Gransnet forums


NHS dentist costs

(33 Posts)
Cabbie21 Wed 04-Dec-19 17:48:07

I have recently transferred to a new dentist. My previous one always did a full scale and polish after an inspection, but my new one doesn’t, even though it is listed under Band One treatment. Today I was in and out in ten minutes. She did such a cursory check, said my teeth were fine, but that there were pockets of plaque and I need to see the hygienist, at a cost of £50.
Is this the new norm?

GagaJo Wed 04-Dec-19 17:50:58

That's outrageous. I pay £80 for a check-up and scale and polish at an exclusive private dentist (I use him because I have a dental phobia).

At those prices, you might as well go private.

BlueSky Wed 04-Dec-19 17:57:49

Normally NHS prices are at least half of those by a private dentist. Could you enquire why the scale and polish was not included in band 1 treatment?

BBbevan Wed 04-Dec-19 18:19:09

You are lucky to have an NHS dentist. There are none at all in the county where I live.

ayse Wed 04-Dec-19 18:19:32

An ordinary scale and polish can be included in Band 1 treatment, if clinically necessary. A deep clean is in band 2 and costs £62.00 but can also include anything from band 1. So my reading of the NHS guidance is that all the treatment including the check up should be included in band 2.

Sounds to me as though they are trying to overcharge you and no, it’s not the new norm. You can check this out on the NHS website.

I had a deep clean and paid band 2. If there is evidence of gum disease they normally do a deep clean. I’ve kept my gum disease at bay by using interdental brushes religiously on a daily basis, as well as using an electric toothbrush twice daily. Eating lots of veg plus scoured your teeth plus small amount of cheese neutralises the mouth after sweet things

Tbh, I would go back armed with the details and insist on a second opinion or at least an explanation about the health of your teeth. My dentist always gives my teeth a polish, every 6 months

Cabbie21 Wed 04-Dec-19 18:33:54

Thanks for the replies so far. I did query it with the receptionist who said this is how it works.
Actually this was my second visit to this dentist. The first inspection was more thorough, but she found a small filling to do which meant another appointment and moved me up to the next band. No pain whatever.
I also saw the hygienist, at £50. She was thorough but painful, and gave me a bit of a ticking off, as I am just not very good with interdental brushes, though I Clean my teeth three times on most days and have always had regular check ups. There are many people who do not clean their teeth that often, nor visit the dentist, so I rather resented this.
I am thinking of getting a new water plaque remover. . Are they any good? Not sure how they work.

ayse Wed 04-Dec-19 18:47:52

I asked my dentist what size brush would be best for me and bought accordingly.

I still don’t understand why you were expected to pay extra for a clean

MiniMoon Wed 04-Dec-19 19:10:28

My Dentist does a check up with a scale and polish all for £22.
I also have pockets in my molars which I was told to take special care with. I never knew that teeth had pockets!
I use an electric toothbrush and interdental brushes.

EllaKeat Wed 04-Dec-19 19:51:55

I use a water jet thingy and they are amazing.

I always thought I was thorough with my brushing, but using the water flosser immediately after brushing still flushes bits out that brushing misses.
Well worth it (I really struggle with floss/interdental brushes)

Jane10 Wed 04-Dec-19 20:31:22

My dentist went private but under their scheme it works out cheaper for me than NHS. I pay £11 a month which gives me 2 check ups a year and dental hygienist appts as well as full cover for any work I need at all including emergency or out of hours appts. Suits me!
Check out Denplan.

Cabbie21 Thu 05-Dec-19 14:26:44

Jane10 I googled Denplan but could not find any prices. It said the cost would be decided by my dentist, depending on what care I need, so that did not help me. It could be worth considering though.

EllaKeat, could you give me more info about the water jet thingy, please?

kittylester Thu 05-Dec-19 15:04:47

It is wrong that dentists charge a private fee for nhs patients. If they need a s & p they should get it on the nhs. If they dont need it then they shouldn't have one at all.

But, it happens a lot and no action is taken.

WOODMOUSE49 Thu 05-Dec-19 16:21:01

Denplan don't do fixed rates. They need an assessment of what work you've had done. More work = higher costs. I've been down that route.

NHS are fixed bands. Not all NHS dentists do a scale and polish. If you see a hygienist it falls into band 2. See attached image from NHS website.

I'm with private dentist now (just over a year). Pay £17.50 a month. It covers me for 2 check ups that include one x-ray if needed , 2 hygienist visits. 10% off all other treatment. £17.50 is for everyone regardless of what work I have had done before. In have a lot ! Bridges, crowns, implant ...

£50 for hygienist isn't an NHS charge.

Sussexborn Thu 05-Dec-19 16:30:34

I have a water flosser and find it very good. Just remember to use warm water!

kittylester Thu 05-Dec-19 17:37:16

If you are an nhs patient and you need a scale and polish you should get is as a band one treatment - band 2 if it is more complex.

kittylester Thu 05-Dec-19 17:39:04

A hygienist isnt necessarily a band 2 and you should get it as part of the treatment if you are an nhs patient but that rarely happens. It is breaking the rules.

Cabbie21 Thu 05-Dec-19 17:45:09

My thinking exactly, Kittylester, but not sure what I can do, other than pay up. I suppose I could write a letter of complaint to the practice manager. Yes, the hygienist is private, not NHS, but part of the same practice.

kittylester Thu 05-Dec-19 17:52:45

You could contact the commissioning authority (it used to be the local PCT but I'm not sure now) or Healthwatch might tell you a way forward but I fear you are on a hiding to nothing!

I think most hygienists are private nowadays.

Bakingmad0203 Thu 05-Dec-19 18:06:30

I live in Wales. Check ups under NHS are free for those over 60. However, I have barely sat down in the dentist’s chair, opened my mouth, asked by the dentist if I have any problems and I’m ushered out within 5 minutes. No counting my teeth or checking that there are any fillings loose.
When I asked why they weren’t being scaled and polished I was told they only do that if they are seriously full of plaque. Otherwise I have to see a dental hygienist ( another appointment) and I pay £40.
Also last time the dentist said I didn’t need 6 monthly appointments, I should book for a yearly one, and they don’t send out a reminder!
When I lived in England I paid for my check ups under NHS but they were far more thorough and always included scale and polishing

Bakingmad0203 Thu 05-Dec-19 18:11:54

By the way- It is extremely difficult to get an NHS dentist here. I had to wait over a year. The main problem is that most NHS dentists go private and then you are back to square one looking for another NHS dentist! By the way there seem to be an awful lot of people with horrible teeth and I’m sure that that is partly because of the cost of going private which they can’t afford

Ginny42 Thu 05-Dec-19 18:20:35

My dentist recently did a check-up and said there was a very fine crack in a tooth which would need treatment eventually, but not yet.

When I got to the receptionist she handed me a bill for £65. I told her I'd only had a check-up, but she said that was for the check-up and the filling when I had it. 'But I haven't had a filling and haven't even decided whether/when it would be done.'

She replied, 'Oh you don't pay that now. You just pay £28 now and the rest when you have the filling. Do you understand? She asked, barely disguising her exasperation. 'Not really'. Say I. 'I don't know why you're billing me for work I haven't even got an appointment for.'

The other receptionist turned and looked at me as though I was incredibly stupid. I paid the £28 and left. Is this normal?

EllaKeat Thu 05-Dec-19 18:36:59

Agggghhhhhhhhh just did a buge long post and poof! Its gone😣

I tried to add an image, but apparantly it was too small, so here is the link for my flosser
It works wonderfully for me, leaving my mouth super clean and fresh. I have struggled for years with floss and interdental brushes, failing miserably with both.
The flosser works for me. It removed gunk that I would have sworn blind could not be there after such a thorough brushing.
Easily rechargeable, just like your toothbrush, and you can use it on a lower power to massage your gums.
Warm water only though - cold is a bit of a shock!

ayse Thu 05-Dec-19 18:43:32

Ginny42, privatisation by the back door. They are ripping people off. Where else might you be billed for a service you haven’t received?

Pudding123 Thu 05-Dec-19 18:59:32

I had this problem a few years ago and rang my local authority for clarification reguarding being told to book in with the hygienist at a cost of £36 .The L A told me to ask the dentist at my next checkup to provide a scale and polish as this was included in the price.I questioned it as I knew that my teeth had always been well looked after and did not need deep cleaning by the hygienist ,which to my mind have been unnecessary.Many years ago I was a dental receptionist and the dentist ( now deceased) always claimed for a scale and polish whether or not be did it or not.

kittylester Thu 05-Dec-19 19:06:00

To be fair, NHS dentists are entitled to take the full fee at the start of the treatment. You agree to that when you sign the form.