Are all Dental Plans the same, any recommendations?

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I've had to rejoin the forums as my old username has disappeared for some reason :|
Anyway, my NHS dentist is offloading all the NHS patients and going totally private and there's no hope of finding an NHS Dentist on the Isle of Wight so Im going to have to go private too.
Despite searching the forums I cant find much about Dental plans/insurance, is there any choice or are they all much of a muchness?
I dont know how I'm going to afford it :/

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  • Menber
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    Must be some people who know about this, any dentists here?
  • Undervalued
    Undervalued Posts: 8,887 Forumite
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    edited 29 January 2022 at 1:09PM
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    There are a couple of very helpful dentists who post here fairly regularly. I expect one of the will respond in the next couple of days.

    Meanwhile, my limited understanding is that assuming you are intending to stay with the same dentist it would be best to go with whichever plan they recommend.

    The main reason being is that any of these plans require you to be "dentally fit" before starting (i.e no treatment currently needed). Even then the price will be based on an assessment of your dental health, age etc. In other words how much are you likely to cost them in the medium term! Assuming you haven't got any treatment due it would be hard for your current NHS dentist to say you are not dentally fit, S/he will have a better idea of your regular needs than somebody else seeing you cold.

    Also, as I understand it, most or all of these dental plans are not technically insurance, for some reason, so you don't get the same legal rights and protections as you do with other regulated insurance. So it may be easier / safer to use whichever plan the dentist prefers.

    The availability of NHS dentistry seems to vary wildly around the country. In the city where I live there are quite often NHS practices advertising for patients. I am told that in Devon and Cornwall it is next to impossible. Perhaps dentists at the seaside only want to work a couple of days a week and spend the rest of their time on the beach?
  • Menber
    Menber Posts: 8 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post
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    There are a couple of very helpful dentists who post here fairly regularly. I expect one of the will respond in the next couple of days.

    Meanwhile, my limited understanding is that assuming you are intending to stay with the same dentist it would be best to go with whichever plan they recommend.

    The main reason being is that any of these plans require you to be "dentally fit" before starting (i.e no treatment currently needed). Even then the price will be based on an assessment of your dental health, age etc. In other words how much are you likely to cost them in the medium term! Assuming you haven't got any treatment due it would be hard for your current NHS dentist to say you are not dentally fit, S/he will have a better idea of your regular needs than somebody else seeing you cold.

    Also, as I understand it, most or all of these dental plans are not technically insurance, for some reason, so you don't get the same legal rights and protections as you do with other regulated insurance. So it may be easier / safer to use whichever plan the dentist prefers.

    The availability of NHS dentistry seems to vary wildly around the country. In the city where I live there are quite often NHS practices advertising for patients. I am told that in Devon and Cornwall it is next to impossible. Perhaps dentists at the seaside only want to work a couple of days a week and spend the rest of their time on the beach?

    Many thanks for this, I am waiting to see what my current dentist is offering as he is chucking us out on April 1st.
    I actually have a son who is a dentist but he moved overseas ten years ago so I guess he is part of the problem!
  • sheilavw
    sheilavw Posts: 1,605 Forumite
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    I have a simplyhealth plan. I've had it since it was called the Hospital Saturday fund. I probably joined 40 years ago with my old employer. It covers dental, optician, seeing a specialist, private prescriptions and much more. I wear glasses and can have a new pair each year, I get £150 optician, £150 dental. If you go in hospital you get paid for each night you are in.
  • Toothsmith
    Toothsmith Posts: 10,075 Forumite
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    Did you find this article on the site from a few years ago?

    https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/insurance/dental-insurance/

    There's much about it I find a bit inaccurate, and the first line "Visiting the dentist can be a terrifying experience even without the bill" is just pure lazy journalism! 

    But, as your question was so open ended that even an essay wouldn't properly answer it, I think this might be a good place to start.

    Your idea to wait and see what your dentist is offering existing patients is not a bad one. Especially if you like/trust this dentist and want to stay with them. 

    If your reason for going to this dentist was because it was the last one on the island offering NHS dentistry - then taking a look back at some of the practices that you might have preferred, but moved away from to chase the blue logo, might come back into the equation again? 
    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.
  • Menber
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    Thanks, I will check out some other local dentists and see how they compare then study the various plans and see if any of them are worth it for me?
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