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Dental surgery and the NHS. Does this sound right to you?

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Dental surgery and the NHS. Does this sound right to you?

5 replies 264 views
Hi
My mum has asked me for a £5k to pay for dental surgery. She's told me a gum issue has led to a calcium build up in her arteries and chest pains. She has maxed out her credit cards doing a number of procedures/surgeries privately. Now lockdown is over, she needs to continue but has no money to do so. I have no job so there's nothing I can do.

However, I'm aware the NHS does not cover things like braces, checkups and others things with your teeth (if you're working anyway), but surely they'll cover the surgery of something that is causing calcium build up in your arteries and chest pains? 

Replies

  • edited 6 July at 9:28PM
    greyteam1959greyteam1959 Forumite
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    edited 6 July at 9:28PM
    I'm no doctor or dentist but I just can't see the connection between gum problems & blocked arteries & chest pains !!
    I think somebody is trying it on with you.


  • ToothsmithToothsmith Forumite
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    I think you need some more information about what procedures your Mum is having, who is telling her she 'needs' them, and why? 

    Has she had health problems? Is she someone who seeks out explanations and treatments from those with views & procedures that may not be 'mainstream'? 
    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.
  • Jonathan_PowellJonathan_Powell Forumite
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    I think you need some more information about what procedures your Mum is having, who is telling her she 'needs' them, and why? 

    Has she had health problems? Is she someone who seeks out explanations and treatments from those with views & procedures that may not be 'mainstream'? 
    Thanks for the reply. I got more information and it's Gum graft and gum recession surgery that she is having. The situation is she has a stent fitted in her artery that's building up calcium. NHS doctors are not sure why. This was mentioned to her dentist by her who said all the patients he sees with her gum problem also have heart disease.....

    So, very recently she visits the dentist to get one procedure done only to be told she now needs both (mentioned above). I think the dentist is taking her for a ride but surely severe gum disease is treatment is covered, at least partly, by the NHS?

    Anyone know this or can recommend someone to speak to? 
  • ToothsmithToothsmith Forumite
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    Links have certainly been made between gum disease and various other health problems, cardiac problems amongst them.
    It is still a big leap from that to get to where your Mum seems to be paying quite a lot of money for expensive gum reconstruction surgery with (what would be) a specialist periodontologist (Gum specialist dentist).
    Specialist periodontal surgery wouldn't be at all easy to come by on the NHS, but more basic treatment of gum disease (intensive cleaning and instruction on improved oral hygiene) certainly would. Good cleaning, both professionally, and an improvement in OH from your Mum would certainly be the best first step - so how things have gone from that stage to the much more advanced reconstructive surgeries is where the 'dark area' is here.
    This is why you need quite a lot more information about who your Mum has been seeing, what she has been asking for, and what she has been told. This could be quite tricky, as assuming she is perfectly competent to give consent, the dentist has a duty of confidentiality, and can't discuss her care with anyone else, so it will only be your Mum's version, and what she's prepared to tell you that you will have.

    At the 2 extremes you could have:-

    1. A patient who is a bit of a demon for Dr Google searching out every aspect of any condition they might have and then goes looking for specific treatments having convinced herself that doing this is going to help 'cure' her. Such patients, whilst finding the 'information' easily, often lack the knowledge to filter out the unnecessary.

    2. A rogue dentist who has convinced your Mum that certain expensive treatments are going to 'cure' problems that there really isn't enough evidence to substantiate. 

    Out of the two, I would say in this case the second is the least likely. Whilst the treatments offered would help if advanced gum disease was your Mum's problem, to claim they would help the cardiac problems would really be quite a leap, and any dentist doing so would be wide open to a claim if the heart condition continued after the procedures. I would suspect that somewhere are some very detailed consent forms that will show your Mum has had everything carefully explained to her and that no promises have been made that this treatment will improve her heart condition. It will also state that it will only improve her gum condition so long as her own oral hygiene is kept at a very high level after the surgery.
    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 9 July at 1:59PM
    silvercarsilvercar Forumite, Board Guide
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    edited 9 July at 1:59PM
    "The situation is she has a stent fitted in her artery that's building up calcium. NHS doctors are not sure why. "
    I'd be looking to the cardiologists for solutions rather than a dentist. 
    I would have thought that thorough monitoring of her heart and a possible stent replacement would be a better way forward.
    I would also be spending my next £200 on a second opinion from another cardiologist rather than a dentist. 
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