1. Do I have to pay for an urgent visit?
Yes, the Government charge is a Band 1 Course
2. Do I have to pay for replacement dentures?
Yes, if it is for a non-clinical reason. An example would be lost dentures. The charge is PER DENTURE
3. What if I cannot bring proof of the benefit I am on?
We will still treat you as though you are on the benefit. But we are required to note that we have not seen the proof and you will have to sign the Government form which indicates which benefit you claim to be on and that entitles you to free treatment. You can be prosecuted by the Government if you are not telling the truth.
4. Why do I have to sign the blue form given to me by reception?
This is a legal requirement for accepting treatment under the NHS. Every patient has to sign a similar form for EVERY COURSE OF TREATMENT, even if this consists only of a check up.
5. Are implants available on the NHS?
Generally no, only in the most extreme circumstances which would be determined by a specialist in a hospital.
6. How long does it take to make a denture?
You will have a minimum of four appointments, frequently more. After each appointment, we send the “mould” of your teeth back to the laboratory for more work. There may be a number of “adjustment” appointments after the final fitting of your dentures. These are not charged for separately and form part of the original cost, which is a Band 3 course.
7. Why do you not provide white fillings and crowns on my back teeth?
This is because they are not clinically necessary. The NHS provides metal fillings and crowns on back teeth. They can only be provided privately. See the price list.
8. Is amalgam dangerous to my health?
The Department of Health considers that there is no evidence to indicate any ill effects on human health from amalgam fillings.
9. I have already provided you with my medical information, why do you ask me to do it again?
The General Dental Council requires dentists and hygienists to check and note that they have checked a patient’s health condition before treatment. Whilst we can check verbally, it is important that a patient completes and signs a medical questionnaire on a regular basis to ensure that we have up to date information and can prove that we have.
10. Are you still taking new patients?
Yes we are, but since the Government’s new dental contract was imposed on us in April 2006 we have targets to reach and when we have reached them we cannot take on new patients until the new financial year.
11. Can I be treated at your clinic if I live outside your area?
Yes, you can, there are no geographical limits.
12. Do I have to pay for my treatment?
Yes, unless you are on a Government benefit which allows you free treatment (check your benefit papers). See the prices section to check on the fixed prices.
13. How long do I have to wait to be seen?
As a new patient we can usually see you for your first appointment within three weeks as long as you are flexible about which dentist you wish to see. After the initial appointment we will always give you an appointment with the same dentist (except in emergency) so it will depend on how busy the dentist is. Our aim is three weeks wait for treatment.
14. Will I have treatment on my first visit?
Not usually. We will do a full check up of your mouth, chart the existing condition on our computer, take radiographs if necessary, discuss the options for your treatment and give you a written treatment plan. If you are in pain, we will do our best to get you out of pain.
15. Does your clinic do root canal treatments, bridges and dentures on the NHS?
Yes we do.
16. Are there long waiting lists for specialist NHS referrals?
Yes, there are. You will be referred to the specialists who work in your own home area as they will have a contract with your local Primary Care Trust. We have no control over these waiting times and can only refer you to specialists who are contracted in your area.
17. Is my treatment going to hurt?
We can provide anaesthetics for any treatment that is likely to hurt you. The injection can be uncomfortable but will only take a few seconds. For children, we use a topical anaesthetic on the skin in the mouth which dulls the pin prick feeling of the needle.
18. Will my appointment be on time?
We try very hard indeed to ensure that we are fully staffed, well trained and have well maintained equipment so that we run late as infrequently as possible. We also ensure that our reception staff inform patients if they have to wait over 15 minutes. However, equipment can break down, and a patient’s treatment can be more complicated than we anticipated so yes, we can run late. We also run late because patient’s arrive late, 10 patients arriving 5 minutes late makes that dentist 50 minutes late within a morning session. Please bear with us and allow for extra time when making your appointments.
19. Is an electric toothbrush better than a manual one?
Yes they are.
20. What do I have to bring for my first appointment?
Proof of benefit if you are on it (and it gives you free treatment) and the completed medical questionnaire which can be downloaded by clicking here.
21. How often should I have a check-up (recall)?
This will depend on the dentist’s assessment of your oral condition, how well you look after your teeth and your dental history, smoking and alcohol consumption and general health.
22. Will I be seen if I arrive late?
The receptionist will check with the dentist to see if they can fit you in. This is easier with shorter appointments but with long appointments it is often impossible to fit a patient in. This is because our dentists are very busy and usually fully booked. They also need the full time allocated to do complicated work such as root canal treatment or preparing laboratory work - this cannot be rushed. We may sometimes give you the option of waiting to see if the next patient arrives, just in case a slot becomes available. We do understand that Public Transport is unreliable and are sympathetic but if we have no space please understand that we may not be able to see you and will have to reschedule your appointment.
23. What happens if I miss an appointment or cancel an appointment too late?
Since April 2006, the Government has not allowed patients receiving NHS treatment to be charged for wasting time. So, we have had to institute a policy that if two appointments are missed or cancelled without 24 hours notice (1 working day) within a year, then we will withdraw treatment from that patient. The patient will then have to find another dentist prepared to complete their treatment. YOU WILL BE CHARGED FOR PRIVATE HYGIENIST APPOINTMENTS IN FULL IF THE ABOVE CONDITIONS ARE NOT ADHERED TO