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Incredulous about what the dentist said to me.

(197 Posts)
GranolaLover Thu 11-Jan-18 19:01:52

Bit of background first. I had to go to the dentist about a month ago as an emergency as I had had raging toothache for 4 days. It was the first time I'd been to the dentist in 10 years as basically couldn't afford it as I'm not working,on disability benefits. Have only found out from the receptionist at this visit that I am probably entitled to free,or reduced cost treatment as I'm on a low income. Anyway,I had the tooth removed as the dentist said it was 'past saving'. Fine,no problem with that,just wanted to get of the pain. But I asked him what could be done about my front,lower teeth. I lost one of the front middle ones about 2 years ago,and since then the one next to has moved slightly inwards,hence I have a gap at the front,with a wonky tooth next to it. Thankfully,it is not too visible. I have quite bad tartare build-up on the backs of my front teeth,which no amount of brushing or flossing can get rid of. It is probably what caused the tooth to fall out. I was surprised when the dentist said 'nothing could be done' about my teeth,as I had neglected them! I was shock and blush. I thought in these days of fantastic dentistry that something could be done to improve the look of them. I rather got the impression his attitude was 'Well what do you expect if you don't go to the dentist regularly?'. Anyone else experienced anything like this,or had a similar tooth problem to mine,but had it sorted?

Monoblock67 Thu 11-Jan-18 19:10:00

He probably thought you were fishing for veneers or similar, which it doesn’t sound like you’re at the stage of needing yet. The dentist is probably exasperated from years of treating people who neglect their teeth.

BigbreastsBiggerbeard Thu 11-Jan-18 19:10:30

I'd ask for a second opinion.

Did he not give you any advice on how to care for your teeth, at least?

Did he not refer you to the hygienist for a scale and polish to remove the tartar?

His bedside (chairside?) manner leaves a lot to be desired.

Monoblock67 Thu 11-Jan-18 19:11:43

Also I really struggle to believe that having been on disability benefits for so long that you didn’t know you were entitled to help with dental costs, I’m sorry but that’s what it reads like. I just can’t believe it’s never came up before.

ThisLittleKitty Thu 11-Jan-18 19:16:16

I'm also quite surprised you wouldn't have known that you we're entitled to treatment. Anyway I find nhs dentists very quick to just remove teeth rather than do anything else. I had a hole in my tooth (I have a phobia of the dentist) and when I finally did go he told me it needed to be removed. I chickened out and ended up moving from the area when I went to a different dentist he told me I could have foot canal treatment. Something the other dentist never mentioned.

AccidentallyRunToWindsor Thu 11-Jan-18 19:19:34

I hadn't gone to the dentist in 9 years when I went to the emergency dentist with an infected wisdom tooth.

The dentist said something along the lines of 'so you don't bother with checkups and now you want me to fix you'

As it was, she just wrote me a prescription for antibiotics so diddnt really 'treat' me.

I was really embarrassed at the time which gave way to being cross about it!

TittyGolightly Thu 11-Jan-18 19:21:31

NHS treatment is about health, not appearance. If they aren’t diseased, how they look wont get you treatment.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 11-Jan-18 19:23:11

Anyway I find nhs dentists very quick to just remove teeth rather than do anything else

I disagree massively with this. I just had a complicated root canal rather than removing a tooth. The root canal took a while to "settle" and if it didn't the next step was going to be an operation to remove the tip of the root. Saving the tooth was a priority.

And this was all free.

GranolaLover Thu 11-Jan-18 19:25:35

No I honestly did not know that I was entitled to free treatment,amazing as it may sound! No one ever told me,and when I asked at the DWP office,they just said 'You are only entitled to free dental treatment if you are in receipt of income related JSA or income support,not if you receive ESA or DLA (now PIP)'. I think they just don't want people to know their entitlements,because,heaven forbid,we might actually claim them. Anyway,I know now.
BigbreastsBiggerbeard. - No,he didn't give me any advice or refer me to the hygienist. Quite frankly,I think his bedside/chairside manner was non-existent and I won't be going back there. Which is a shame because the receptionists/dental nurses were lovely.

LemonShark Thu 11-Jan-18 19:27:45

Sorry but the dentist was just being matter of fact. Sometimes they can't do anything once a tooth is in such a state of disrepair. They probably get lots of people rock up a decade too late who've been putting it off/lazy and expecting that ten years of damage can be undone, and it just can't.

I understand it must be shocking to hear but it doesn't sound like they were rude or anything. Nhs dentistry is largely about function and health not cosmetics.

Was there any reason you didn't look into the charges on benefits in the many years since you last went? Not even when your teeth started to really deteriorate?

ThisLittleKitty Thu 11-Jan-18 19:28:47

Mine never even mentioned root canal. I hadnt even heard of it until I went to the other one. Could have just been that dentist then as he generally wasn't very understanding of my phobia either.

Mandalorian Thu 11-Jan-18 19:30:31

I disagree massively with this

See now I'm inclined to agree with it. My old dentist would never explore anything other than 'pull the tooth'. I was too dental phobic to question it.
Now I have an amazing dentist who's all but cured my fears and her priority is keeping my teeth looking well.

MyDcAreMarvel Thu 11-Jan-18 19:32:23

ESA is an out of work benefit though just like JSA or IS, surely you know this. And you have neglected your teeth.

bridgetreilly Thu 11-Jan-18 19:34:15

Definitely arrange a hygienist appointment. But there may not be much they can do other than scale and polish.

Mrsmadevans Thu 11-Jan-18 19:35:16

Kitty and OP. I think you have been unlucky , my local dentist (NHS) did a huge filling and a crown , l hate the dentist but l do look after my teeth , correct cleaning , flossing regular dentist appts, she advised me not to have the tooth out because it leads to other teeth moving into the space causing more problems. It cost me £190 and it was money well spent.My advice is go by personal recommendation from others , Good luck OP!

FluffyWuffy100 Thu 11-Jan-18 19:35:29

Basically if you want the best outcome for your teeth you have to pay privately. Which is crazy because it costs eg over a grand for root canal and an onlay (like a crown).

Fattymcfaterson Thu 11-Jan-18 19:36:05

Tartar build up is due to not brushing, it's as simple as that, a good scale and polish can clear it out and will improve the health or your gums and maybe prevent the loss of another tooth

FluffyWuffy100 Thu 11-Jan-18 19:36:44

Are you going to the hygienist? Do you get any help towards that cost? I go every 4 months which really helps.

Fattymcfaterson Thu 11-Jan-18 19:37:01

Some NHS dentists don't offer free hygienist appointments though, so you may have to pay. It's usually around £50

PissedOffNeighbour Thu 11-Jan-18 19:41:37

It’s not just about health or my dd1 wouldn’t be having her braces free on the nhs. There’s nothing wrong with the heath of her teeth but they are a bit wonky. I can’t believe how lucky she is to get this treatment for free.

DailyMailReadersAreThick Thu 11-Jan-18 19:42:10

I'm incredulous too. He said nothing can be done about tartar build-up? That's clearly bollocks. I'm sure your front teeth could be 'fixed' too, although maybe not on the NHS.

GranolaLover Thu 11-Jan-18 19:44:10

No,the hygienist isn't covered by the free treatment apparently. Receptionist told me it costs 45 quid a time.

weepingangel12 Thu 11-Jan-18 19:47:24

maybe he meant there is nothing to be done that you could get for free or subsidised? There are lots of cosmetic things you can do but they are expensive and not covered.

HermioneAndMsJones Thu 11-Jan-18 19:47:26

The dentist is probably exasperated from years of treating people who neglect their teeth.
And?? That’s his job. Whatever he thinks bout people neglecting (or not able to as in the case of the OP) their teeth should never have an impact in the way they are treat8ng patients or in what they are telling them.

Go and see another dentist.

Charolais Thu 11-Jan-18 19:52:17

I’m in the states where dental care is very expensive and being in my mid-60’s now all my root canals/crowns seem to be giving way and have lost a few teeth because of it. I had one implant done a few years ago, they cost from $3,000 to $5,000 (3695 pounds) depending on what tooth it is.

I’m just wondering how much are implants there. Many Americans ,and Canadians as well, go down to Mexico for dental work where it is cheaper. I wouldn’t mind doing it in the U.K. if the price is right.

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