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UK Dentists -Advice Sought Please

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jaizan
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UK Dentists -Advice Sought Please

#599575

Postby jaizan » July 3rd, 2023, 1:26 pm

I was kicked out of my NHS dentist as I didn't visit for several years. Part of this was me not wanting to visit due to covid.

According to the NHS website, none of the local dentists are accepting new NHS patients.

I've been having check ups and some work done when on holiday in Thailand, which has offered good workmanship at reasonable prices.

However, I now have a chipped tooth and am not going on holiday for many months, so I'll need to deal with a UK dentist.
The chip is off a tooth which had a substantial filling, many years ago, so I suspect it needs either extraction or a crown.

1 If anyone has advice on getting an NHS dentist it would be appreciated. Otherwise I presume I need to go private.

2 How do I ensure private costs are competitive ? As every job is different, I suspect phoning around for quotes is useless, as they need to see the teeth first.

3 Does anyone have experience of dental plans ? I notice one local dentist offering one for £11.25 per month. That sounds OK if cover is comprehensive and I can get treatment at reasonable notice. However, the links to the T&Cs come up with a 404 error. [I understand this will not cover me for the existing problem]

Dod101
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Re: UK Dentists -Advice Sought Please

#599579

Postby Dod101 » July 3rd, 2023, 1:40 pm

You sound as if you need to see a dentist so I would find one that maybe a friend can speak for and go and see them. They will presumably do a check for you and quote for any work that needs done, including the chipped tooth. I am amazed that people do net get their teeth attended to on a regular basis (say at least once a year)

Then you can decide if you want to see them again. I am charged about £50/75 for a check up. Hygienist about £85 for half an hour which I regard as money well spent. Teeth are very important!

Dod

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Re: UK Dentists -Advice Sought Please

#599580

Postby Lootman » July 3rd, 2023, 1:56 pm

Dod101 wrote:Then you can decide if you want to see them again. I am charged about £50/75 for a check up. Hygienist about £85 for half an hour which I regard as money well spent. Teeth are very important!

Yes I do not understand why people do not seem willing to spend money on something as important as teeth. I have had a private dentist since the 1980s and would never go back to a NHS one.

Annual checkup and a cleaning every 3 months is a few hundred a year. Absolutely worth it.

jaizan
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Re: UK Dentists -Advice Sought Please

#599591

Postby jaizan » July 3rd, 2023, 2:54 pm

Teeth are well worth looking after. However, of all the people I know in my age bracket, the one with the best teeth last went to a dentist in 1979.

My teeth are not that good. Although, problems have been rare since I stopped having one of those nasty "cereal bars" with lunch and started brushing 3 times a day.

Regarding my chipped tooth, I made a few phone calls:

1 My previous UK dentist did not answer the phone.
2 Another dentist can see me on the 13th (private).
3 I phoned the dentist in the village, who kicked me off their NHS list years ago for non attendance. They can actually see me as an NHS patient on the 18th !
So I've booked there and stuffed some Dentek on top of the tooth for now.

Dod101
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Re: UK Dentists -Advice Sought Please

#599597

Postby Dod101 » July 3rd, 2023, 3:18 pm

Lootman wrote:
Dod101 wrote:Then you can decide if you want to see them again. I am charged about £50/75 for a check up. Hygienist about £85 for half an hour which I regard as money well spent. Teeth are very important!

Yes I do not understand why people do not seem willing to spend money on something as important as teeth. I have had a private dentist since the 1980s and would never go back to a NHS one.

Annual checkup and a cleaning every 3 months is a few hundred a year. Absolutely worth it.


I have an annual check with my dentist and see the hygienist every six months. As you say maybe £300 per annum but I have not had cavity for the last 20 years at least and the only dentist attention has been the odd filling falling out.

Dod

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Re: UK Dentists -Advice Sought Please

#599615

Postby Watis » July 3rd, 2023, 4:30 pm

Or, do your own dentistry - like Bob Mortimer!

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=kgI3Y7gxMO4

Watis

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Re: UK Dentists -Advice Sought Please

#599672

Postby Dicky99 » July 3rd, 2023, 9:01 pm

I have had a plan with Simply Health for donkeys years. I currently pay £19.60 a month. That includes £65 worth of maintenance @ 100% repay so it pays for 1.5 of my two annual check ups.
It also pays 75% of treatment cost, subject to £500
annual maximum. My teeth aren't great and so most years they spring an expensive surprise on me so they don't make much out of me. But the clincher for me is it also has generous 100% repayments for dental accidents and emergencies upto £2.5k and £750 respectively.
Thankfully I've never had a dental accident but I did recently have reason to get emergency treatment for a painful abscess and was fully refunded for the appointment and temporary measures.

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Re: UK Dentists -Advice Sought Please

#599720

Postby redsturgeon » July 4th, 2023, 7:40 am

I used to use a very expensive private dentist but stopped after what I felt was a completely unreasonable customer service issue.

I was called one morning at 11am to let me know I was late for my half hour hygienist appointment, I apologised and said I would be there in five minutes since I was very close by. They told me not to worry as they could just rearrange for the next week.

How would you understand that statement?

I certainly did not assume that what they meant was "That's fine we will just charge you the full price for the missed appointment plus the full charge for the new appointment."

I would have been quite happy to pay the full price for a 25 minute appointment cut short by my lateness but that was not offered.

That was the last time I visited that dental practice.

In the subsequent 10 years I have had excellent service from my local NHS dental practice, including emergency service for a cracked tooth, a filling falling out and some crown work plus routine check ups. The work has all been of excellent quality and not in any way less effective than that provided by the private clinic.

In fact over the years my wife has had to have several reworkings of the private clinic's procedures when they failed, having to pay for the extra work on top of the original failed procedures, being told "we treat very conservatively here and do the minimum restorative work necessary".

I finally persuaded her to move to my NHS dentist and they have been absolutely fine for her too.

Private is not always better, although I understand the difficulties in some areas with finding an NHS provider.

All of the Hungarians I know travel back to Hungary when they need dental treatment and also more recently for any sort of hospital medical treatment. A sad indictment on the state of our NHS.

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Re: UK Dentists -Advice Sought Please

#599722

Postby servodude » July 4th, 2023, 7:46 am

redsturgeon wrote:In the subsequent 10 years I have had excellent service from my local NHS dental practice, including emergency service for a cracked tooth, a filling falling out and some crown work plus routine check ups. The work has all been of excellent quality and not in any way less effective than that provided by the private clinic.


I always thought there was no such thing as an NHS Dentist but that there were NHS Patients, and treatments?
And that it was up to the practice how to split their work
Perhaps that's changed? Perhaps it's different in Scotland?
But my memory was always of having some things "on the NHS" and some private - with nothing else changing (address, equipment and the little ginger Irish dentist who had to sit on top of me as she ratcheted out the root of a wisdom tooth all the same )

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Re: UK Dentists -Advice Sought Please

#599733

Postby Lootman » July 4th, 2023, 8:19 am

servodude wrote:
redsturgeon wrote:In the subsequent 10 years I have had excellent service from my local NHS dental practice, including emergency service for a cracked tooth, a filling falling out and some crown work plus routine check ups. The work has all been of excellent quality and not in any way less effective than that provided by the private clinic.

I always thought there was no such thing as an NHS Dentist but that there were NHS Patients, and treatments?
And that it was up to the practice how to split their work
Perhaps that's changed? Perhaps it's different in Scotland?
But my memory was always of having some things "on the NHS" and some private - with nothing else changing (address, equipment and the little ginger Irish dentist who had to sit on top of me as she ratcheted out the root of a wisdom tooth all the same )

Yes, my dentist saw my children as NHS patients but saw me privately. No idea how common that is.

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Re: UK Dentists -Advice Sought Please

#599736

Postby pje16 » July 4th, 2023, 8:35 am

Lootman wrote:I have had a private dentist since the 1980s and would never go back to a NHS one.

Dare I point out they are exactly the same person, they just charge wildly different rates

redsturgeon
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Re: UK Dentists -Advice Sought Please

#599737

Postby redsturgeon » July 4th, 2023, 8:38 am

In my early 20s my best friend was a dentist. He ran an NHS practice and did no private work. The set up was geared to milk the fees paid for various work by the NHS and was a very different process to treating private patients. For example he had two chairs in adjacent rooms with swing "cowboy saloon" door in between. He had a nurse in each room and he worked between the two to optimise his efficiency, no waiting for anaesthetics to work or amalgam to be mixed etc. He was a very skilled dentist, easily the best I have used, and most of the work he did for me has lasted almost 50 years. He made a fortune!

In fact young dentists use to come over from Australia to "bash the nash" by taking as much money from the NHS as possible and much controversy was around at the time about underhand practices to milk the system.

Over the years the NHS payments have not seen inflation matching increases such that it has become more difficult, but not impossible to make sufficient money purely from the NHS, hence the demise of the NHS dentist. I have not doubt if someone today wished to work as hard as my friend did in the 80s, they could make a lot of money. He has his first heart attack in his early 40s BTW.

Yes the mixed NHS\ private set-ups exist but it used to make more sense to run one or the other for marketing and financial reasons.

John

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Re: UK Dentists -Advice Sought Please

#599837

Postby 88V8 » July 4th, 2023, 2:40 pm

redsturgeon wrote:In my early 20s my best friend was a dentist. He ran an NHS practice and did no private work. He was a very skilled dentist, easily the best I have used, and most of the work he did for me has lasted almost 50 years.

Whether NHS or private, the fact is that some dentists are more skilled than others.
Prior to moving house eleven years ago I had a number of NHS dentists over the years. Some were OK, I suppose, some not so much.

When we arrived here I knew some treatment was needed, went to a local NHS dentist who after a very cursory examination, told me everything was fine. They were providing what was, in effect, an emergency and patchup service.

So I went private. Luckily I ended up with the head of a multi-dentist practice, a chap in his 30s who will probably see me out. He is immensely skilled and painstaking. He became a member of the Joint Dental Faculties in 2011 (MJDF RCS Eng) and has added a Master’s degree with Distinction in Restorative Dentistry and a Diploma degree with Merit in Endodontics at the Eastman Dental Institute. Currently he is adding a Master's in implant surgery, a procedure for which he has little enthusiasm, simply so he can improve his knowledge level and know better whether to recommend it... the practice has an implant specialist as well.

The practice does accept some NHS patients, but because the NHS is miserly in what it will pay for and hence the time that can be spent, any dentist wishing to do a really good job is going to be pushed towards private practice where one can if necessary spend time and lab work that adds up to £1,000 per tooth and the patient will happily cough up for a job well done.
And I have.

V8

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Re: UK Dentists -Advice Sought Please

#599841

Postby Lootman » July 4th, 2023, 2:53 pm

88V8 wrote: head of a multi-dentist practice, a chap in his 30s who will probably see me out. He is immensely skilled and painstaking. He became a member of the Joint Dental Faculties in 2011 (MJDF RCS Eng) and has added a Master’s degree with Distinction in Restorative Dentistry and a Diploma degree with Merit in Endodontics at the Eastman Dental Institute. Currently he is adding a Master's in implant surgery, a procedure for which he has little enthusiasm, simply so he can improve his knowledge level and know better whether to recommend it... the practice has an implant specialist as well.

Endodontics and implant surgery require a higher level of skill than just bashing out fillings and crowns. So it can be helpful to know that a dentist can do those procedures or whether he or she has to send you to a specialist.

Also a private dentist will offer gold as a choice for crown material. AFAIK you cannot get a gold crown under the NHS. Maybe not even porcelain?

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Re: UK Dentists -Advice Sought Please

#599846

Postby redsturgeon » July 4th, 2023, 2:58 pm

Lootman wrote:
88V8 wrote: head of a multi-dentist practice, a chap in his 30s who will probably see me out. He is immensely skilled and painstaking. He became a member of the Joint Dental Faculties in 2011 (MJDF RCS Eng) and has added a Master’s degree with Distinction in Restorative Dentistry and a Diploma degree with Merit in Endodontics at the Eastman Dental Institute. Currently he is adding a Master's in implant surgery, a procedure for which he has little enthusiasm, simply so he can improve his knowledge level and know better whether to recommend it... the practice has an implant specialist as well.

Endodontics and implant surgery require a higher level of skill than just bashing out fillings and crowns. So it can be helpful to know that a dentist can do those procedures or whether he or she has to send you to a specialist.

Also a private dentist will offer gold as a choice for crown material. AFAIK you cannot get a gold crown under the NHS. Maybe not even porcelain?


From the NHS website:
Crowns available on the NHS can be:

all metal (such as gold or another alloy)
porcelain fused to metal
all resin
all ceramic
stainless steel – used to preserve badly decayed baby teeth in children, or as a temporary measure on permanent teeth
Your dentist will offer you the type of crown they consider clinically necessary.


I still have the gold crown my friend fitted back in 1980.

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Re: UK Dentists -Advice Sought Please

#599852

Postby Lootman » July 4th, 2023, 3:17 pm

redsturgeon wrote:
Lootman wrote:Endodontics and implant surgery require a higher level of skill than just bashing out fillings and crowns. So it can be helpful to know that a dentist can do those procedures or whether he or she has to send you to a specialist.

Also a private dentist will offer gold as a choice for crown material. AFAIK you cannot get a gold crown under the NHS. Maybe not even porcelain?

From the NHS website:
Crowns available on the NHS can be:

all metal (such as gold or another alloy)
porcelain fused to metal
all resin
all ceramic
stainless steel – used to preserve badly decayed baby teeth in children, or as a temporary measure on permanent teeth
Your dentist will offer you the type of crown they consider clinically necessary.

I still have the gold crown my friend fitted back in 1980.

I have 4 gold crowns fitted in the 1990s and after nearly 30 years they are still going strong.

I doubt that the NHS offers gold as a normal patient choice but only if deemed "clinically necessary", as you say. Or if your dentist is a mate, I guess. :D

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Re: UK Dentists -Advice Sought Please

#599946

Postby servodude » July 5th, 2023, 12:31 am

88V8 wrote:
redsturgeon wrote:In my early 20s my best friend was a dentist. He ran an NHS practice and did no private work. He was a very skilled dentist, easily the best I have used, and most of the work he did for me has lasted almost 50 years.

Whether NHS or private, the fact is that some dentists are more skilled than others.


Yeah it's got nothing to do with how the treatment is paid for whether it is done well.

I changed dentists during COVID.
I'd had a crown fitted that had been left a bit too large; the visit to remedy a week later it was a ten minute (including payment) re-enactment of the marathon man. :o


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