A quick bit of advice from a dentist please!

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Health & Beauty MoneySaving
18 replies 1.3K views
wow400wow400 Forumite
6 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Health & Beauty MoneySaving
Hi, having worked abroad for a few years & having dental treatment outside the UK, I've been meaning to get myself registered with a UK dental practice for a year or so now.

Anyway, a small bit of my tooth came off on Sunday night, no great drama & no pain so I called the private practice that I had booked up with in early Dec & asked what they could do.

Unfortunately they could only see me as an emergency appt (£100) where all I really needed was a temporary filling before I have the whole initial consultation & decide whether I'd go down the Denplan / dental Insurance route.

I thought that was a bit steep so called around & found a local dental centre that could do a temporary filling for £17 & whilst they were there, decide what's needed for the long term with this tooth.

What I didn't realise was it was an NHS dentist (I have no problems with that - I just never expected to find somewhere that would ever take me on under the NHS scheme!) and after he did the temp. filling, he advised me that ideally the tooth would need a metal or composite inlay (NHS band 3) at £204.

My question is this (controversially), am I better off staying with the NHS practise (was very happy with the practise - no complaints) or would I be better off spending upwards of £550 & going to a private clinic?

For some reason I feel slightly charmed & lucky that I have found an NHS practice that would take me on but on the other hand, all I've ever really been used to is RAF dentists & private practices!

I had planned on getting Denplan (depending on the band they would have put me in) or Dental Insurance (Tesco's?)....
Perhaps I can sign up for the Tesco's plan & hope the temporary filling stays in for a month..... ;-)



FWIW, I'm probably slightly above average dentally fitness wise, non smoker, but have been an avid (diet) coke drinker with all the erosion that entails!

Many thanks for any help that can be shed & apologies now for any inaccuracies in what I've written!

Kind regards,
Nic
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Replies

  • SystemSystem Forumite
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    private dentists are only for rich and vein people
  • j.e.j.j.e.j. Forumite
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    private dentists are only for rich and vein people
    :rotfl::rotfl:

    OP it's probably a good idea to stay at the practice you've been to, and are happy with. In this case it just happens to be nhs. Just my opinion!
  • edited 29 November 2011 at 8:19PM
    brook2jackbrook2jack Forumite
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    edited 29 November 2011 at 8:19PM
    To join denplan etc you need to be dentally fit so this tooth would need to be sorted out first. Most other insurances also have a dentally fit clause so check before spending.

    A good dentist is a good dentist whether they work on the nhs or private. Nhs work obviously has alot of limitations as to what can be provided and crucially the amount of time that can be spent providing it but many nhs dentists will also offer private options for treatment.

    In short if you are happy with them and happy with the treatment stick with them.

    nb acid erosion is a destroyer of teeth. Stop the diet coke habit now , along with fruit juice,smoothies, anything with bubbles etc . An inlay means a good bit of tooth has been destroyed... see it as your warning.
  • brook2jackbrook2jack Forumite
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    private dentists are only for rich and vein people

    Or people who chose to spend £10 or so a month on their oral health (cost of maintainance plan) for the extra time and choices that will buy them.
  • SRH_2SRH_2 Forumite
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    Stick with the NHS one! At the end of the day if you are unhappy at any point you can switch to a private one. I've recently moved to an NHS dentist nearer to where I live and it's been fantastic. The dentist has spent many years in private practice but has rejoined the NHS, so she is bang up to date, the practice is new with all mod-cons and I only have to pay NHS prices.

    Many people aren't aware that there are NHS dentists with spare places now as we spent so many years having to go private. A lot of money has been pumped in in recent years to rectify this. Not all areas are the same but do check with your local primary care trust. Where I am there is no waiting time whatsover in some towns but a six month wait in others - still not long to wait to join if you are not currently having any problems.
  • ToothsmithToothsmith Forumite
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    private dentists are only for rich and vein people

    I'll be sure to tell all my patients that tomorrow! :rotfl:(And it's vain BTW)

    I would always recommend someone to pick a dentist over a particular scheme or funding arrangement.

    There are still good dentists and practices within the NHS, just as there are bad ones out in private practices.

    It is very important to be happy with, and have confidence in, your dentist. So if you've found that, then go with it.

    (But carry on the loyalty should they decide that they have to leave the NHS in the future.)
    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.
  • ToothsmithToothsmith Forumite
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    SRH wrote: »
    Stick with the NHS one! At the end of the day if you are unhappy at any point you can switch to a private one. I've recently moved to an NHS dentist nearer to where I live and it's been fantastic. The dentist has spent many years in private practice but has rejoined the NHS, so she is bang up to date, the practice is new with all mod-cons and I only have to pay NHS prices.

    Many people aren't aware that there are NHS dentists with spare places now as we spent so many years having to go private. A lot of money has been pumped in in recent years to rectify this. Not all areas are the same but do check with your local primary care trust. Where I am there is no waiting time whatsover in some towns but a six month wait in others - still not long to wait to join if you are not currently having any problems.


    Not strictly true that 'a lot of money has been pumped in'.

    The budget is essentially the same, it's just been redirected so that 'access' is now king.

    People can get into a practice more easily, as registration has been stopped, so no-one 'belongs' to a practice anymore. In the eyes of the NHS, every time you go to a dentist you are going as a 'new' patient.

    PCTs dictate which areas get coverage, and which areas don't. So that new practice near you is probably at the expense of another practice somewhere else that lost it's contract as someone decided there was no 'need' there.
    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.
  • brook2jack wrote: »
    nb acid erosion is a destroyer of teeth. Stop the diet coke habit now , along with fruit juice,smoothies, anything with bubbles etc . An inlay means a good bit of tooth has been destroyed... see it as your warning.

    Thanks dad! :T

    So how does it work in principle with an NHS practice?
    The private side of things I can obviously see but how can the NHS practice carry out the same procedures but charge less with quality remaining at an acceptable standard?

    What tend to be the weak points in non-private practices?

    Thanks again all &for your input,

    Kind regards,
    Nic
  • brook2jackbrook2jack Forumite
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    I think you hAve answered your own question. In order to make a living everything has to be done as fast and as cheap as possible. To put this in context the laboratory fee for a top class crown on it's own can easily exceed the total a dentist receives for a whole course of nhs treatment.

    Certain treatments eg root canal, are money losers because the instruments alone ,which have to be thrown away after each patient , can cost more than the nhs pays.

    In an area where peoples dental health is good and they need less doing it is easier to run a practice than in an area where there are high needs.

    This is why 15 years ago less than 8% of dental work in the uk was private and now that figure is nearer 56%.
  • Thanks brook2jack - are the NHS fees to dentists seriously lagging behind reality then?
    If so, I'd have thought that there would either be (almost) zero NHS practices left or uber discontent with NHS dentists!

    Appreciate the info anyway,

    Kind regards,
    Nic
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