Dentist - Unfinished Treatment

flexeh
flexeh Posts: 35 Forumite
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edited 4 August 2020 at 10:24PM in Health & beauty MoneySaving
Hi all,

Got a bit of a weird one really to see what people think/advise. In February/early March I had my dental checkup and needed a number of fillings replacing and other bits, it was scheduled into 3 appointments - below. It’s a NHS dentist. Paid my initial band 1

1) Something was done during my checkup as they had time to do it (I forgot what!),
2) 3 teeth next to each other needed the fillings replaced. One of them had been giving me a metalic taste.
3) another filling needed attention.

on the day of my 2nd treatment in March I got a call to say the dentist was off and we would have to rearrange, I was a bit annoyed as I had booked some time off work. 

My next treatment (3) was only a week later, so I thought I would rebook the appointment that the dentist cancelled the week before. When I arrived as it was early stages of covid many people cancelled their appointments, so as I got in the chair the dentist said he could do the 3 teeth today rather than the scheduled if I wanted but it would take more time. I explained that I couldn’t as I only booked enough time off for the scheduled treatment. No problem and I had the other done. As there was a lot of availability I booked another appointment about a week or so later to finish my treatment and pay my remaining balance.

Dentist phoned me a couple of days before cancelling appointments due to covid and lockdown and I’ve been waiting for the final course of my treatment since, however as I haven’t had issues as such obviously I wasn’t an emergency. 

A week ago i broke a tooth, surprise surprise it was one of the 3 that needed the treatment, it was actually the worse out the lot. Managed to get an appointment today to get it sorted. Had a temp filling as I still require more work on it but also on the other 2 that’s outstanding .

My dentist is no longer at the practise so I had to see another who asked me to book a checkup again in a month following their temp repair . When I booked it I was then told I need to pay today 22.70 for my emergency appointment. I paid but then I explained that it’s a tooth that should have been sorted and had it been so I probably wouldn’t have needed this appointment.

So now the practise don’t know what to do at the moment and will try and work it out when I go back for my checkup. As I still technically owe £39 for the treatment I had even though it wasn’t completed.  obviously I’ve had to pay today for a tooth that should have been resolved under my last treatment so if anything I think that should be deducted off the £39 but I still believe my final bit of treatment should be resolved.  The other issue is because my dentist isn’t there my treatment plan is on his name/paperwork, so it complicates it more.

Any suggestions or ideas? As I don’t fancy September coming paying another band 1 then being told I still need those teeth doing and being charged band 2 also for something that should have been done before.

apologies writing this on my phone - hope it make sense!

thanks 

Comments

  • Unfortunately a course of treatment is specific to a dentist. It cannot be completed or parts done by another dentist , even one who works in the same practice. Each dentist is an independent practitioner and your course of initial treatment cannot be carried out by multiple dentists.

    once the first dentist left that course of treatment will have to be closed and a new course opened , the practice have no discretion over this .

    You will owe £39 for the first, incomplete date course of treatment , you owe £22.70 to the new dentist for the emergency appointment and then will pay for a band two  course of treatment when you start in September. 
  • flexeh
    flexeh Posts: 35 Forumite
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    edited 4 August 2020 at 11:29PM
    Unfortunately a course of treatment is specific to a dentist. It cannot be completed or parts done by another dentist , even one who works in the same practice. Each dentist is an independent practitioner and your course of initial treatment cannot be carried out by multiple dentists.

    once the first dentist left that course of treatment will have to be closed and a new course opened , the practice have no discretion over this .

    You will owe £39 for the first, incomplete date course of treatment , you owe £22.70 to the new dentist for the emergency appointment and then will pay for a band two  course of treatment when you start in September. 
    I appreciate what your saying, but isn’t your treatment a service? So if is not complete then the service isn’t. I don’t mind paying my bill but if there’s an expectation that your bill covers xxxx then irrespective of if the person has left or not you haven’t been provided the service you have been quoted for. If I had been the one messing about cancelling appointments then I would understand that it’s on me, but this isn’t. - I didn’t cancel my appointments.

    Am I not a customer of the practice? If so wouldn’t the practise be obligated to fulfil the service which was promised me initially?
  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 32,672 Forumite
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    I'm not sure you've fully taken on board the answer you were given. This is not something the practice has any discretion over. You're a customer of the dentist, not the practice.  
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • MoneySeeker1
    MoneySeeker1 Posts: 1,229 Forumite
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    edited 5 August 2020 at 7:31AM
    Looks like they've got a "get out of jail free" card - but I think it would be worth enquiring to whoever the Government etc body is that has overall responsibility for NHS dentists. There must be one - so find it and ask them - and it may be that they tear up their "get out of jail" card and put this all right - even if there is a get-out clause they can invoke.

    I think most of us regard "a dental practice" as "a dental practice" - I know I've always though of it that way (be it private or NHS). It works that way with a doctors practice doesnt it or a vets practice????


  • brook2jack2
    brook2jack2 Posts: 474 Forumite
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    Elsien is right , the practice has no discretion over this at all. They do not employ dentists, dentists are independent practitioners who pay a practice a proportion of their fees (between 50 and 70% ) for the use of premises and staff but are independent self employed contractors who are responsible for their own work. 

    Each Dentist who works in the NHS has their own performer number and once they leave all courses of treatment under this performer number are shut down. The practice can do nothing about this. Neither has the practice or another dentist discretion to waive fees unless they want to pay for treatment out of their own pocket as the government takes money collected out of totals paid to dental practices. So , for instance , if dentist two waved your fees he/she would still have to pay the practice 50 to 70% of the total fee so , in essence , they would be paying to treat you. 

    The same way the NHS guarantee over treatment only applies if it is the same dentist redoing exactly the same treatment, it doesn't apply if another dentist does the treatment , even if they work in the same practice. 

    Dentists are paid in a very different way to doctors and dental practices do not get the financial support etc that gp surgeries do. The only money that comes in is from dentists actually doing work and they pay the practice a large proportion of this to cover their working expenses minus laboratory fees. 

    Finally you've had a check up , several fillings and a treatment you can't remember Over a couple of visits  for your initial payment , you will have quite a bit of treatment for your second payment , in most places that would seem very good value for money for complex microsurgery , which is what dentistry is! 
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