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to want dentist to stop trying to upsell!

(62 Posts)
VelvetSpoon Mon 29-May-17 09:30:25

Hoping upsell is the right phrase!

I have reasonable teeth for my age (mid 40s). The top set are reasonably straight, bottom set less so. Only 1 filling. Never had a brace so they've never been straightened. They are average teeth, so nothing like a set of Towie veneered gleaming white gnashers.

I'm an NHS patient at my dentist. I go for a check up every 12 months. Each time they tell me I need a hygiene treatment which they charge £70 plus the basic bottom rate NHS fee.

This was enough (I have refused the hygiene treatment once when i couldn't afford it but they were really funny with me) but the last couple of times they're now promoting braces with leaflets handed to you, asking you if you're interested etc.

At my most recent appt, i was asked again. Said I'm not interested, joked I was too old for braces. Response was Oh lots of our patients are in their 50s...so did i want to think about it, it was ONLY £3k (!). I said I couldn't afford that. To which the response was we'll do you a payment plan hmm.

I then got a hard sell about how my teeth were overcrowded and will decay because I can't clean them properly...although a brace won't make any difference unless i have teeth out which isn't included in the £3k! And my teeth aren't level, and this will be more obvious when they're straight, dentist points this out and tells me then I'd need veneers as well or they'll look wrong!

Thankfully that was the end of appt so i could leave. But i have to go back for a filling in 2 weeks and am already dreading a repeat of the whole convo!

Why have they got to sell me stuff? I don't have £3k for teeth, let alone what this would actually cost with veneers etc!

pringlecat Mon 29-May-17 09:33:47

They've got to sell you stuff because you're an NHS patient and they're not making enough money from you.

I was actually quite interested in adult braces until I was told that my teeth would move back into the wrong position eventually. So several thousands, months of feeling like an awkward teenager and no long term result...

In your position, I'd look to change dentists. This kind of uncomfortable upselling is only going to get worse.

JustDanceAddict Mon 29-May-17 09:35:37

Go private!!seriously, I'm a private patient, and the hygienist isn't that expensive!!

sexymuthafunker Mon 29-May-17 09:37:50

Change dentist.

puppetno213 Mon 29-May-17 09:40:39

I totally understand and YANBU

I have had a huge amount of work done on my teeth - fillings, crowns, root canals - all necessary work which has taken up hours of pain and time in a dentist chair.

My teeth are weak and I should be doing everything I can to keep them strong, Yet my dentist always seems to want to sell me something like regular teeth whitening, "smile straightening" etc. Wtf?

First of all it goes against the other messages he is telling me about my teeth (as whitening and straightening are likely to weaken teeth) and secondly it simply adds to the already huge amount of time I am in the dentist chair.

I am happy to be an average person with average teeth like you. I am not looking for a manicures mouth. Yet the expectation and attitude seems to be that you are crazy if you don't want these things and that you are somehow neglectful of your teeth and the way you look.

ChicRock Mon 29-May-17 09:41:52

That's an expensive hygiene treatment!

They all seem to be doing it now - braces, Botox, teeth whitening, £300 toothbrushes.

It's pushy and inappropriate and I'd have no hesitation in telling my dentist that if he tried. He doesn't though.

Go private, it's much nicer and in a lot of cases, surprisingly cheaper.

VelvetSpoon Mon 29-May-17 09:54:53

I was actually pretty insulted by the 'your teeth are all going to rot without a brace' given they're not in bad condition now and are as overcrowded as they've always been!

Is the hygiene more than others pay? I'm a bit confused about that because friends who go to dentist in other areas tell me it's included in their NHS treatment, so I'm never sure if i even should be paying at all.

peaceout Mon 29-May-17 09:56:09

I have private dentistry and have never experienced any up selling

ChicRock Mon 29-May-17 09:58:49

NHS dentist fees

I think they've charged you privately for the hygienist.

pringlecat Mon 29-May-17 10:01:24

Not a dentist, but I think you are supposed to get a basic scale and polish on the NHS if you have so much plaque your teeth are going to fall out but otherwise, any hygienist work has to be private.

Costs me £60 to £75 in London depending on whether I want a normal clean or a super duper one. £70 outside of London would be on the high side...

PacificDogwod Mon 29-May-17 10:01:46

What you are describing is part of the reason why we changed dentist.

I now pay £10.40 for the hygienist, I may well in the future require some kind of implant/bridge thing, but there is no hard sell for tooth whitening or other crap.

Get a recommendation for a dentist from a neighbour or friend would be my advice.

theclick Mon 29-May-17 10:02:05

Agree the upselling in some places is a joke. Tell him firmly but politely no thanks, I Only have time for what I came in for and that is all the time I'll usually have.

user1495915742 Mon 29-May-17 10:09:43

My teeth sound similar to yours with only one filling.

I pay £37.50 for a dental check up once a year and £57.50 for the hygienist twice a year. I'd say it is a good idea to see the hygienist at least once a year. My mouth is in better condition for seeing her. Although my teeth are strong my gums are more of a problem.

Why don't you just look for another dentist?

Where I go, the dental nurse made notes of conversations so the following year my dentist would ask how my job was going and if I managed to sort out a problem I was having at the time. I hated it - so cheesy! They've stopped doing it so must have had complaints.

Twoevils Mon 29-May-17 10:11:05

Must be lucky as my dentist doesn't do this at all, plus tries to do add much as possible via NHS channels. He will do a quick scale and polish at regular check ups. A hygienist is available and I have visited them about once every two years, costs in the £50 mark.

I shall count my blessings!

Splodgeinc Mon 29-May-17 10:19:08

I was annoyed that there was no NHS dentist in my area and I was having to pay privately. However now I'm not. I pay 12.50 a month and get two check ups and hygienist visits a year covered in that. I am also insured in that cost in case I need more expensive treatment (there is an excess) and I have out of hours cover and my child is seen for free - so sadly I think private is better!

AvoidingCallenetics Mon 29-May-17 10:29:12

Fgs don't go private! With the nhs your treatment falls into 3 bands, so depending on what you need, you will be charged according to the band your treatment falls into. Compare nhs band prices to private charges for xrays, crowns etc and there is a big difference. Don't give up access to an nhs dentist voluntarily.

It is true that a basic scale and polish should be included in the check up charge if the plaque is causing harm to your teeth. They won't just do it for cosmetic reasons.The dentist won't volunteer this info and will resent doing it because a dentist wants to sell their private treatments that make profit for their business. But you should ask for it if you need it.
I know an nhs dentist whose job it is to monitor the provision of nhs dentistry in my area, so if you feel they are trying to sell you unnecessary treatment or deny you treatment in order to sell you private services, you ought to contact the health board and ask them to investigate.

£70 for a hygienist is about £25 too expensive (going on prices where I live). Given that it is a private service, if you wanted it there is nothing stopping you from going somewhere more competitively priced to get it.

By all means look for another nhs dentist if you are not happy, but don't give up this one until you find one.

megletthesecond Mon 29-May-17 10:31:13

I've had this too. Trying to sell me an Invisalign brace when I'm NHS.

Hygienist is £50 which I don't mind stumping up for as it's only every 12 months.

AvoidingCallenetics Mon 29-May-17 10:36:38

Just to add that some private monthly payment plans are much better/worse than others. So if you do go down this route check very carefully what is included. Some will charge the full private price for root canal, crowns etc as only check ups and basic work is covered by their monthly plans.

At the moment you have decent teeth but that can change very quickly. So you want a plan that will protect you from as many big costs as possible

VelvetSpoon Mon 29-May-17 10:52:13

The NHS link is confusing, seems to suggest that any hygiene should be included in the middle band fee...so I'm none the wiser!

The hygiene treatment I get is basically my usual dentist just scraping off some plaque and digging around my gumline. There's no separate hygienist.

All my local friends have private dentists.

I will look for a new NHS one but i have to go back to this one first as I've already paid for my treatment.

RubixCircle Mon 29-May-17 12:05:18

The private only dentist I work for actively talks people OUT of doing any cosmetic work! He refuses to do bleaching on all but a handful of people. And despite having an orthodontist on site tells anyone older than about 35 that unless having crooked teeth really really bothers them it's not worth it! He's never done a full set of veneers for cosmetic reasons on anyone in his life.
Hygienist sounds very expensive. I work in a very posh part of london and it's only £60 here!

peaceout Mon 29-May-17 12:10:44

And despite having an orthodontist on site tells anyone older than about 35 that unless having crooked teeth really really bothers them it's not worth it!
I'm surprised about that!

Fluffyears Mon 29-May-17 12:12:39

I had train track braces for overcrowded teeth as a teenager, they became straight. Within two years they went back to being squint, luckily it is only the bottom ones so not too noticeable. As I was still in school mine were done free of charge, my dad did ask how much the treatment would have been privately and it was £5k, that was back in the early 90's.

HungerOfThePine Mon 29-May-17 12:20:23

Get a different dentist, I pay private for hygienist once every 6 months and it's only £35 and an NHS funded visit to to dentist after.

Even my private payed braces cost less than half of your unwanted quote!

Hygienists are not needed unless you have bad teeth or quite bad gum problems that need better management.

peaceout Mon 29-May-17 12:22:37

I had braces as a teenager, now nearly 40 years later my teeth are still perfectly straight...Id assumed my experience was the norm but from reading on here I wonder if I've actually been quite lucky?

lobsterface Mon 29-May-17 12:25:47

I pay 20 quid for a check up, scale and polish. No attempt at upselling yet but would let them know I wasn't happy if they did.

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