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  • FIRST POST
    • DD265
    • By DD265 12th Jul 18, 9:29 PM
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    DD265
    NHS dentist keeps cancelling
    • #1
    • 12th Jul 18, 9:29 PM
    NHS dentist keeps cancelling 12th Jul 18 at 9:29 PM
    I've been with the same NHS dentist practice my entire life. For the past 3 or so years I've had a lot of trouble getting my routine appointments. My dentist retired, and I guess his replacement has had a lot of health problems. I was due an appointment in a fortnight, got a letter saying it was cancelled so rang up to reschedule only to be told that they don't have a dentist for me right now and to ring back in 3 months when they might have a replacement and be able to book me a new appointment. For emergencies then I do expect that they would fit me in, but I could also be seen at the hospital by the emergency dentist if necessary.

    Unfortunately there are no local dentists taking on new NHS patients. I do pay for a hygienist 3 times a year so my teeth are at least seen by somebody but it's obviously not the same as you'd get from a dentist. I was last seen by the dentist in... February/March, when I had some fillings replaced in white (paid privately for those).

    I was just looking at the costs of joining something like Denplan - is that actually a viable alternative? Would that make me a 'private' patient which would in theory make it easier to change practice? Costs for a local private dentist cite 78 for a routine examination. I do have a healthcare cash plan through work so I can claim some back at least but private PAYG feels as though it could get very expensive very quickly.
Page 1
    • brook2jack
    • By brook2jack 13th Jul 18, 10:49 AM
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    brook2jack
    • #2
    • 13th Jul 18, 10:49 AM
    • #2
    • 13th Jul 18, 10:49 AM
    I will take a guess and say that your practice has been taken over by one of the big dental chains.

    it is very difficult to retain dentists in many practices with NHS contracts as , particularly in areas of high needs, it is very difficult to make a living . hence many practices are closing or have delays in appointing new dentists.

    In my opinion this will only get worse.

    If you register as a denplan essentials , or practice plan patient etc you will pay 10 to 15 pounds a months for two check ups, two hygiene appointments, x rays and 20% off treatment. If you are paying for hygienist and white fillings now you are not far off being a private patient anyway.

    Ask friends for recommendations and at least you weill see the same dentist each time.
    • fibonarchie
    • By fibonarchie 13th Jul 18, 11:42 AM
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    fibonarchie
    • #3
    • 13th Jul 18, 11:42 AM
    • #3
    • 13th Jul 18, 11:42 AM
    If I can pipe up and say the only trouble with private is, what if they suddenly decide you need crowns or root fillings. That could set you back hundreds if not thousands. At least with NHS you know the most you're going to get charged is 256

    That said, my NHS dentist insists we go every 6 months or you lose your NHS place at that surgery.
    • Toothsmith
    • By Toothsmith 13th Jul 18, 4:02 PM
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    Toothsmith
    • #4
    • 13th Jul 18, 4:02 PM
    • #4
    • 13th Jul 18, 4:02 PM
    If you're on a scheme like Denplan Essentials, something like paying a monthly fee to get defined treatment such as a couple of check ups, a couple of hygienist visits and any x-rays, then usually if you need further treatment then that is offered at a discounted rate to the usual fee-per-item price list.

    If it's something with a dearer monthly payment, like Denplan Care - then the only extra you will be asked for is usually only the lab fee (what the technician charges to make) for the crown, or bridge or denture. There are certain common exclusions though. Usually implants or treatment which could only be described as 'cosmetic' - like tooth whitening for example.
    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.
    • missile
    • By missile 13th Jul 18, 4:30 PM
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    • 4,921 Thanks
    missile
    • #5
    • 13th Jul 18, 4:30 PM
    • #5
    • 13th Jul 18, 4:30 PM
    I prefer to pay for treatment. With NHS you pay less for the bare minimum treatment option, I have the choice to pay for more expensive option.
    "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Ride hard or stay home
    • DD265
    • By DD265 13th Jul 18, 5:52 PM
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    DD265
    • #6
    • 13th Jul 18, 5:52 PM
    • #6
    • 13th Jul 18, 5:52 PM
    You're right Brook2Jack - I can't remember when they got taken over but it wasn't until the dentist became ill that the availability of appointments started going down hill. When my dentist was actually working I didn't struggle for appointments, then the locum didn't stick around for long. Funnily enough when I asked to have the fillings done privately, they got me an out of hours appointment the same day... I don't understand why they've refused to switch me to another at the same practice but it is what it is.

    I'm already paying 17 a month for 3x hygienist treatments a year (I get my teeth blasted with air) so a plan could be cheaper until I need any significant treatment. I will definitely research it further, thank you!
    • brook2jack
    • By brook2jack 13th Jul 18, 6:54 PM
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    brook2jack
    • #7
    • 13th Jul 18, 6:54 PM
    • #7
    • 13th Jul 18, 6:54 PM
    Depending on what work you have already have done you would be in one of denplan bands which range from 12 a month ish to around 32 a month ish depending on the practice. That would cover all your treatment costs other than cosmetic treatment, implants and laboratory costs for crowns etc. However you do need to be dentally fit first.

    I would have thought with a healthcare cash plan registering with a dentist who offers an "essentials" plan of check ups, hygiene and x Rays such as denplan, practice plan, isoplan, etc will be the most cash efficient way to get treatment. Many will be flexible and allow you to pay a little extra for more than two hygiene visits a year.

    I would choose your dentist on the basis of recommendation rather than the precise scheme they offer as most private dentist will offer some sort of registration scheme. In general you will get better continuity of care in an independent practice rather than one run by a chain.

    A dentist who works on the NHS has to work at full tilt. If a colleague is missing then it is very , very unlikely the others in the practice will have the time to pick up extra patients. Also in England and Wales there is no such thing as registration anymore so unless you are under a course of treatment there is no obligation for the dentist or practice to see you.
    Last edited by brook2jack; 13-07-2018 at 6:57 PM.
    • Rita2456
    • By Rita2456 16th Jul 18, 5:09 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    Rita2456
    • #8
    • 16th Jul 18, 5:09 PM
    • #8
    • 16th Jul 18, 5:09 PM
    is it not the health authorities responsiblity to ensure there are enough dentists available, and to ensure that if they are away for any period of time to make sure theres adequate cover?
    • Toothsmith
    • By Toothsmith 16th Jul 18, 5:20 PM
    • 8,982 Posts
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    Toothsmith
    • #9
    • 16th Jul 18, 5:20 PM
    • #9
    • 16th Jul 18, 5:20 PM
    is it not the health authorities responsiblity to ensure there are enough dentists available, and to ensure that if they are away for any period of time to make sure theres adequate cover?
    Originally posted by Rita2456
    No

    (message needs 10 characters)
    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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