never smoked, I have plenty of fillings but not a lot else has been done to them - one of them might be crowned, there's one missing which doesn't show, some wisdoms taken out with no previous problems, but no whitening / bleaching / veneers. My gums are usually pretty good, according to both hygienist and dentist. My need for treatment goes in batches: a long time with nothing, and then ... several things go wrong at once.

    Last Thursday I had a lower back tooth out, possibly another wisdom. Apparently the roots were 'well invested in the bone' so from my perspective it was a bit of a b*gger to get out, although that's probably a good thing in general.

    But I developed dry socket over the weekend, and on advice from 111 (and having watched Trust Me!) I saw an emergency dentist under an arrangement with my own practice on Sunday, 3 days after the extraction. They cleaned it out, dressed it and put me on antibiotics. And said I should make a follow-up appointment with my own dentist, which was already in place because there's a filling booked in for Friday.

    24 hours later I felt no better: still very swollen. So I phoned my own dentist, and the receptionist said it could take 48 hours for the antibiotics to kick in. And that was it really. So I soldiered on, but by the afternoon I was getting worse not better: the swelling had spread from my cheek and jaw to my neck, and it was all unpleasantly hot - not near the extraction site but over the rest of my face and neck. And if you've seen Trust Me you'll know why I was a little twitchy about this.

    So around 4 pm I rang my dentist again, and the receptionist said there was no-one who could see me that day - only two dentists there, and both had finished at lunchtime, leaving just a hygienist and an orthodontist. What to do? I explained how concerned I was, and asked if it was worth seeing if I could go to the other practice again. And they said yes, do that if you're worried.

    So fortunately the other practice could see me, so off we went, and it was all fine, the dressing is still in place, and DH should take me to A&E if I have difficulty breathing or swallowing. And I gave him permission to prod me any time he woke up in the night to check I am still breathing ...

    Now the really NICE touch is that lunchtime Tuesday this practice rang to see how I was getting on! By which time I am, mercifully, starting to improve!

    Although I am still 'not right', and if I didn't already have an appointment in place I'd be making one.

    But it got me thinking: this other practice is not difficult to get to - not walking distance, but close enough and do-able by public transport (I don't drive after injections ...), and it's walkable from work for checkups or afternoon appointments. And they have far more dentists! So in an emergency, it's far more likely that someone can see me.

    And I mentioned my dental woes to a friend who also uses this other practice and they confirmed that they are all lovely. Not that the dentists at my practice aren't lovely (although I'm not sure I'd describe them that way), and not that I make a habit of dental emergencies, but ...

    BTW, I'm not unhappy with the treatment from my current dentist. I know dry socket can 'just happen', I'm not blaming them.

    But, to change or not to change? And how to do it if I do change?
    Still knitting!
    Completed: 1 adult cardigan, 3 baby jumpers, 2 shawls, 3 pairs baby bootees,
    1 Wise Man Knitivity figure + 1 sheep, 2 pairs socks, 1 seaman's hat ...
    Current projects: 1 shawl, another seaman's hat
Page 1
    • Toothsmith
    • By Toothsmith 15th Sep 17, 8:46 AM
    • 8,751 Posts
    • 10,407 Thanks
    Toothsmith
    • #2
    • 15th Sep 17, 8:46 AM
    • #2
    • 15th Sep 17, 8:46 AM
    Hey up Savvy - long time no see!! (with me anyway!)

    The money you pay your original practice just goes to them, so when you finish with them, stop the DD.

    If the new practice find anything amiss - then you will have to pay them to fix that outside of any 'Plan'. Once dentally fit, you can sign onto their Plan (Denplan Essentials sounds like the Denplan version of what you've been on with the other place) From what you write, it sounds like you're probably going to be OK though.

    The 'Trust Me' episode is a pretty rare complication of tooth abscess, and rarer for dry socket - but you were showing signs to be concerned about, so should have been taken seriously. If a dentist isn't at the first practice, they can't magic one up, and it's good they have an arrangement in place with the other practice. That is likely to be a mutual arrangement though - so it's just as likely their patients have the same experience in the opposite direction from time to time!

    If you want to change - then that's up to you. If you feel better there - then that's just as good a reason as any, and the process should be quite straightforward.
    How to find a dentist.
    1. Get recommendations from friends/family/neighbours/etc.
    2. Once you have a short-list, VISIT the practices - dont just phone. Go on the pretext of getting a Practice Leaflet.
    3. Assess the helpfulness of the staff and the level of the facilities.
    4. Only book initial appointment when you find a place you are happy with.
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 15th Sep 17, 11:11 AM
    • 37,823 Posts
    • 34,216 Thanks
    Savvy_Sue
    • #3
    • 15th Sep 17, 11:11 AM
    • #3
    • 15th Sep 17, 11:11 AM
    Thanks Toothsmith. Waves back, miss you too.

    My thinking is I might wait until I've recovered from this bout of 'several things', and keep paying the DD for a few months to let things settle down, then make my next checkup at the new practice - IF I decide to make the move.

    Should have said I have 'form' with antibiotics not working / causing a reaction - there are two I can't take, and my memory is that they just didn't work, as well as making me ill!

    I'm just really glad I didn't have the tooth out when I was meant to: my regular checkup found a filling and the extraction which needed doing, so I scheduled them a week apart: extraction, then filling, so dentist could check up on extraction.

    Then the next day I was getting 'upset' from a tooth, I thought it was the one which needed a filling and I wasn't happy leaving it, so back to the dentist, and he found it was NOT the one he'd identified as 'in need' but one he'd flagged as 'keep an eye on this'. But clearly his prodding had upset it.

    So he temp filled that, and I made Extraction Day a filling day, put Extraction Day off for a week, and made a new filling appointment a week after that.

    Thing is, I'd initially made Extraction Day just before going away for the weekend, and that would have been a nightmare!

    I joked to my boss I was just going to hand my credit card and my diary to the dentist - feels like it's getting close to that!

    Writing this now it doesn't seem so bad: I had a routine appointment and was able to make follow up appointments at times which suited me as well as anything would for the following three weeks - but it just unnerved me that my only option was going somewhere else. And I was fairly sure if I rang 111 on Monday they'd tell me to see someone.

    And yes, I'm sure the Trust Me scenario - in all its glory - is a rare situation, because that's what makes for good TV! Neither of the emergency dentists had seen it, but they both knew what I was talking about!!!
    Still knitting!
    Completed: 1 adult cardigan, 3 baby jumpers, 2 shawls, 3 pairs baby bootees,
    1 Wise Man Knitivity figure + 1 sheep, 2 pairs socks, 1 seaman's hat ...
    Current projects: 1 shawl, another seaman's hat
    • Toothsmith
    • By Toothsmith 15th Sep 17, 1:26 PM
    • 8,751 Posts
    • 10,407 Thanks
    Toothsmith
    • #4
    • 15th Sep 17, 1:26 PM
    • #4
    • 15th Sep 17, 1:26 PM
    To be honest - antibiotics don't really help much with dry sockets anyway - but they do tend to get better by themselves, although they can be quite painful.

    If you are going through a bit of a phase of needing a lot of treatment though, it's probably not the best time to be changing. Especially if you're not that unhappy with where you are.
    How to find a dentist.
    1. Get recommendations from friends/family/neighbours/etc.
    2. Once you have a short-list, VISIT the practices - dont just phone. Go on the pretext of getting a Practice Leaflet.
    3. Assess the helpfulness of the staff and the level of the facilities.
    4. Only book initial appointment when you find a place you are happy with.
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 15th Sep 17, 9:22 PM
    • 37,823 Posts
    • 34,216 Thanks
    Savvy_Sue
    • #5
    • 15th Sep 17, 9:22 PM
    • #5
    • 15th Sep 17, 9:22 PM
    Yup, that's what my own dentist said today. The pain and swelling is not and never has been near the socket, and has been manageable (although it's back again with a vengeance after my let's-sleep-the-anaesthetic-off nap).

    We (me, dentist, DH and credit card!) are all hoping that I have finished this particular course of treatment. Dentist would have understood if I'd delayed today's filling, but I wanted to get the whole thing over with. That's feeling grand now, just the other side of my mouth.

    Oh well, if it helps me lose weight ...
    Still knitting!
    Completed: 1 adult cardigan, 3 baby jumpers, 2 shawls, 3 pairs baby bootees,
    1 Wise Man Knitivity figure + 1 sheep, 2 pairs socks, 1 seaman's hat ...
    Current projects: 1 shawl, another seaman's hat
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