root canal and fillings

Used my dentist for a couple of years and have been happy. However, since Covid the delays in getting seen are becoming longer and longer. I've been told I have a tooth with dying roots that needs root canal surgery and some fillings. However, they cannot give me a date for treatment for another 5 months due to long backlog. Going private is likely to be expensive and not really affordable but wondering if this is just too long to wait for treatment and the likely impact of waiting?


  • Toothsmith
    Toothsmith Posts: 10,067
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    There are huge pressures on NHS practices, and the NHS part of mixed practices.

    NHS England are prioritising patients with emergencies, rather than actual proper treatments, and this is causing all the treatment backlogs. The dentists operating the NHS contracts find it just as frustrating as the patients. They are not able to properly look after the stable regular patients that are the backbone of their practice, but instead have to prioritise those that only ever turn up when in pain, and then never come back for proper treatment once the pain has gone away.

    That's why many dentists are now actually handing back their NHS contracts and 'going private' to simply get away from battlefield dentistry and get back to looking after the patients that actually want treatment.

    You might be lucky and your tooth won't bother you until things get better, and if your tooth does blow up and cause pain - then you may well be able to get in and have something done for the pain, although almost certainly not the full definitive treatment you need.

    Then there is always the question of just how much better the NHS system will ever get, with more and more dentists pulling out of it 

    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.
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