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NHS dentists

(11 Posts)
PostmanPatricia Wed 10-Apr-13 00:12:08

My dentist does NHS dentistry for children, not for parents. Went to make an appointment for the kids and DH.

'Sorry you can't make an appointment for the children until you've made one for a parent, because you haven't seen us for 2 years, so you've got no right to NHS dentistry'

'Ok, can I have the children in the morning then DH at noon.'

'No, a parent has to be seen first, why don't you make an appointment at the same time?'

'I'm not going to do an appointment while in charge of 2 small children, I'll do it when they're back at school.'

Eventually managed to sort something out, and the receptionist said 'So sorry about that', in the tones of 'the people I have to deal with' to the woman behind me.

After all this kerfuffle took the kids to the dentist, he opened the kids mouths, 'How are your teeth?', he asked my son. 'Actually the front one hurts', 'Plus he's got terrible bad breath'. Dentist 'Oh just brush them a bit harder' 'Next please', he counts the teeth, thanks very much ker ching, two kids seen in the space of 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, for the adults, non-NHS they are saying 'Perhaps modom would like to make an appointment to see the hygienist', as many appointments as possible.

Don't think I will bother bringing the kids back again.

MsBella Wed 10-Apr-13 00:20:17

Id make a complaint, that's absolutely terrible! Yanbu!

Kubalai Wed 10-Apr-13 00:24:00

You can complain through PALS, and your local NHS with have an oral health lead you could discuss your concerns with.

The practice will also have a practice manager you should be able to register a complaint with too.

Please don't neglect their teeth just because you are unhappy with their care.

PostmanPatricia Wed 10-Apr-13 00:28:46

That's out-of-ordinary then for NHS dentists? TBH his halitosis is pretty bad, quite a lot of his classmates have mentioned it, but the dentist wasn't interested at all, they actually originally tried to schedule the kids in in one appointment slot with me, it's clearly routine that they just count the teeth, fill in the form, and collect the money - the receptionist obviously knew he wouldn't give them long.

I wouldn't bother with a practice manager, the dentistry is a one-man operation, so just leave and complain to PALS or whatever.

LessMissAbs Wed 10-Apr-13 00:29:02

Yep, I recently registered with a new NHS practice, and was rather shocked to be told that my teeth needed no treatment, but they also did Botox, cosmetic work, etc, none of which I had asked about or expressed any interest in!

PostmanPatricia Wed 10-Apr-13 00:36:33

I'm not sure how much they get from the NHS, but they charge I think £49 to see the dentist, another £49 for the hygienist, and so on, privately. NHS I guess much less than that.

I do remember when I used to go to the dentist as a teenager they would nag me about my teeth, but then the last time I went there they said 'your teeth are very strong, lovely', and it turned out they were kicking me off the list.

I'm fortunate enough, financially, that I have no problem paying for dentistry for myself or kids, but I just found them exceedingly grasping, considering they made all this fuss about not booking the kids in until they had a full-paying adult appointment, and then after this performance spending about 1 minute actually looking at their teeth, each.

I was happy when I last saw them in terms of the quality of my appointment, nothing to complain about at all, it's just this penny-pinching performance with the children has made me reluctant to spend my money there any more.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Wed 10-Apr-13 01:16:45

Postman how old is your DS?

The breath may be due to something other than his teeth.
OK if he's not brushing properly there's one cause but I can tell when my teen DS is dehydrated by his breath.

My DH and 2 DC attend one dentist (my DD wanted a female dentist so we searched to find one she was happy with).
And though I'm happy to take my DC there I don't like the Dental Assistants (I'm fine as a parent but not as a patient) so I go elsewhere.

ukatlast Wed 10-Apr-13 01:27:27

People don't realise how basic NHS dentistry actually is but this guy is a fool because he risks losing you as a private patient for not giving your kids appropriate care on the NHS.
If you are going to go private for dentistry (I do as well), it is best to go to a totally private practice because then everyone gets taken seriously and the dentist has a need to impress you all and add value - as you can get it for free (almost) on NHS if you feel the service is not superior.
If your son has bad breath, he would benefit from seeing a hygienist probably.
You should also complain through NHS channels as one minute is a bit lax by anyone's standards - especially re the tooth you said was hurting.

BigBoobiedBertha Wed 10-Apr-13 01:37:49

That is very bad. I don't think I would be going back there again.

We have an NHS dentist for us all and they certainly don't treat us like this. In fact the dentist I saw did quite a considerable amount of work on me for nothing as he wasn't convinced that it was going to work (my crown fell off and it was difficult to get back on). Not having had an NHS dentist for years, I was very impressed at his commitment to doing a good job rather than trying to get as much money out of the NHS as possible. The dentist my DC see in the same practice is very efficient (quick appointments) but thorough and I have no doubts she is doing what she needs to do.

I agree with a PP that the bad breath could be due to something else like dehydration or constipation. Perhaps in counting the teeth the dentist couldn't see anything in his mouth that could account for the smell but he should have advised you to see a doctor if that was the case not just ignore the issue.

PostmanPatricia Wed 10-Apr-13 01:47:52

DS is 10. I think he needs to see a hygienist, but he obviously wasn't going to suggest that because he won't make enough £££ from it.

BigBoobiedBertha Wed 10-Apr-13 01:53:34

Has he got any wobbly teeth PostmanPatricia? It could be some food has got trapped underneath and that is causing the bad breath. Not that it is very helpful if your dentist CBA to have a look and clean things out.

Do you have another NHS dentist locally? We had none for a very long time here but in the last couple of years we have got a few new ones. I don't know if there has been a change in the charging rules. I would be looking else where personally.

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