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Dentists !
September 7, 2020

Joined: May 5, 2014
Posts: 1286
Dentists !

September 7, 2020

Further to my previous in believing too many firms are hiding behind Covid as the excuse for poor service, why are dentists non operational ? Our local dentistry states that no routine examinations can take place, treatments commenced before the lockdown cannot be continued, and that only a "select number of appointments for those needing the simplest of emergency treatments that will not require any tooth preparation can be made. This could include a simple temporary filling or a very low risk extraction". 

No drilling or scaling will be undertaken, & although their website states they will offer advice, no one ever answers the phone, and the website categorically states "Do not come to the door to make an appointment, as it remains firmly locked" ! I know our dentistry man & wife team are well heeled, both have a Porsche & top of the range Range Rovers each, but unless they are on good retainers from the Government (our tax payers money), they must be losing many thousands each week - that makes me think they ARE on retainers and  they're quite content to stay behind closed doors. When hospital operating theatres are working still  ( on reduced capacity granted), then surely that is not less dangerous than sorting someone's teeth out ? Incidentally, my daughter as a Community Nursing Sister, gets referrals from 111 to sort teeth out, when neither she or any of the team have any dental training / experience ! I believe dentists should get back to work pronto, they have the knowledge & equipment to keep themselves & their patients safe. Incidentally, I don't have any dental problems myself, just planning ahead !! John (JKW)

September 7, 2020

Joined: May 12, 2014
Posts: 1384
Dentists !

September 7, 2020

It is a national disgrace. A lack of PPE was the reason given for the absence of any dental treatment during lockdown. The Government promised Covid secure emergency dental hubs but these never transpired. NHS  dental  practices began a 3 phase return to work in June. My dentist ( head of a BUPA practice) with whom I am on first name terms told me dentistry in England is in a state of almost complete disarray. She fixed my fractured tooth/filling in late June at stage 2 when they were still not allowed to drill or undertake invasive dental work. According to the NHS website they should now be at stage 3 operating an almost normal service. That said I know dental check ups etc are still not bring carried out by most dental practices and there is concern that oral cancers are going undiagnosed. NHS dentists are certainly following Government and BDA edicts on service provision. Private practices seem to be doing their own thing!

September 8, 2020

Joined: May 12, 2014
Posts: 1384
Dentists !

September 8, 2020

It is a national disgrace. A lack of PPE was the reason given for the absence of any dental treatment during lockdown. The Government promised Covid secure emergency dental hubs but these never transpired. NHS  dental  practices began a 3 phase return to work in June. My dentist ( head of a BUPA practice) with whom I am on first name terms told me dentistry in England is in a state of almost complete disarray. She fixed my fractured tooth/filling in late June at stage 2 when they were still not allowed to drill or undertake invasive dental work. According to the NHS website they should now be at stage 3 operating an almost normal service. That said I know dental check ups etc are still not bring carried out by most dental practices and there is concern that oral cancers are going undiagnosed. NHS dentists are certainly following Government and BDA edicts on service provision. Private practices seem to be doing their own thing!

September 8, 2020

Joined: May 8, 2014
Posts: 1812
Dentists !

September 8, 2020

Dentists are open in Manchester as my oldest granddaughter has just visited one,with an x-ray and antibiotics £45? The bombshell was to fill the tooth and route canal £ 1356 and he can only guarantee 10 years or just have it out . Thankfully my dentist is in India and is about 80% cheaper and over the years I’ve not had a problem afterwards.

September 8, 2020

Joined: May 12, 2014
Posts: 1384
Dentists !

September 8, 2020

That’s not an NHS dentist Bob. The maximum dental treatment fee payable on the NHS is £269:30 for a stage 3 treatment which includes root canal. Really surprised he guaranteed 10 years as well! Your Indian dentist is still more expensive than my NHS dentist. I paid just over £23 for a fractured tooth repair and new filling a short while ago. The main trouble is finding one to register with. I am lucky that V and I got registered some years ago when I worked in the NHS and had a bit of pull.  As an aside, not  all dentists are operating normal services in Manchester or anywhere else in England at present although as I said private practices do their own thing.  Stay safe.

September 10, 2020

Joined: May 8, 2014
Posts: 1812
Dentists !

September 10, 2020

That maybe David but with this virus getting an emergency appointment with anNHS dentist is ny on impossible,now she has the infection under control she’s looking around.

September 11, 2020

Joined: May 12, 2014
Posts: 1384
Dentists !

September 11, 2020

Bob, for the avoidance of doubt, I 100% agree with you. Like I said above it is a national disgrace.  

September 11, 2020

Joined: May 5, 2014
Posts: 1286
Dentists !

September 11, 2020

David, was I correct in my assumption at the start of this thread, that NHS dentists are on retainers during the pandemic, ie, paid for the number of patients on their books rather than those they actually treat ? If so, just like teachers were, well paid for keeping the doors closed !  John (JKW)

September 11, 2020

Joined: May 12, 2014
Posts: 1384
Dentists !

September 11, 2020

John, I’m not really sure what the dental payments during lockdown were. NHS dentists are normally paid by UDAs, (Units of dental activity)  and are contracted to the NHS to provide a certain number of UDA’s per annum depending on their practice list size. The UDA’s were paid at £20-35 last I heard, with 1 unit paid for stage 1 treatments, 3 for stage 2 and 12 for stage 3. The fees patients themselves pay are deducted from those totals. So a stage 3 treatment payment from the NHS might amount to £420 max. The patient contribution £267 or thereabouts would be deducted leaving the NHS to pay £153  to the dentist. As far as I remember dentists don’t receive a yearly patient retainer fee as GPs  do. They also have to buy all their own equipment, arrange practice accn, staff etc themselves. That’s why so many went private and left the NHS. Private fees are usually considerably more than an NHS dentist earns from patient and NHS payments combined. NHS dentists’  biggest gripe is they can undertake a series of 12 fillings on a patient and get 1 or max 3 UDAs paid or do a single filling on a patient and receive the same fee under the ‘ongoing treatment’ clause. Many former small dental practice undertaking NHS work sold out to national chains like BUPA as my own dentist did. These practices kept their NHS patients on but closed  their NHS lists to new NHS patients or capped them ( one off one on) and went part NHS part private. There are ( allegedly) millions of folk who are not registered with any dentist and can’t afford to join a private practice. That said many private practices offer a monthly subscription service whereby you pay a set amount and are covered for certain treatments, a form of healthcare insurance. So, the British Dental Society ( BDA) may well have negotiated a ‘retainer’ arrangement with the NHS to cover lockdown for NHS contracted dentists but I don’t know for sure. I guess, and I stress the word guess, dental practices may well have been treated like any small business and were reliant on the same handouts. I will ask Rosie my dentist next time I see her.

September 12, 2020

Joined: May 5, 2014
Posts: 1286
Dentists !

September 12, 2020

Thanks for that David, much (most ?) of it I didn't know. With regards dental subscription services, ours offered a scheme whereby you could retain the same dentist (the owner in this case) but pay more than NHS rates. Carole opted in, but I didn't (B3 Jock trained !!), my dentist being the owners wife. Next time we went for routine check ups, Carole paid £95 & I paid the NHS rate, about £20 ! Needless to say, she asked me to get her reverted back in order to use my dentist, which I did ( with a "told you so" smile ) !! John (JKW)

September 12, 2020

Joined: May 12, 2014
Posts: 1384
Dentists !

September 12, 2020

That’s par for the course John, Carole was lucky to be reinstated, my dental practice won’t do that. You leave the NHS list you don’t get back on. It’s strange isn’t it, same practice, same treatment, often the same dentist but an NHS patient pays £23 for a checkup and a private patient pays £95 ! In my practice they openly display the NHS costs for each treatment alongside the private patient costs. The price differentials are high! I actually have some sympathy with NHS dentists. There is no real financial incentive to them not going fully private other than the NHS contract guarantees them a set income as I explained under the UDA system. I know for a fact many people in our area have to travel long distances to obtain routine or non emergency dental treatment. I remember Tony Blair as PM promising everyone an NHS dentist within a maximum 10 miles from their place of residence! That never came close to happening. The almost complete absence of dental treatment during lockdown, even emergency treatments, will have repercussions. My dentist told me her practice alone would refer 3 patients per month (on average) for oral cancer checks. She believes thousands of potential oral cancers will have gone unchecked over those months. Not the best outlook for some that’s for sure.

September 13, 2020

Joined: May 5, 2014
Posts: 1286
Dentists !

September 13, 2020

On one of my routine check ups the dentist noticed white patches on the inside of my mouth - suspecting cancer, she called her husband (fellow dentist) who Q & A'd me. It transpires that, in order to be good AND satisfy my habit of eating sweets whilst driving, I had been scoffing sugar free sweets with gay (!?!) abandon which contain aspartame, a known "baddie" for health ( I didn't know). I stopped eating them and within a short time the patches had disappeared thankfully. I still eat whilst driving, but only hard gums, pastilles & toffees, all with loads of sugar ! Before you ask, my blood sugar readings & cholesterol are just fine, & anyway, not much driving these days ( Covid) so not much sweet scoffing either  LOL ! John (JKW)

September 18, 2020

Joined: May 12, 2014
Posts: 79
Dentists !

September 18, 2020

We'll have to try and avoid to make a mountain out of a molar.

September 18, 2020

Joined: May 5, 2014
Posts: 1286
Dentists !

September 18, 2020

Groan !!! Was worth waiting a week for that one Charlie ! John (JKW)

September 20, 2020

Joined: May 12, 2014
Posts: 79
Dentists !

September 20, 2020

Had you gnashing your teeth did it?

September 20, 2020

Joined: May 5, 2014
Posts: 1286
Dentists !

September 20, 2020

No, pulling my hair out more like - oh, looks like you've already done yours Charlie !! John (JKW)


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