Problems With My Dentist?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Health & Beauty MoneySaving
5 replies 2.5K views
kjsmith7kjsmith7 Forumite
519 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Health & Beauty MoneySaving
I am absolutely petrified (pathetic I know) of the dentists and I did not go for a very long time... years, in fact. I think my fear is from when I was little and I had a small abcess that was popped during treatment - this hurt (obviously) and being the soft thing that I am, it put the fear of God into me and I would avoid it.

In August of 2008, I cracked one of my back molars. I registered at an NHS dentist due to the severe pain and plucked up the courage to go. When I arrived, he said that I needed to see a hygienist before he was treat my teeth, and offered no pain relief or emergency treatment. Thankfully, I managed to get a cancellation for the Private hygenist and paid to see her.

Finally get back to dentist, two weeks later, when he could next offer an appointment, in absolute agony. He says that I have two options: go private for root canal or he could rip the tooth out. Around 1/4 of the tooth had been cracked and I was reluctant to remove it, but he explained that I would have to pay nearly £1000 for root canal, there was very little chance of it being successful and then it would have to be removed anyway. He did not offer a 'bridge' or a 'crown'. I reluctantly agreed and he took the tooth out, which wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. He also removed a couple of fragments of tooth that had been left from a previous extraction due to space issues in my mouth. He did not offer antibiotics before hand and the tooth got badly infected within a week.

I also needed some fillings in the molars at the other side of my moouth, but he told me to wait around 6 months to get those seen to. What this has meant is that they are now even more in dire need of fillings (and hopefully do not need extracting or I will not actually be able to munch on anything!) and I am unable to eat at that side and so am having to rely on the other side to eat with (where I had the extraction).

I appreciate that the tooth needed to heal but at the same time this meant I was unable to eat on either side until the extracted tooth had healed. It seemed a long time to wait.

Now, I have noticed that very back molar on the side I am relying on (where the tooth was taken out) has cracked a little bit (I was eating bread of all things when it decided to crack) and have booked an appointment to go and see him tomorrow. It hasn't broken off yet but it will do any day now. Again, it is around 1/4 of the tooth.

I am absolutely petrified as to what he will say - will he say the molar that has cracked on the left side and the molars that needed filling 6 months ago both have to go and I will be unable to eat. I am also unable to afford private dental treatment as I am a student. I have seen the HNC1 form (or whatever it was called) but it was so daunting that I felt unable to fill it out, and could not find any help at my University or from my parents to fill it out. Where can I go for help filling that out? (I know this will only help me with NHS costs but as Tesco say, "Every Little Helps").

I know this is a long post, and I apologise, but I am very worried about this issue. I also would like to know if you think I should attempt to get a new dentist, as after reading other peoples' experiences with similar issues has left me feeling... well, unhappy. The teeth are the back so obviously I'm not bothered about aesthetics - I just want to be able to eat.

:( Thanks for help.


  • ToothsmithToothsmith Forumite
    9.8K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    If someone at University can't fill out an HC1, what chance anybody else?? :D

    Any treatment you NEED should be available on the NHS, and it's not right that necessary treatment like fillings are put off for so long - unless there are clinical reasons. In this case, I suspect it's more so that the dentist can make it a seperate claim.

    Antibiotics are not routienly given before extractions, and it sounds like the tooth you had out should have come out anyway, as he seemed to be trying to put you off having it done privately as well.

    If it did NEED root filling though, you would have been entitled to it on the NHS.

    Just the same as if you NEEDED to see a hygienist, that too should be available on the NHS.
    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.
  • probably the dentist manipulating the system. Not great for his patients. The actualy treatment he does is probably very good, but i always suggest that if you have lost confidence in your dentist, ask if anyone else in the practice can see you- or see if another practice is taking on.

    Agree with toothsmith about the rootcannal/ extraction offer. Sound like the tooth was doomed and he was encouraging you to take it out. A crown would not have saved this tooth. Its like putting a new roof on a house with bad foundations.

    Book an appointment with your dentist. get the problems fixed. You do not need to wait for a recall if you have a problem. Give them a ring- your probably due very soon anyway. If there is a problem in your mouth then get them all sorted out, otherwise you'll be paying twice.

    Don't be lazy, just fill in the form
    :money: Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou to everyone who has helped.
  • Clearly someone had a issue with one of our local dentists recently.

    Check out the video too.
  • if you're a student and you're having trouble with forms, or bureaucracy generally, go and see your Advice Centre, ours in the SU Building and they're very good at stuff like that. Don't let fear of forms put you off claiming what is rightfully yours.

    Mrs P P
    "Keep your dreams as clean as silver..." John Stewart (1939-2008)
  • kjsmith7kjsmith7 Forumite
    519 Posts
    Went to see the dentist today - said I needed root canal on the right hand side (not the side that cracked, but I'm just not eating on it). I can deal with that, it's a big weight off my mind to know that something can be done. He has suggested going privately again, and I will look into it. I may go partly private - for instance, get the root canal done on privately (if I can scrape together enough monies, of course!) and get the crown done on the NHS.

    Thanks a lot all! :)
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