Dentists in lockdown - temps ?

philatio
philatio Posts: 676 Forumite
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edited 30 September 2020 at 10:56AM in Health & beauty MoneySaving
Long story but basically I'm having an ongoing painful issue which has led me to visit my NHS dentist 3 times now since lockdown started.
Each time, I have been seen by a different very young temp (locum?) dentist.. I'm sure fully qualified but not long out of college I assume. Now after this 3rd one, I'm still having problems and am looking at a 4th appointment... a month away, as thats the best they can do at the moment, with what I predict will be another young temp dentist.

As it goes on, its creeping into my mind that they're not solving the problem. The last one seemed fixated on a cause that didn't make much sense to me and had never even been suggested previously.
To put my mind at rest I'd ideally like to be seen by an experienced dentist.

My questions are...
1. Would you phone and ask if its possible to be seen by one of the actual practice dentists.. the ones who's names are on the plaque on the door ??  Although I suspect they've all been furloughed or worse.
2. Would you consider trying to get a second opinion at a different practice ?  Although I don't know if this is even possible in the current climate and I know its probably definitely impossible to get a new NHS one.

Comments

  • Toothsmith
    Toothsmith Posts: 10,074 Forumite
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    I would contact the practice and tell them what you've written here. See what they suggest. 
    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.
  • welshdent
    welshdent Posts: 1,990 Forumite
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    philatio said:
    Long story but basically I'm having an ongoing painful issue which has led me to visit my NHS dentist 3 times now since lockdown started.
    Each time, I have been seen by a different very young temp (locum?) dentist.. I'm sure fully qualified but not long out of college I assume. Now after this 3rd one, I'm still having problems and am looking at a 4th appointment... a month away, as thats the best they can do at the moment, with what I predict will be another young temp dentist.

    As it goes on, its creeping into my mind that they're not solving the problem. The last one seemed fixated on a cause that didn't make much sense to me and had never even been suggested previously.
    To put my mind at rest I'd ideally like to be seen by an experienced dentist.

    My questions are...
    1. Would you phone and ask if its possible to be seen by one of the actual practice dentists.. the ones who's names are on the plaque on the door ??  Although I suspect they've all been furloughed or worse.
    2. Would you consider trying to get a second opinion at a different practice ?  Although I don't know if this is even possible in the current climate and I know its probably definitely impossible to get a new NHS one.

    Regards point 1. None of the dentists are furloughed. They are all self employed and as such could not be furloughed. 
    Regards the temporary. It may be the case that thats all they are able to do for the time being. In Wales we are in Amber which means we are advised against doing new courses of routine care especially when we have people calling with urgent problems, outstanding treatment from pre lockdown and managing the fact we couldnt do anything at all for 3 months. 

    That issue regards catching up would apply in England. Scotland is I think even more restricted than Wales and England are. We have all the previous work to catch up on whilst also being severely restricted with how many people was can see. If we do not have more than a window in the surgery we must leave the room vacant for 60 minutes following the use of a drill. If we have a fan then we can reduce it to 10 minutes. 
    We can not have double booked or sit and wait appointments to at least get you in the building and have someone look at you when they have a few spare minutes. 
    When I was doing routine NHS work I could see between 20 and 40 people a day. Now I can not see more than 14 and realistically it is less. 

    So my point is there are severe restrictions on the work we can do and the time frame we can do it. 

    I recommend calling the practice and asking what the situation is and if they are in a position to do something more permanent. 
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