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To be angry at the dentist.....

(59 Posts)
darkcloudlooming Mon 16-Oct-17 13:17:47

So I had An appointment booked today for a root canal. I’m a ‘fee paying’ NHS patient because I can’t afford private care (even though we cut back on everything and have no luxuries or holidays) and I had to really build myself up to go because I don’t like dentists and really am anxious. So I got myself ready and was prepared for the appointment and my husband had to take 3 hours off work ( was supposed to start at 10 but appointment was at 11:50 only one available and then it’s 40 minutes for the root canal) to look after my baby for this but then someone then rang me an hour before my appointment to tell me the dentist is not coming in because he had ‘broke down’ which we all know is a load of crap and the real reason is because they got a private patient in who can pay the £300 fee for the private root canal. They use this excuse every single time ! So now I’m left with an infected tooth and I pain! She then said in the Phone she’s not sure when this can be done now! But then found an appointment for half an hour and that he will have to ‘do wonders on This appointment and rush on the day as we are fully booked and don’t have a lot of 40 minutes appointments) Am I being unreasonable to be angry??
I don’t have the best teeth because of neglect as a child.. my mum didn’t care about oral hygiene, she didn’t teach us anything and didn’t take us to the dentist unless we were crying out In pain and she fed us on processed sugary ready meals and tinned food because she wanted to save as much as she could for her booze. So I’m really depressed right now! I feel like I’m judged every time I go to the dentist but my teeth were long gone by time I was 15 because of what my mum fed us in. There is no more NHS dentists around where I live and I have no disposable income to go private. I’m starting to feel really suicidal and wanted this out of the way.. :-(

darkcloudlooming Mon 16-Oct-17 13:18:55

And the 30 appointment is in 3 weeks time !

FlexTimeCheekyFucker Mon 16-Oct-17 13:25:16

You can't possibly know that you were cancelled in favour of a private patient.

TheRealGussieFinkNottle Mon 16-Oct-17 13:26:53

So sorry OP sad that's really not on. They shouldn't fob you off like that. Could you write a letter in to complain? They're definitely at fault as they cancelled on you, so could you have a look at the NHS website to see what your rights are in this situation?

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Mon 16-Oct-17 13:35:38

Ime NHS dentists do this a lot, it drives my dh up the wall as he had to take a whole morning off work for an appt. Fortunately the surgery we go to now opens on a Saturday so he gets to book appts then. We have a 'sit and wait' for emergencies, does yours do that?

melj1213 Mon 16-Oct-17 13:38:10

YABU to immediately assume that the receptionist is lying just because you are NHS - I am an NHS patient in a private practice and I have never had my treatment bumped in favour of a private patient - and I have had root canal with the addition of an abcess and impacted wisdom teeth all treated in the last 8 months and I never felt like I was treated any differently to any other patient.

YANBU to want your treatment done promptly and to expect them to have made your appointment a priority for rescheduling.

I would call them back and tell them you are in pain - that would qualify you for an emergency appointment in my practice, and even if they couldn't do the full root canal treatment they would be able to do something to deal with the pain and discomfort until they could fit you n properly. We also have an emergency dental service that you phone and they will assess whether you can wait for the appointment your dentist has provided or need immediate emergency treatment and will refer you to the emergency NHS dental service.

BertieBeats Mon 16-Oct-17 13:41:35

Surely ,regardless of whether you were NHS or private they'd get the money. I had to have 2 teeth removed for my braces (cosmetic so not necessary ) and when I enquired about cost, fully expecting to pay, she said that because I had a maternity exemption card she'd do it free. So assume that she'd get the money either way otherwise she'd have put it through private knowing I was willing to pay.

darkcloudlooming Mon 16-Oct-17 14:02:16

Thanks for everyone’s responses.

The reason why I think they have favoured a private patient is because the excuse ‘he’s broken down’ is the oldest excuse in the book and has been used before to me..and I also went to an emergency appointment last week but they told me to just wait for my root canal appointment. Apparently he ‘broke down’ far away. I don’t believe for one second he would have gone so far away knowing he had appointments the next day for them to tell me an hour before it’s due.. I just feel like they don’t understand how much it takes for someone to build themselves up to just attend the appointment for them to cancel like that. Now I will have to spend 3 weeks convincing myself again to go and everything will be fine..

darkcloudlooming Mon 16-Oct-17 14:03:55

Also they can make £300 for one root canal when a patient is private where as an NHS patient like me only pays £56 for a full course of treatment which includes root canal of more than one teeth fillings etc so I think that’s why they cancel NHS patients so much.. if private care was affordable I would go private

Dowser Mon 16-Oct-17 14:13:21

But they will get the rest of the money from NHS...surely dark cloud

NotMyMonkees Mon 16-Oct-17 14:14:43

The NHS subsidies work like this, the dentist doesn't just get £56.

darkcloudlooming Mon 16-Oct-17 14:22:50

@NotMyMonkees @Dowser
I didn’t know this
Last time I saw him he did an extraction and a root canal on another tooth which I think was damaged further when he extracted the one next to it as there was nothing left after and he said he wouldn’t do this new root canal ( the one I’m talking about in my OP) because he doesn’t do two so close together on the NHS so I have had to wait at least 4-6 months for this as it is and o assumed it was because he doesn’t get paid much for if..

melj1213 Mon 16-Oct-17 14:53:38

He probably doesn't want to do them so close together because of the risk of complications and the fact you'd have to schedule emergency appointments to deal with them which would cost you £20 a time.

Also with teeth, root canals are major procedures so it's better to treat one, make sure it's completely fine and healed before starting another one especially if the second tooth's pain goes with the first tooth's treatment. Referred pain is when the pain from the affected tooth spreads into the teeth next to it as well even though there may not be a problem with those teeth and so it's better to see if the referred pain goes with the first treatment before undertaking further invasive treatment.

MissConductUS Mon 16-Oct-17 15:42:46

300 pounds for a privately paid root canal is quite reasonable compared to the US. I pay at least double that for one here.

Heatherjayne1972 Mon 16-Oct-17 16:33:34

Private Root treatments start at £650 pounds here

Op pp are right call the dentist and ask either complain to the practice manager or ask to go on the cancellation list

darkcloudlooming Mon 16-Oct-17 16:35:23

Thanks again

I know root treatment is expensive and I’m sure that’s what i was quoted once the £300, maybe I should check again and see if I was correct. Either way if it was £300 or £600 I couldn’t afford it. I just didn’t like the way she spoke to me either and she didn’t seem to care about my tooth at all

rainbowgrimm Mon 16-Oct-17 16:50:26

I'm a mixed NHS/private dentist. I have NEVER cancelled an NHS appt to see a private patient. I have cancelled appointments at short notice with little reason given when, quite frankly, it's my private business why I couldn't come in. For example when my mother died, when I was admitted in the middle of the working day with a ruptured ectopic pregnancy that almost killed me. I imagine my reception team may of given people excuses such as my car broke down to protect me & to make there lives easier.
By all means talk to the practice manager but please bear in mind there may be things going on behind the scenes you are unaware of.

darkcloudlooming Mon 16-Oct-17 17:02:51

@rainbowgrimm of course it’s only your business why you couldn’t come in but I hate when they use the most ridiculous lie like we have no intelligence whatsoever. We all know it is a lie, the receptionist knows it’s a lie and I know it’s a lie but we all go along with the lie for the sake of it. Then the lack of care she shown me was so wrong ‘I’m not sure when we can do this for you now’ like I don’t matter.. like I shouldn’t even bother asking for an appointment.

user1471548375 Mon 16-Oct-17 17:10:22

Must be shit having to wait OP. Hope you are able to manage the pain.

I think you're probably getting yourself worked up - the reason 'the car broke down' seems like a common excuse is because it does happen, a lot. There are entire industries dedicated to it - you know this.

Getting angry isn't going to change anything, you need to to put your big girl pants on, and either get over and wait for the appointment, request a cancellation slot if that's possible, or if you can't get past feeling you've been lied to, find a new dentist.

elfinpre Mon 16-Oct-17 17:25:21

It sounds really shit customer service. They should be bending over backwards to fit you in.

Wishingandwaiting Mon 16-Oct-17 17:29:21

You’ve jumped to conclusions and now and suspect the wrong conclusion

Heatherjayne1972 Mon 16-Oct-17 17:33:00

Dark cloud looming
There's a reason patients are told an often vague reason if the dentist has to cancel
Dentists are totally protected by confidentiality too. They don't want their private business gossiped about-and believe me it happens They see many people a day and it really gets tedious to explain 20/30 times the reason for absence especially if it's death divorce illness or something else emotive some patients are actually quite rude e.g a dentist I know had to cancel at short notice because of bereavement and a patient actually complained because the death was inconvenient to their ( patients) schedule
You may well be able to deal with the actual truth in a respectable grown- up manner but not everyone is

I'm only a hygienist and I'm contacted to give 6 weeks notice for holiday - which I did on one occasion and some people had to move their appointment (20 min. Scale and polish) Poor receptionist got in the neck because 'no one does that'and she ( me) is 'obviously up to something'

arethereanyleftatall Mon 16-Oct-17 17:35:17

I'm sorry your appt was cancelled, it's a pita when that happens.

But how do you know he didn't break down? Do you mean his car?

My dh is a dentist, I went in to labour with pfb at 8am so the receptionists cancelled his patients that day. He had 5 complaints, 4 of which he squeezed in the next morning at 7.30am, i was still in labour, But progressing slowly. 2 of those 4 still were cross that they weren't seen when they wanted to be. Nhs workers are just people, sometimes they can't get in to work, same as everyone else.

LaurieFairyCake Mon 16-Oct-17 17:36:42

If I suspected he was actually there performing work I’d be turning up to check confused

And then complaining to pals or whoever it is as it would be shocking.

Fortybingowings Mon 16-Oct-17 17:48:30

I’m sorry your appointment was cancelled but you are being completely and utterly ridiculous with your (frankly histrionic) assumptions about the reasons.

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