Dental charges correct?

My sister has a degree of gum disease and prior to the pandemic used to see her dentist every three months.  The dentist would measure the gum "pockets" and, as required, deep clean the affected areas.

Her surgery has now re-opened and she saw a different dentist who told her the pockets are no better/no worse than they were prior to nine months ago and recommended she see the hygienist to have her teeth cleaned (private charge).  

My understanding, based on my own experience, is that if there is a clinical need (as opposed to cosmetic), deep cleaning should be included in standard NHS charge bands.  Is there anyone who could help clarify, please?






Comments

  • Undervalued
    Undervalued Posts: 8,807
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    Tippytoes said:
    My sister has a degree of gum disease and prior to the pandemic used to see her dentist every three months.  The dentist would measure the gum "pockets" and, as required, deep clean the affected areas.

    Her surgery has now re-opened and she saw a different dentist who told her the pockets are no better/no worse than they were prior to nine months ago and recommended she see the hygienist to have her teeth cleaned (private charge).  

    My understanding, based on my own experience, is that if there is a clinical need (as opposed to cosmetic), deep cleaning should be included in standard NHS charge bands.  Is there anyone who could help clarify, please?






    My (layman's) understanding is that you are correct.

    However I think detailed work of that type would be a band 2 charge on the NHS (c. £65) so if that is the only treatment she needs in that "course of treatment" then there may be little if any saving. Obviously if she needed other work doing at the same time then she would still only be paying £65 on the NHS.

    She needs to clarify this with her dentist but they may (or may not) be trying to pull a fast one!
  • Toothsmith
    Toothsmith Posts: 10,067
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    edited 10 February 2021 at 9:10AM
    What you're saying is right. If there is a clinical need, then it should be available as part of her NHS treatment (Assuming she was seen as an NHS patient).

    What the dentist is saying though is that over the 9 months, your sister's disease has stayed stable - most likely through good care on her part. Thus showing that although her previous dentist was probably right to be cautious and do 3 monthly cleaning, as it turns out, this probably wasn't necessary.

    He's also right to 'recommend' regular visits to the hygienist for preventative reasons, but in the absence of a disease process, and given the NHS does not pay for preventative care, that would have to be private.

    I am just basing all that on what you have typed above. The devil is in the detail and exactly what was discussed between your sister and the dentist. But I can see both sides, and based on what's written above, I think the dentist is right.
    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.
  • Tippytoes
    Tippytoes Posts: 1,114
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    Many thanks for your comments.  I'll pass them on.
  • Tommaso46
    Tommaso46 Posts: 70
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    On the  subject of periodontal pockets. My dentist advised me to rinse with very salty water but this caused my blood pressure to shoot up dramatically, so I stopped. I use a dental syringe to inject corsodyl directly into the 2 pockets I have, just to try and keep them clean. I don't want to rinse my whole mouth with Corsodyl because it would stain all my teeth. Any suggestions for an alternative rinse to Corsodyl or salt water would be welcome.

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