MSE News: OFT calls for dentist industry shake-up

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"The Office of Fair Trading found some dentists deliberately push patients into expensive private care ..."
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  • richardw
    richardw Posts: 19,458 Forumite
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    Can't the NHS just employ dentists to be just NHS Dentists for NHS Dental patients?
    Posts are not advice and must not be relied upon.
  • Toothsmith
    Toothsmith Posts: 10,075 Forumite
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    The OFT report has some good recommendations.

    The figures have been completely misrepresented though.

    The figure of half a million patients being misled comes from a base sample of only 158 people (out of 3000) who said it had happened to them!

    And a lot of the patients were asking for treatments that weren't available on the NHS anyway!

    To turn the base figures they have into some of the articles that have been written about it today is pure spin, and not worthy of the supposedly independent Office of Fair Trading.

    Thank goodness Pasties have taken a higher priority in the news today! :D
    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.
  • Toothsmith
    Toothsmith Posts: 10,075 Forumite
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    richardw wrote: »
    Can't the NHS just employ dentists to be just NHS Dentists for NHS Dental patients?


    They could indeed.

    The reason they don't is that it is much more expensive for the Government to set up and run clinics tha it is to let the dentists take all the business risks and just contract to them with ever worsening terms - and then blame the dentists when they stop providing NHS services.

    About 15 yrs ago a lot of 'Dental Access Centres' were set up by Tony Blair's government (Funnily enough, a lot of them were in Labour marginal consituencies) to 'show' dentists they weren't afraid to take them on and set up their own clinics.

    These clinics barely lasted a couple of years before it was shown to be a hugely expensive mistake, and they were quietly closed down.

    At the time, I think the average cost to the taxpayer of an NHS dental visit in dentist owned practices was about £37. In the Access centres it was audited at well over £200!!
    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.
  • Lum
    Lum Posts: 6,460 Forumite
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    NHS dentist? What's one of those then? :mad:
  • picardygirl
    picardygirl Posts: 558 Forumite
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    Is there a standard charge for certain procedures in an NHS dentist ...... we (my family of four) belong to our local NHS dentist, my husband lost a filling last week so booked an appointment to see the dentist, he put a temporary filling in it and charged £30 for it.

    He was told he needed to have a crown (or have the tooth filed right down, which he doesnt want) and another tooth required a filling ...... at the cost of £330! Are these charges about right, can anybody shed any light? Thanks in advance
  • Pennylane
    Pennylane Posts: 2,707 Forumite
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    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9295340/Dentists-forcing-500000-NHS-patients-to-pay-privately-report.html#

    The majority of people in this poll believe their dentist is ripping them off.
  • rachbc
    rachbc Posts: 4,461 Forumite
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    Is there a standard charge for certain procedures in an NHS dentist ...... we (my family of four) belong to our local NHS dentist, my husband lost a filling last week so booked an appointment to see the dentist, he put a temporary filling in it and charged £30 for it.

    He was told he needed to have a crown (or have the tooth filed right down, which he doesnt want) and another tooth required a filling ...... at the cost of £330! Are these charges about right, can anybody shed any light? Thanks in advance

    NHS dental chage bands.

    He should have been cahrged £17.50 for the emergency treatment and then £209 for the crown etc. I beleive the total cost shoud lbe £209 so the £17.50 should come off the final bill.
    People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Rupert_Bear
    Rupert_Bear Posts: 1,303 Forumite
    edited 29 May 2012 at 1:16PM
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    I used to go for regular check ups at a NHS dentist. I had this particular problem with a tooth and the dentist just dismissed it. I went back 4 times complaining. She eventually took at x-ray and it was a badly infected tooth. When I queried why it took her 4 appointments to diagnose
    the problem she blamed me because I did not make enough fuss about the pain.

    Now I do not bother going to a regular dentist because in my area we have a NHS Access clinic and they will see you on the day if you are in pain.
  • picardygirl
    picardygirl Posts: 558 Forumite
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    rachbc wrote: »
    NHS dental chage bands.

    He should have been cahrged £17.50 for the emergency treatment and then £209 for the crown etc. I beleive the total cost shoud lbe £209 so the £17.50 should come off the final bill.

    He was charged £30 for the emergency treatment, and i asked him if this would come of the total bill ...... and he said NO. He needs the treatment done over 3 appointments, the first one he had made for next week, I may go with him to ask more questions!
  • Toothsmith
    Toothsmith Posts: 10,075 Forumite
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    Pennylane wrote: »
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9295340/Dentists-forcing-500000-NHS-patients-to-pay-privately-report.html#

    The majority of people in this poll believe their dentist is ripping them off.


    Well I've managed to vote 'No' 5 times in the last 2 mins! So hardly a good poll!
    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.
This discussion has been closed.
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