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MSE News: OFT calls for dentist industry shake-up

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  • 1jim
    1jim Posts: 2,663 Forumite
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    This probably isn't a massive deal but it does make me wonder about nhs dentistry.........
    I have been using the same practice for 10 years, my dentist is nhs, others in the practice are private. Whenever I have had check up I have usually had a scale and polish due to plaque buildup. The practice recently started having a hygienist one day a week, my last check up went as normal, then... You will need a clean and polish, the hygienist is really great at this, she is new to the practice.....but the price will be £50 if you see reception they will book you in for it and then ushered out of the door. Couldn't book an appointment because she only goes to the practice one day a week and I am always working that day, I recontact the practice and ask if this couldn't be done by dentist under nhs....and oh yes it can... Pop in now and he will do it

    Just sitting in the waiting room and seeing literally every patient coming out booking a hygienist appointment seems very bizarre..... Like I said, this practice has never had access to one in the 10 years I have been there but now everyone must have a hygienist review, maybe there is a good reason, maybe not
  • Pennylane
    Pennylane Posts: 2,707 Forumite
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    Toothsmith wrote: »
    Well I've managed to vote 'No' 5 times in the last 2 mins! So hardly a good poll!

    OMG You are SO clever!:shocked:
  • Pennylane
    Pennylane Posts: 2,707 Forumite
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    1jim wrote: »
    This probably isn't a massive deal but it does make me wonder about nhs dentistry.........
    I have been using the same practice for 10 years, my dentist is nhs, others in the practice are private. Whenever I have had check up I have usually had a scale and polish due to plaque buildup. The practice recently started having a hygienist one day a week, my last check up went as normal, then... You will need a clean and polish, the hygienist is really great at this, she is new to the practice.....but the price will be £50 if you see reception they will book you in for it and then ushered out of the door. Couldn't book an appointment because she only goes to the practice one day a week and I am always working that day, I recontact the practice and ask if this couldn't be done by dentist under nhs....and oh yes it can... Pop in now and he will do it

    Just sitting in the waiting room and seeing literally every patient coming out booking a hygienist appointment seems very bizarre..... Like I said, this practice has never had access to one in the 10 years I have been there but now everyone must have a hygienist review, maybe there is a good reason, maybe not

    There is a whole thread on "Scale & Polish" on here somewhere. It ran and ran and went round in circles. I agree with you though - it is a rip off that we're now having to pay extra for a scale and polish. There's someone called BoozerCruiser and Scale & Polish/hygienists is his pet hate.:)
  • j.e.j.
    j.e.j. Posts: 9,672 Forumite
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    OK the media will always put a slant on whatever story they happen to be running, - they want to sell papers/get viewers/whatever. But people up and down the land feeling they're being ripped off by their dentist clearly is an issue.

    And no, I'm not trying to bash-a-dentist :D Think this is a subject that riles both sides on here (dentists and patients). I think in any case it's the system that's under criticism, rather than individual dentists(?) and surely questioning the way things are being done now, and maybe seeking to make improvements is a positive thing.
  • Toothsmith
    Toothsmith Posts: 10,077 Forumite
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    j.e.j. wrote: »
    OK the media will always put a slant on whatever story they happen to be running, - they want to sell papers/get viewers/whatever. But people up and down the land feeling they're being ripped off by their dentist clearly is an issue.

    And no, I'm not trying to bash-a-dentist :D Think this is a subject that riles both sides on here (dentists and patients). I think in any case it's the system that's under criticism, rather than individual dentists(?) and surely questioning the way things are being done now, and maybe seeking to make improvements is a positive thing.


    Which is just what I said in post 1!

    The OFT made some good recommendations!

    But the figures were bad, and badly reported.
    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.
  • Catden_2
    Catden_2 Posts: 47 Forumite
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    I have a very good NHS dentist its a good practice & I feel comfortable there. When I asked for a scale & polish as part of my treatment, not with a hygienist it was done. However it took 2 minutes to give my front teeth a quick clean and was told they are only allowed to do that on the NHS, I didn't even get the back of my teeth cleaned. As for my back teeth not touched. :eek:
  • brook2jack
    brook2jack Posts: 4,563 Forumite
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    The short of it is the audit commission found most scaling and polishing on the nhs has no clinical benefit it is merely cosmetic therefore most scale and polishes should no longer be offered on the nhs.

    On the plus side if you brush effectively and use floss or tepe brushes you will never need scaling anyway. All tartar is is plaque that has been undisturbed for more than 72 hours and has started to harden. Disturb the plaque any time in that 72 hours by brushing and flossing and it won't build up.

    Invest in some disclosing tablets and learn how to floss effectively and most importantly of you smoke stop.
  • sheri3466
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    Can I just say, as a practicing dental surgeon, that scaling and polishing remove harmful hard deposits (calculus / tartar) and soft plaque deposits from teeth / gums. This helps to prevent and treat potentially destructive periodontal disease (gum disease). So please don't post nonsense like 'it is purely cosmetic'. Also, please remember, dental treatment on the NHS is a bargain - where else in the world can you have an operation for under £20, which is what having a tooth out actually is?!
  • coldstreamalways
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    But if you scale someone who has BPE 2 on their lower incisors and 0 everywhere else, are you actually achieving anything? I would say no because having calculus isn't an active disease. If they have BPEs of 3 then yes or BOP indicating active disease then yes, otherwise it's just cosmetic IMVHO.
  • dolly84
    dolly84 Posts: 5,851 Forumite
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    I think nhs dentists have had free rein for to long. I stopped going to my nhs dentist 2 years ago as I realised I wouldn't have any teeth left if they carried on. Everytime I went (6 monthly) there was something else they needed to do, I would have no problems until they started messing about and then I would be back and forth with pain and infections. There are three dentists in that practice and two of them drive porsches, hard life or what.

    I now go to a private dentist, the treatment is more expensive but in the last two years I have had one filling and no other problems. I hardly believed him at first when he did a check up and said see you in 6 months. I feel like I am treat well there and they need to look after you to keep their clients and build a good business. This in my view is the main difference, the nhs dentists don't need to care as someone else will fill your place if you leave.
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