Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications, experience, or professional qualifications of anyone posting on Mumsnet Talk and cannot be held responsible for any advice given on the site. If you have any serious medical concerns we would urge you to consult your GP.

The NHS and private dentistry- a rant

(12 Posts)

If you will tolerate me I am just going to have a little rant and ask for your sympathies and similar experiences.

In mid January I was admitted to hospital with severe HG (I'm now 24 weeks pregnant). Within days of being discharged after several days on a drip, I started experiencing severe pain in my right hand jaw.

I KNEW I'd knocked my jaw out of place. I'm not medically trained but I could feel it. I went to my GP who said nothing was wrong and then my NHS dentist who said there was nothing wrong with my teeth or jaw.

I've been lucky in that I've never had any tooth trouble. Not so much as a toothache in 28 years and maybe one or two shallow fillings. I've only ever seen an NHS dentist and thought nothing of it.

It is now 9 weeks later. I have seen 3 neurologists, 4 GPs and 1 maxo facial surgeon. I have spent a week in hospital with the worst pain I have ever experienced. I have lost weight, been pumped full of codeine and no one on the NHS has been able to find a problem that explains the pain I've been in, the fever I've had almost constantly or the general feeling of illness I've experienced. The best anyone could come up with was that they could pull out my wisdom teeth just to see if that helped confused

I finally, in pure desperation, visited a private dentist on Friday after my mum offered to pay. As I suspected I have knocked my TMJ joint out of place due to all the being sick and the relaxin (sp?) released due to the pregnancy.

As well as that I've got an absess on a tooth at the back near to one of my wisdom teeth. We paid for his consultation and diagnosis (£75) and took this back to the hospital. They said there was nothing they could do and to go back to my own dentist.

I went to my own NHS dentist and she said that she totally disagreed with this diagnosis and that the facial pain was still "unexplained" as nothing wrong with that tooth or my TMJ joint.

Still in mind boggling pain we went back to the private dentist and asked him to fix it, not caring what it costs. Lo and behold he's worked his magic today and I'm out of pain. I've got the brace on and the root filled on the rogue tooth and am on antibiotics.

For the first time in 9 weeks I feel human. I'm not in pain. I'm not knocking back painkillers.

It cost my mother 905 quid. 905 pounds!!!!!!!!

How fucking appalling is it that the NHS have not only failed to diagnose my problem but then reused to treat it? I'm an ardent Leftie and the first to defend the NHS big Jesus. I can't believe the utter incompetence I've suffered.

18 NHS medical professionals have looked in my mouth and at my jaw these past 9 weeks. Not one of them got it right or helped me. I feel very let down. confused

Badmumof3 Tue 18-Mar-14 10:35:24

That's awful! I would contact the patient advice and liaison service for avice and see about making a complaint!

summertimeandthelivingiseasy Tue 18-Mar-14 10:57:36

I can well understand your need to rant. sad

FabULouse Tue 18-Mar-14 11:05:24

Sue them for negligence. This has cost you not only a large sum of money but a lengthy period of extreme distress and illness which may well have had an impact on your ability to manage your pregnancy as well as you would have liked, with regard to nutritional status etc.

Did anyone take blood tests? They show up a response to infection.

Your experience sounds utterly horrendous and I'm so glad you've at last been made comfortable.

summertimeandthelivingiseasy Tue 18-Mar-14 11:05:24

I get p'd off that I had to convert to denplan and pay £18 a month (it goes up each year) to have nothing done. I cannot get an appointment every 6 months as the dentist keeps going off on holiday, and although I make appointments after my last consultation, I get a letter about 6 weeks before and have to make a new one. I daren't add up how much it has cost me so far.

I stuck with this dentist for years, because he stayed NHS, then when he changed, I couldn't get an NHS dentist elsewhere.

I finally got some recompense when I broke a tooth and had a crown fitted, with the root filling redone. It was as a result of the root filling he did some time ago..........

The surgery and waiting room look over-posh now, and his 4 children do very well in their private school............

Thanks all. I'm bloody angry about it all.

I had loads of blood tests and all showed my infection markers were up. It kept getting commented on like it was some weird, unexplainable thing and when I asked where the infection was then I'd just get a shrug.

Add to this that the maxfac surgeon I saw was incredibly rude (he asked me "do you even work, Mrs. Dizzy?" After examining me, like I was a scumbag and when I explained where I was in pain rolled his eyes, poked my gum with a very sharp dentistry tool and said "this is all in your notes so stop wittering"!!!!)

I want to complain. How do I go about doing so? I feel beaten down, exhausted and ill with no idea of my next step.

llwynogbach Tue 18-Mar-14 14:04:49

I totally get your rant. I have numerous impacted teeth and after years of faffing at the orthodontists I finally got referred to the maxfc surgeon. Had my op a month ago, on the actual day they had no notes and weren't sure what they were supposed to be doing...a week later went for a check up at the orthodontist and to have stitches out etc, the surgeon forgot to do half the work, yep HE FORGOT! ! Absolute joke! So now I'm left for months with chains hanging from the roof of my mouth while I move my way back to the top of the surgical waiting list. No faith in NHS dentistry now whatsoever and denplan won't touch me with a bargepole.

hiddenhome Tue 18-Mar-14 16:37:20

"stop whittering".....? that's worth a bloody complaint in itself shock

NHS dentistry is terrible. We've been going private for about a decade now.

It's terrible that you've been suffering all this time with all these incompetents poking and prodding you then leaving you in a lot of pain.

I really think you should make a clinical complaint. Contact PALS for advice and guidance.

NCagain Tue 18-Mar-14 16:41:18

If I were you I would take out a dental plan now.

My dentist is brilliant. They see all under 16s under the NHS, but adults privately. The standard of care is the same.

If you have had hyperemesis you are likely to need lots of good dental care in future because it really knackers your tooth enamel.

Rosa Tue 18-Mar-14 17:01:43

Not only the complete lack of care / attention but approx ( reading you OP) 15 appointments that were a complete waste of time.
Oh yes complain which ever way possible - starting with the stupid NHS dentist who on reading the stuff from the private chap disagreed !!!Glad its sorted .

shebird Tue 18-Mar-14 17:33:37

This is appalling care OP. You were lucky that your mum was able to help you out otherwise you would still be suffering and things could have deteriorated. I amazed that nothing could be seen on an X-ray but not that surprised. I have an Nhs dentist who seems to change every year so care is not consistent. One tried to recommend I had a root canal on a tooth that I had done last year. He tried to convince me I was wrong and had it done on the other side...eh as if I would forget the pain. I get the feeling they try to avoid any preventative treatment at all costs preferring to deal with routine check ups and emergencies. All to do with cost but I'm sure it costs more in the long term.

Thanks for advice all. I will be taking out den plan as soon as this treatment is done (got to go back Friday for a check up).

I feel very much that I must complain, that my voice should be heard and that I shouldn't stand for such shoddy treatment but I also feel weak and ill and a bit like I can't be arsed with it all. I'm hoping as soon as I regain some strength to get a complaint under way.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now