Help with dentisits fee's not covered by NHS

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Health & Beauty MoneySaving
8 replies 1.1K views
broke=skintbroke=skint Forumite
56 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Health & Beauty MoneySaving
Hi guys, I apologise if this is in the wrong section but I wasn't quite sure where to ask the question.

I am 30 and in full time employment, I went to the dentists over the weekend (first time in a very long time!) and he informed me that I needed a brace to prevent future damage to my teeth.

He said this work was not covered by the NHS and would cost me £3000 for two years worth of work! I can pay as much or as little as I wish every month but it must be paid up by the time my treatment has finished.

I have worked out that if I pay as much as I can afford, it will be no where near being paid for at the end of two years.
Tomorrow when the surgery is open again I plan on calling to ask if the repayment period can be extended.
In the mean time, has anyone else been in this situation or is there anyway I can get help from anywhere with the costs?

Thanks in advance!
I work, I pay debts, I work some more and then pay more debts...give me a break! :money:

Replies

  • sammyjammysammyjammy Forumite
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    Firstly I would get a second opinion. If you live near a dental hospital you can usually get a free consultation.

    Is there a chance you can get hold of the money some other way? Borrow from family? Get a personal loan or something? Appreciate borrowing isn't exactly money saving but if its essential......... I think the chacnes of them letting you extend the period of credit is slim to nothing.
    "You've been reading SOS when it's just your clock reading 5:05 "
  • whatatwitwhatatwit Forumite
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    Do you need any other work doing to your teeth and why does the dentist say you need a brace.

    Hopefully one of the dentists that post on here will be able to enlighten me, but I was under the impression that braces would correct problems with alignment and how the teeth look.
    Surely if leaving your teeth as they are will cause damage, then it's not a brace for cosmetic reasons and in my mind would fall under the NHS remit.
    Official DFW Nerd Club - Member no: 203.
  • sammyjammy wrote: »
    Firstly I would get a second opinion. If you live near a dental hospital you can usually get a free consultation.

    Is there a chance you can get hold of the money some other way? Borrow from family? Get a personal loan or something? Appreciate borrowing isn't exactly money saving but if its essential......... I think the chacnes of them letting you extend the period of credit is slim to nothing.

    Thats a good idea but doesn't a case have to be very severe to get treatment at dental hospitals, like emergency treatment?
    I will call them tomorrow though and find out if I can see someone to get another opinion...no harm in asking!
    whatatwit wrote: »
    Do you need any other work doing to your teeth and why does the dentist say you need a brace.

    Hopefully one of the dentists that post on here will be able to enlighten me, but I was under the impression that braces would correct problems with alignment and how the teeth look.
    Surely if leaving your teeth as they are will cause damage, then it's not a brace for cosmetic reasons and in my mind would fall under the NHS remit.

    My teeth are generally in good condition, except for the coffee stains!
    From an early age I have been aware that me teeth were an odd shape, I have almost a little mouse smile as my front two teeth are where they should be but the others go straight back instead of following the shape of my mouth going straight across.

    That part of it is cosmetic but the real problems lie at the back of my mouth.
    My bottom back teeth actually point in towards my tongue. So much so that the tops of my back teeth actually rest on the side of my tongue.
    When I put my teeth together, my top back teeth sit on the side of my bottom teeth instead of the tops.
    My dentist said that this will cause long term problems left untreated as I am using the sides of my bottom teeth to chew.
    In addition to this he pointed out that when I put my teeth together the right side of my mouth (the side that my problem teeth are) meets but the left side doesn't, so without actually realising I can only chew on that side of my mouth so naturally this will cause more issues.

    Now I have written it down it doesn't sound cosmetic but I think my dentist is trying to get me to pay full price for it for whatever reason.I hope this explains things a little better :-)
    I work, I pay debts, I work some more and then pay more debts...give me a break! :money:
  • edited 30 August 2010 at 1:24PM
    brook2jackbrook2jack Forumite
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    edited 30 August 2010 at 1:24PM
    Unfortunately you can't just turn up at a dental hospital to ask a second opinion.

    Adult orthodontics on the NHS has become very,very restricted but you might be eligible. You will need to explain to your dentist you cannot afford treatment and ask for a referral , this will be to a local hospital or dental hospital.

    You are likely to have a long wait (up to two years) to have an initial assessment and then a further wait for treatment if you are eligible and most adults are not unless they have complex problems.

    Your problems don't on the face of it sound straight forward and you will be looking at a minimum of two years treatment, if your problems are complex you may be better off being treated on the NHS if you are likely to need other work in conjunction with the brace. I can't see you or your teeth so cannot give you any further thoughts on the necessity of treatment.
  • brook2jack wrote: »
    Unfortunately you can't just turn up at a dental hospital to ask a second opinion.

    Adult orthodontics on the NHS has become very,very restricted but you might be eligible. You will need to explain to your dentist you cannot afford treatment and ask for a referral , this will be to a local hospital or dental hospital.

    You are likely to have a long wait (up to two years) to have an initial assessment and then a further wait for treatment if you are eligible and most adults are not unless they have complex problems.

    Your problems don't on the face of it sound straight forward and you will be looking at a minimum of two years treatment, if your problems are complex you may be better off being treated on the NHS if you are likely to need other work in conjunction with the brace. I can't see you or your teeth so cannot give you any further thoughts on the necessity of treatment.

    Thats a shame, so what you are saying if my dentist thinks it is not cosmetic he could refer me to a dental hospital and then they would look at my teeth too to see if its severe enough for NHS treatment?

    I actually wouldn't mind paying the price he has quoted if I could spread the repayments out over something like 5 years but I doubt if thats an option.

    Hope you don't mind me asking, brook2jack are you a dentist?
    If so, with this type of treatment do NHS dentists offer credit using a 3rd party company or is it more just like a payment plan with the surgery? Or does it differ for every dentist?
    I work, I pay debts, I work some more and then pay more debts...give me a break! :money:
  • ToothsmithToothsmith Forumite
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    Some dental practices do offer low interest or even interest free loans via third party lenders. It's worth asking.

    As Brook said, without seeing you it's impossible to comment on the need or otherwise for the treatment. Most hospitals have an orthodontic department, and aalthough funding is tight, some of them still have an ability to treat SEVERE adult malocclusions on the NHS. It might be worth seeing if you could be referred there for at least another opinion.
    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.
  • brook2jackbrook2jack Forumite
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    Nhs dentists do not offer credit as they would go bankrupt paying finance fees!

    Most private dentists do not have a credit licence so only provide credit via a third party. Most dental credit has very little leeway in terms/ conditions so it's unlikely that they would extend the length of the loan. The dentist themselves have nothing to do with the loan or the decisions attached.

    Yes I am a dentist but this is an Internet forum so I could just as easily be a pest controller, always take Internet advice particularly medical/dental with a very large pinch of salt!
  • Thanks Toothsmith and brook2jack for the info.
    I do not know how dentists work so I had to ask those few questions so I knew what was a reasonable thing to ask for.

    Now I know they use 3rd party lenders I will know that whatever the final decision is, its out of the dentists hands.

    My dentist did say it was interest free so maybe their will be an option to make payments over a longer term but in which case it will incur interest fee's.
    My first question tomorrow when I call will be about a possible referral for NHS treatment, if it is not an option I will ask how flexible the payment plans are.

    Thanks again for all of your help :-)
    I work, I pay debts, I work some more and then pay more debts...give me a break! :money:
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