to The Dentist Register where you can access dentists in
your local area. You can find exactly where your local dentists
are located, telephone numbers to make appointments, full
information on dental services provided and direct links
to dentist Web sites.
We fully appreciate the dilemma posed by the current availability
of NHS dentists in your area. By providing an easy to use
dental practice locator together with services and treatment
provided by each dental practice, we hope we can go some
way to alleviating your fears by demonstrating that private
dental treatment does not have to be as intimidating or
as costly as most of us are led to believe.
NHS Treatment....and why many dentists are opting out.
With new NHS contracts being introduced to dentists across
the UK from April 2006, many dental practices believe the
revised system unworkable. The idea of the new contract
is that dentists will be able to spend more time with individual
patients. By definition, this means that by spending more
time on individual appointments, they will be able to see
fewer patients.The new contract states that dentists must
carry out 95% of the courses of treatment they currently
do to get the same remuneration, which dentists say leaves
them little time for addressing other areas such as oral
health and preventative treatment. The British Dental Association
(BDA) has said that the new contract does not give dentists
enough time to do preventative work - especially on children.
Fortunately, dentists who have opted out of the new contract
can still treat children on the NHS, should they so wish.
what are the options?
Fees for private dental treatment can differ quite substantially
from practice to practice. You can contact a dentist as
and when you require treatment and receive private dental
care. Of course, this will be more expensive than previous
NHS funded treatment, but there are advantages. The appointment
can be made much sooner and the dentist will be able to
spend more time on the appointment. Private dentists are
also often trained in other areas of dental care, including
cosmetic dentistry and reconstruction.
Dental Care Plans
Many dental practices are now offering Dental Care Plans.
These provide regular annual or bi-annual check ups covering
clinical examinations, checking for signs of oral cancer,
x rays when required, temporary emergency treatment and
up to 30% reduction off any treatmentrequired i.e fillings,
These plans cost from around £10 per month, per patient.
When the worst happens and you need emergency dental treatment,
most dentists in the UK can give immediate help. IMPORTANT
- this is irrespective of whether the dentist is NHS or
private (although some charges will be incurred). Dental
surgeries all have their own arrangements in place for emergency
treatment. Details of these can be obtained by telephoning
the dentist direct, however, out of hours most dentists
provide information by answerphone/emergency number - much
the same as doctors surgeries.
If you are not registered with a particular dentist, or
are on holiday in the UK, then use our guide for dental
praticioners in the relevant area. Alternatively, you can
source emergency treatment by telephoning NHS Direct Helpline
on 0845 46 47.
The Government's changes mean that patients will no longer be registered with their dentist, but this does not mean that you cannot continue to see your usual dentist if their NHS contract allows it. If you ask for an appointment, your dental practice will try to offer you one as soon as possible at a convenient time within the hours they have set aside for NHS patients. The NHS now asks dentists to provide a fixed, limited amount of NHS care each year and so they have to allocate their time and their NHS budget accordingly.
You can choose which dentist you would like to see at the practice, but it may not always be possible to arrange this because the particular dentist may not have any NHS time available.
NHS dentists will, where necessary, provide treatment that is needed urgently. Urgent treatment means treatment that the dentist considers necessary to relieve severe pain or prevent your oral condition deteriorating before you can make a normal appointment. Out of hours you should call NHS Direct on 0845 4647.
NHS patient charges
From 1st April, Government NHS patient charges are changing. If you pay NHS charges, instead of paying a proportion of the cost of your treatment, you will pay one of four fixed charges relating to the type of care and treatment you have had. The charge bands are given below. If you have a check-up and two fillings, for example, you will pay one Band 2 charge of £44.60 (or £39.00 if you live in Wales). If you need a crown as well, you will pay one Band 3 charge of £198.00 (or £177.00 if you live in Wales). If you need three crowns you will also pay one Band 3 charge of £198 (or £177.00 if you live in Wales).
NHS dental care is still free to children under 18 or under 19 in full-time education as well as pregnant women and new mothers and people on certain state benefits.
Your dental practice team will be happy to answer any questions you have about the new charges.
Examples of treatment bands
Band 1: Diagnosis treatment planning and maintenance
Clinical examination, x-rays, scaling and polishing, preventative dental work such as oral hygiene instruction
Band 2: Simple treatment
Fillings, extractions, surgical procedures
Band 3: Provision of appliances
Complex treatment which includes a laboratory element such as bridgework, crowns and dentures
Dental Technicians make dentures, crowns, bridges and dental
braces to improve the patients appearance, speech and their
ability to chew. Working to dentists or doctors prescriptions,
technicians use a wide range of materials, including gold,
porcelain and plastic, to design and construct appliances
to meet each patients needs.
There are four areas. Prosthodontic technicians design and
make dentures. Conservation technicians specialise in crown
and bridge work. Orthodontic technicians make braces to
correct tooth positions. Maxillo-facial technicians work
is based in hospital oral surgery, ophthalmic, cancer and
burns units, helping to reconstruct the faces of patients
damaged by accident or disease.
Dental Technicians also work direct with the public for
the repairing, design and fitting of dentures, often with
a same day service.
An increasingly popular branch of treatment generally available
is Cometic Dentistry. Treatments include Porcelain Veneers,
Whitening, Dental Implants and facial regeneration. These
are available at most private dentist practices. An example
of costs are:
- Tooth whitening Gel- Tray whitening £300 - £700
- Laser whitening £700 - £1300
- BriteSmile whitening £500 - £700
- Porcelain veneers £300 - £500 per veneer
- Tooth straightening
- Dental implants £1,500 - £2,000 per tooth
- Bridging £300 - £500
- Porcelain crowns £400 - £800 per crown
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