Warranty on dental crown

Hello,

I had a ceramic crown fitted to one of my molars in 2013. At the time, I had dental insurance through my employer and had the work done privately (at my NHS dentist, if that makes sense); it cost about £450 but 'free' to me. I distinctly remember the dentist being confident that the crown would last the rest of my life (I'm in my 30s).

I now work for a new employer and pay for my own dental care at the same NHS practice but my dentist recently left.

The tooth was giving me some grief a few weeks ago, so I had it checked out and the crown has cracked. I know the mouth is a hostile environment, and perhaps it was unrealistic to expect it to last the rest of my life, but 4.5 years seems a short lifespan.

Do these things tend to come with any sort of warranty? I guess otherwise I'm looking at £244 for a new crown on the NHS.
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Replies

  • ToothsmithToothsmith Forumite
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    It is a very silly thing for a dentist to say! 'The rest of your life' is a very long time, and the average life span for a crown is 10-12 years.

    Some do last a lot longer, but, the way averages work means that some last a lot shorter!

    As you say - the mouth is a hostile environment and there are so many factors that affects the survival of the crown, and a lot more are to do with the patient than the dentist.

    In certain circumstances on the NHS there is a 12 month replacement clause. If I had a patient come back with a crown failure that I felt was some fault with the crown, I might offer a replacement either free or at a discount, depending on how long it had survived - but that would be a goodwill gesture, and I would certainly never tell anyone that anything I did was likely to last forever.
    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.
  • marv_bmarv_b Forumite
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    That's very helpful, thank you Toothsmith.
  • marv_b wrote: »
    Do these things tend to come with any sort of warranty? I guess otherwise I'm looking at £244 for a new crown on the NHS.

    £256 as of tomorrow (1.4.18). Disgusting that particular price increase.
  • ToothsmithToothsmith Forumite
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    Sammy2018 wrote: »
    £256 as of tomorrow (1.4.18). Disgusting that particular price increase.

    Especially as none of it goes back into NHS dentistry!
    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.
  • warywary Forumite
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    marv_b wrote: »
    Hello,

    I had a ceramic crown fitted to one of my molars in 2013. At the time, I had dental insurance through my employer and had the work done privately (at my NHS dentist, if that makes sense); it cost about £450 but 'free' to me. I distinctly remember the dentist being confident that the crown would last the rest of my life (I'm in my 30s).
    ...
    Do these things tend to come with any sort of warranty? I guess otherwise I'm looking at £244 for a new crown on the NHS.
    As the original cost was £450 then I presume that you have a white molar?
    In case you're not aware, the NHS price for a molar crown is for a silver only, which is very unsightly. Otherwise you'll have to pay the private treatment price for a white one which will likely be over £400.
  • Sammy2018Sammy2018 Forumite
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    Toothsmith wrote: »
    Especially as none of it goes back into NHS dentistry!

    That's quite shocking. So do the dentists' pocket it themselves?

    (no disrespect to the dentists btw)
  • edited 1 April 2018 at 8:53PM
    ToothsmithToothsmith Forumite
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    edited 1 April 2018 at 8:53PM
    No. NHS dentists have fixed-priced contracts. The money patients pay comes off the monthly amount the dentist will get from the NHS.

    Over the past decade of 'austerity' Dental contract values have either not risen, or had a 1% rise like other public services.

    Added to that - area NHS authorities try their best to cut the contract values of the dentists that still have them by reducing the contracts if they 'underperform' by the end of a financial year, or for numerous other little transgressions of the rules they arbitrarily impose or enforce. In the meantime, patient fees have gone up by however much the Government have wanted to put them up, with the nett effect that the Government is paying even less for NHS dentistry.
    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.
  • edited 2 April 2018 at 9:17AM
    brook2jackbrook2jack Forumite
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    edited 2 April 2018 at 9:17AM
    Each dentist gets a certain amount for the work they carry out. When patient charges go up it just means the health service pays less of the amount and the patients more. In effect the dentist acts like a tax collector.

    In addition , with the latest increases, many dentists will earn less for the treatment than the patient pays! The "excess" is used to pay for non paying patients instead of health service money.

    So if a dentist has a dental unit value of less than £21 a course of treatment including a crown is 12 UDAs ,which at £21 a UDA is £252 they will earn less than your £256 NHS payment for the crown, however in order to keep their contract and get paid for children etc they have to act as a government tax collector .
  • goodone2goodone2 Forumite
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    Does any dental work come with any kind of warranty (implied or otherwise)?
  • ToothsmithToothsmith Forumite
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    goodone2 wrote: »
    Does any dental work come with any kind of warranty (implied or otherwise)?
    There is a limited 12 month free replacement clause on some NHS work. And private dentists wishing to retain patient goodwill would probably come to some sort of replacement agreement with a patient who had had something fail early.
    A huge part of the survival of dental work does depend on how the patient looks after it, though - so there can never really be any 'universal' guarantee.
    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.
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