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Dentist going Private

(57 Posts)
Coolgran65 Fri 27-Jan-23 04:40:41

I have been with my NHS dentist for 25 years. Today I learned he is now going private and reception has told me that at my upcoming appointment he will be having a conversation with me about the way forward. It seems I will have two options, pay as I go, or take out a Plan at a fee of £17.59 per monrh. The plan will become active after 6 monthly payments following my next checkup and will cover 2 check ups per year with scale and polish and up to 3 xrays. Plus 10% off other costs.
Perhaps naively I thought that as an NHS patient he couldn't just not continue to treat me on NHS.
As we know, getting into a new dentist's list as an NHS patient is nigh impossible.
I don't have good teeth, an upper denture but most of my lower teeth with lots of fillings, several crowns, root canals etc and no way do I want to be without a dentist.
I'm feeling that either way, even with the Plan, I will be facing hefty bills.

absent Fri 27-Jan-23 05:12:02

Yep, hefty bills. Medical treatment is free – except for your teeth. That's how it seems to work.

BlueBalou Fri 27-Jan-23 05:44:42

Same at my practice and I’ve been going there for 45 years!
Little or no choice around here, there’s not an NHS dentist for miles 🙄

NotAGran55 Fri 27-Jan-23 05:52:21

I’ve been with my private dentist since 1981 and on a Denplan plan for about 10 years now. I gave up trying to find an NHS dentist who was accepting patients onto a waiting list.

cornergran Fri 27-Jan-23 06:28:24

We’re hanging on to NHS dentistry, just. Our large dental practice has a group of newly trained dentists working in their first, supervised year who then all seem to move on. These are now the only NHS dentists, the rest switched to a private basis three years ago. As a result we see a different dentist every year. No, as a nervous patient I don’t like it but to be fair the treatment has been excellent and I realise we’re fortunate to still have the choice. Neither of us have reliable teeth. The costs quoted for private dentistry are frankly frightening.

Ali23 Fri 27-Jan-23 06:56:34

Same here. I couldn’t find an NHS dentist so had to go private and was offered a similar deal to the OP. I chose pay as you go and this is costing an average of £100 each 6 months for check up, xray and hygienist. No prices are on the wall and he has just said he intends to crown a back tooth in the future. It felt like being at the hairdressers when they start dropping ideas about colours into the conversation.

Katyj Fri 27-Jan-23 07:30:01

Yes I suspect that’s the way mines going too. I phoned this week for a check up, only to be told their not doing checks ups, only emergency treatment, then I would be given temporary treatment if needed.
The receptionist suggested seeing an NHS dentist for a check up. I’ve been looking all week but non are taking NHS patients near us. My teeth aren’t very good and I really need a bridge. Think I need to start saving !

LRavenscroft Fri 27-Jan-23 07:44:00

Where I live we don't have the NHS, sadly and you have to pay for the dentist each time you go. I make sure that I get 6 monthly check ups and have had some quite expensive stuff done in between ie. root canal and crowns. However, if you are going private hopefully you have choice and it is worth finding out how good or experienced your new dentist is. I have a great young dentist now who tries to keep my work to a minimum. The previous one I had I left as he was like a dental salesman and actually wasn't that brilliant after all.

TillyTrotter Fri 27-Jan-23 07:49:57

My dental pay plan is the same as Coolgran ‘s and the 90% payment required for treatments is horridly expensive.
The all private surgery is ultra-modern and the staff wonderful.
I have had some unpleasant dentists in the past so am grateful for that at least.

shysal Fri 27-Jan-23 07:51:25

I was very lucky when my NHS dentist decided to go private due to all the paper work. He vowed to keep his prices on a par with the NHS which he stuck to. Unfortunately he retired last year. I was lucky enough to register with another NHS practice in June but they still have no available appointments for a check up. Fingers crossed I don't have get any dental problems.

thehealthreviews7 Fri 27-Jan-23 07:54:06

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Grammaretto Fri 27-Jan-23 07:54:31

My old dentist went private long ago. The bills were akin to car repairs. Deep intake of breath. shock

I found an NHS dentist, good at first but ever changing at the practice
Now the dentist is still NHS but if I want a white filling or anything more than basic, it's extra £100s at least not £thousands - yet.
I'm waiting for and saving for some fancy false teeth being made in Manchester so I can smile again. grin

Grammaretto Fri 27-Jan-23 07:55:53

The dentist should see you in an emergency shysal

annodomini Fri 27-Jan-23 08:49:19

I sympathise! My dentist went private long ago and I thought about a local NHS dentist but decided that 'the devil I knew...' I didn't foresee all the complications like a broken bridge and several root canal jobs. A new young and enthusiastic dentist took over the practice and eventually two very old crowns gave up the struggle. So now I have a very nice, very realistic and very, very expensive denture. There's no way of anticipating the unexpected!
I'm in the process of moving to be close to my family and I hope against hope that my son's NHS dentist will have room for me.

NotSpaghetti Fri 27-Jan-23 08:58:22

Mine went private years ago.
She said the NHS payment system makes it impossible for the dentists to do more than shove people through. It pays three levels of care (I think 3?) which means that (say) a complex filling which takes a long time and no small skill, is paid the same rate as an extraction (say) which is over in a minute. She said it would probably lead to unscrupulous dentists pulling teeth out that have a chance of a longer life and of only young dentists starting out in their careers working in the NHS.

My dentist continued to treat all children (and those who were totally NHS with no top-ups) on the NHS system because, as she said, that was a compromise and made her feel better about it and that she was trying to help.

She said the NHS system left no time for genuinely preventative work and made being a dentist quite unable to upgrade kit. Previously she had mixed up NHS and private patients and had tried to treat them the same but said the requirements of NHS dentistry was just too "slim" to feel you were doing a good job.

Yes, we now have a two-tier system.

Zoejory Fri 27-Jan-23 09:02:16

I've been private now for years. I opted for pay as you go and it's approximately £20 a month unless some large job is needed. I'm quite happy to pay this for an excellent standard of health care

NotSpaghetti Fri 27-Jan-23 09:02:40

By the way, one of my daughters uses an NHS dentist and I went with her to sit with her daughter while she had a check up. I can't believe how quick it was! I have done the same for one of my other daughters. It took at least twice the time.
I can't help but think the private dentist was more thorough. Obviously I know they have different sets of teeth but both were just check-ups.

However.. yes. The price!!!!

Auntieflo Fri 27-Jan-23 09:09:36

We had the dreaded " we are going private" letter from our dental practice, just before Christmas, and were swithering for ages about what to do.
I am having ongoing Chemo treatment and so absolutely do need a check up every six months.
I think we will opt for the private route, and stay with the practice, as our dentist is very food, and we have been there for ever it seems.

BlueBelle Fri 27-Jan-23 09:16:21

My NHS dentist takes all of 2 minutes to look in my mouth and declare me ok for another 6 months or at my last check up fira year I take longer payer at the desk but at least I know I ve still got one if I have an emergency

Rosie51 Fri 27-Jan-23 09:38:44

My dentist practice sold out to another company before the pandemic, but, fingers firmly crossed, they are still a mix of NHS and private. Checkups are as thorough and take as long as they always have, but I did notice there was no quick polish at the end. When specialist treatment is needed they offer to use the in-house specialist privately or to be referred to an NHS specialist that would just be a longer wait. No pressure and the full price is revealed up front.

Antonia Fri 27-Jan-23 09:53:07

Our dentist went private years ago. DH had to pay £850 for a small denture. NHS dentists are like hen's teeth near us, an I suspect the NHS as a whole will soon follow. It will be a two tier system. Treatment for those who can pay, and long, long waits for the poor.

M0nica Fri 27-Jan-23 10:14:59

All these thread full of people waxing hysterical over the NHS being privatised, which it isn't

Seems to me they would be of better use shouting long and hard over the de facto privitisation of the dental service, where we are already at the point where most of us have no choice other than to pay for dental treatment and millions are going with out dentistry because they cannot afford it.

annsixty Fri 27-Jan-23 10:21:52

I have been with my dental practice for many years now, at least 40 and have had only 3 different dentists in that time and I am still NHS.
The other dentist in the practice went private and mine Is private for all new patients but kept anyone who was NHS on the same basis, I realise just how lucky I am.
He is very kind and caring, I don’t think we are treated any differently to his private patients but I don’t actually know.
At 85 I still have all my own teeth.

maddyone Fri 27-Jan-23 10:37:14

Good post Monica and very true.

Visgir1 Fri 27-Jan-23 11:16:11

My Dentist went private about 20 yrs ago. They kept the Children on NHS.
My Dentist advised me Not to go with Dental plan, as my teeth are fine just pay as you go, or put what I would pay for the plan in a separate account.
I have had some treatment over that time and my bill has never been more than £120 ish.
Check up is about £42, Hygienist £75. I would pay more with the plan.
If your teeth historically have been OK, just pay as you go, I would not change now.