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MSE News: OFT calls for dentist industry shake-up

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  • Horasio
    Horasio Posts: 6,676 Forumite
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    I would love to find a dentist I can trust. Within reason I don't mind paying a reasonable amount if they do a good job.

    I am not scared to goto them but my last two dentists have been dreadful and the amount of money I have spent is :eek:

    I had a good one for 14 years but when he went private, he got worse and we moved away from the area as well.
    An average day in my life:hello: :eek::mad: :coffee::coffee::coffee::T :o :rotfl: :rotfl: :p :eek::mad: :beer:
    I am no expert in property but have lived in many types of homes, in many locations and can only talk from experience.
  • iglimpse
    iglimpse Posts: 235 Forumite
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    Not here to dentist bash. My OH is normally such a careful shopper but when he came back after some dental work and told me he had just paid £1,400 I nearly fell through the floor. Seems he did not enquire as to the cost before the treatment, his own fault daft sod. I am sure the costs and options were explained to him.

    That was 18 months ago..........and now the bridge is falling off. He has to carry the glue stuff around with him. I don't suppose this is covered under sale of goods act, faulty product :rotfl:

    Any advice appreciated please:beer:
  • Toothsmith
    Toothsmith Posts: 10,077 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper First Anniversary
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    iglimpse wrote: »
    Not here to dentist bash. My OH is normally such a careful shopper but when he came back after some dental work and told me he had just paid £1,400 I nearly fell through the floor. Seems he did not enquire as to the cost before the treatment, his own fault daft sod. I am sure the costs and options were explained to him.

    That was 18 months ago..........and now the bridge is falling off. He has to carry the glue stuff around with him. I don't suppose this is covered under sale of goods act, faulty product :rotfl:

    Any advice appreciated please:beer:

    Get back to the dentist who did it.

    If something that complex has failed that early, there should be some recompense, or a very very good reason why not.

    But he needs to go back and get it looked at.
    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
    brook2jack Posts: 4,563 Forumite
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    Most private dentists will guarantee work for a reasonable amount of time. So your husband should go back.

    The big problem with guarantees in general in dentistry is that no replacement tooth/bridge/implant/ crown/denture is ever as strong as the original tooth. So in other words if something damaged the original tooth it will do the same ,quicker , to the replacement unless diet,cleaning etc changes. Also some work needs particular care eg if you have veneers on front teeth you can't bite your nails, tear off Sellotape etc otherwise you will damage them.

    That being said any dentist doing extensive treatment should do so in the expectation that it will last a good amount of time, so your husband needs to go back.
  • iglimpse
    iglimpse Posts: 235 Forumite
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    Thanks guys.

    I know it is not an easy question but approx how long would you expect to get from a bridge, 5 or 20 years.
  • brook2jack
    brook2jack Posts: 4,563 Forumite
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    If someone doesn't floss, doesn't use interdental brushes , eats and drinks a fair amount of sugary stuff then you can easily destroy the teeth under a bridge in a year.

    After that it's very variable. The strongest thing in the mouth is original teeth. Once you lose teeth and then cut down others to take the place of the missing teeth you are compromising the remaining teeth because a) they have been cut down and eg 25% of teeth prepared in this way will die off and need root treatment and b) you are now asking the teeth supporting the bridge to do their job and that of the missing teeth.

    Finally you have to look at what caused the loss of the missing teeth in the first place and if the patient has changed the habits and routine that caused the loss in the first place.

    There are other factors which affect lifespan of bridges like eg does the patient brux( grind their teeth at night).

    This is without the factors of how well the dentist prepared the bridge and how well the laboratory made it.

    I have seen bridges last 40 years and some a lot less. Most private dentists will guarantee this sort of work for between one and five years because so many factors that ensure longterm success such as patient care, are out of their control.

    Certainly I would not fit a conventional fixed bridge if I didn't think it would last at least ten years. Adhesive bridges where you don't drill teeth down are often used as a "longterm temporary" solution.

    So I'm sorry there is no definitive answer.
  • coldstreamalways
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    :rotfl:
    j.e.j. wrote: »
    I don't believe the general public IS 'programmed' to mistrust dentists. I think the distrust, where there is any, has its grounds in what people have experienced first hand. Just my opinion.

    Hope ranting on here has made you feel better, anyway.

    In the seven years since I qualified I have yet to hear or read a positive story about dentists in the popular press.

    No-one is concerned that after working at an OOH clinic on a Thursday evening I don't even break even on my expenses (travel, insurance, registration etc) but I do it because no-one else will treat those patients so they will stay in pain and clog up A&E who aren't equipped to deal with them.

    Not one story to make me proud of my skills!! It's almost as though the British public think there is no less worthy profession than a dentist.

    By providing NHS care for such preventable issues as decay and gum disease, we in the UK take responsibility away from the public and give it to the state as there are no real consequences to ignoring what is good for you.

    In the US, the majority of bankruptcies are due to health care expenses. If that threat was there in the UK maybe people would think harder about smoking, not cleaning and eating sugar so frequently.
  • brook2jack
    brook2jack Posts: 4,563 Forumite
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    There is very little relationship between truth and what is reported about dentistry in the media.

    However in over 20 years of practice I have developed a wonderful patient base of people who I appreciate and who appreciate my skills (on the whole!) . Older colleagues who have retired say the most difficult part is they miss the day to day interaction with people they've known and whose children and grandchildren they have seen grow up.

    The flipside of this is the uninformed people who as soon as they know what you do tell you that they know you earn huge amounts of money, drive a Porsche and spend 90% of your time on the golf course and will rip everyone off as a matter of course.

    Spend a little time explaining, do your bit for dentistry pr and let the rest flow over you. Enjoy your dentistry and the people you help. In the end what the Daily Mail thinks doesn't matter ,it's what your patients think and as statistics show overwhelmingly most patients think their own dentist does a good job. Those dentists that don't soon get found out as nothing travels faster,wider than a bad dental experience.
  • coldstreamalways
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    I think this is a hazard of having a mobile patient population.

    My personal five year plan will sort my lack of morale out!!
  • j.e.j.
    j.e.j. Posts: 9,672 Forumite
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    edited 9 June 2012 at 8:21AM
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    :rotfl:

    In the seven years since I qualified I have yet to hear or read a positive story about dentists in the popular press.

    No-one is concerned that after working at an OOH clinic on a Thursday evening I don't even break even on my expenses (travel, insurance, registration etc) but I do it because no-one else will treat those patients so they will stay in pain and clog up A&E who aren't equipped to deal with them.

    Not one story to make me proud of my skills!! It's almost as though the British public think there is no less worthy profession than a dentist.

    By providing NHS care for such preventable issues as decay and gum disease, we in the UK take responsibility away from the public and give it to the state as there are no real consequences to ignoring what is good for you.

    In the US, the majority of bankruptcies are due to health care expenses. If that threat was there in the UK maybe people would think harder about smoking, not cleaning and eating sugar so frequently.
    But I've already said the media will put whatever slant they want on a story in order to sell papers!! Yes, people 'read the papers' but equally people can think for themselves, you know :)

    Re your last paragraph: of course! Because the threat of medical bills means no-one in America eats sugar, right?? :rotfl:

    I'd be wary about getting too complacent. Many things in life are NOT predictable or preventable, though many do still like to play the blame game, - perhaps it makes them feel better.

    I did know of somebody in America, whose family were actually very wealthy (house, nice car, swimming pool etc..). Their little girl came down with a serious life-threatening illness. Within a year the swimming pool had gone, the nice car had gone, the house had gone... all to pay for medical expenses. Is that really a system you want to see here??
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