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Dentist won't do crowns on the NHS because he says they are no good.

(41 Posts)
spenditwisely Mon 09-Jan-12 12:47:48

He said that he is a specialist in bridges and crowns and doesn't use NHS standard crowns because they wouldn't last and he has a reputation to uphold. Is this a genuine claim on his part?

He' quoted £2400 for four crowns, two root canals and one tooth removal. He will only do the cleaning, xrays and advice for free.

Or would I be better to get implants and a holiday in Eastern Europe?

Haziedoll Mon 09-Jan-12 12:53:36

Is he actually allowed to do this? If he is operating as an NHS dentist I would have thought that he is obliged to carry out all procedures that are available on the NHS, crowns being one of them. Might be worth looking into.

Also I thought that the crowns used by the NHS were the same as the ones made privately. I know a self employed crown/veneer maker and I am sure he sells his products to both NHS and private dentists.

spenditwisely Mon 09-Jan-12 13:03:29

He said the way they do it is more effective and that NHS ones wouldn't last. He says 'we use microscopes' and gestured towards a gadget in the corner. Not sure what he meant by that.

spenditwisely Mon 09-Jan-12 13:45:01

This is a very reputable dentist that does hundreds of families in the area - I kind of trust what he says but it does seem wrong to me.

Haziedoll Mon 09-Jan-12 13:54:27

I had veneers put in by a cosmetic dentist who did a fantastic job. They are coming to the end of their lifespan and I have had a couple replaced by my NHS dentist (one had to be replaced by a crown). I was happier with the results when I went private because the cosmetic dentist specialised in veneers and was more skilled. However the replacements don't appear to look any different.

If I were you I would shop around and get a few quotes. It does sound as if your dentist is looking at ££ but maybe i'm wrong.

Sandalwood Mon 09-Jan-12 13:59:07

It's like bloody rogue traders out there!
Our dentist gave DH the choice between NHS or private crown, DH asked the difference - the dentist said "the private one won't fall out".

DeWe Mon 09-Jan-12 14:00:31

I had private crown put in a couple of years ago. It wasn't the most expensive, but it was only between £200 and £300. I had it private because the NHS would only do silver crowns and I wanted white.

I would also ask about length of time lasting. I think I was quoted in mine as lasting roughly 40 years. The more expensive ones lasted longer... 60 years. I thought that was a risk worth taking.

spenditwisely Mon 09-Jan-12 14:06:09

DeWe I was quoted them as lasting 15 years and implants 25 years.

Are they making it up as they go along?

Sandalwood agree with the rogue traders aspect. At least it seems to be like that, but this guy may be completely right.

Cheap flights to Prague anyone?

Haziedoll Mon 09-Jan-12 14:06:48

I wasn't given a choice of a private or an NHS crown, I just assumed that it was an NHS one because I didn't pay for my treatment, it was free because I had just had a baby.

I also had a filling, the dentist said he would give me a white one because I wasn't paying anyway. Thinking about it now I thought that white fillings were only available privately so I'm confused as to how I had it done on the NHS.

QED Mon 09-Jan-12 14:12:11

I'm having two crowns fitted on the NHS and they are white ones (well an off white but I got to choose which colour I had - felt like a paint chart or something as she held bits of fake tooth up to my mouth). Other NHS crowns I've had have lasted a few years so far.

Grumpystiltskin Mon 09-Jan-12 17:13:02

OP, does the dentist do NHS work at all?

If he does then he may be on a sticky wicket with his explanation. It's complicated, if the treatment is particularly complex he is within his rights to not do it unless he has a contract with the PCT which allows for him to carry out complex work.

£2400 is pretty good private fee for the work involved that you have described. NHS crowns should not "fall off" any more readily than private ones but the appearance can be pretty different with better aesthetics from private work. That has more to do with who makes the crown than what the dentist does.

Eastern Europe is a bad idea, afterall if PIP implants can be such a spectacular issue, the chances of you getting any help from the NHS if tooth implants go wrong are about as high as the chance of a snowman making me a G&T right now.

Why is all this treatment necessary? It's a big plan, if he does NHS work you can ask for the root canal treatment/extraction to be done NHS and the crowns to be done privately if the appearance is crucial.

PM me if you would rather ask specific questions.

dippywhentired Mon 09-Jan-12 17:24:27

Just to say, if he does NHS work, he is not allowed to say that private treatment is 'better', even though this may be the case. The microscope is probably used for doing the root canal treatment, and yes it is true to say you are likely to get a better result privately as he can use more expensive materials, spend more time on it, etc. You can only have white crowns on the NHS on pre-molars forwards, molars will be metal ones.

spenditwisely Mon 09-Jan-12 17:30:20

He' an NHS dentist treats lots of local families but he claims he's a specialist - he does implants as well, has 15 years of training and a microscope!

But it works out at around £400 per tooth. My teeth are completely wasted due to dodgy early brushing and dentistry and about 2 years without a visit due to a minor trauma which put me off going. I also foolishly waited until I could claim benfit to deal with the latest issue, two dying nerves which need the root canal treatment.

I don't mind paying out of my savings but I'd like the work to last as long as they say it is going to last. My previous dental treatment never lasted more than a few years.

Grumpystiltskin Mon 09-Jan-12 18:47:02

You can easily check if he is a specialist by looking at the GDC register. Specialist is a restricted term and it will say after his registration if he is a "specialist".

CointreauVersial Mon 09-Jan-12 18:49:59

My NHS crown is still going strong after nearly 20 years.

Superfly Mon 09-Jan-12 20:58:24

'NHS' crowns are made exactly in the same way as 'private' crowns - the only difference is is the amount the dentist charges you. The charge by the technician would be the same regardless of nhs/ private work. What you are in fact paying for is the dentists time. Crown/ bridge and root canal work is extremely time-consuming and laborious.

I worked for a dentist 25 years ago who used to tell his private patients that his white fillings were superior to amalgam fillings as they used special adhesives to attach to the tooth - therefore less chance of them breaking/ falling out. Some people believe anything if they are paying through the nose for it - they need to believe the treatment/ materials/ techniques are better to justify the cost.

spenditwisely Mon 09-Jan-12 22:00:05

Superfly you have reaffirmed my fears that he's just pulling a fast one. He was a bit vague about why exactly his work would be better than NHS crowns.

Thanks grumpy I have checked and he is well qualified - on the NHS website it says 'MrMoneybags completed his 4-year Specialist Training at the renowned Guys, King’s and St Thomas’ Dental Institute and is now an accredited Specialist in Fixed and Removable Prosthodontics'. So I trust that he's good, I'm just not sure why he won't do the work on the NHS.

Perhaps I will get the root canals done at Mrcheapos dentist and get back to MrMoneybags for the crowns. God I hate even the thought of root canals. Two. That scratchy wire thing. Do I really have to go through this torture?

DorothyGherkins Mon 09-Jan-12 22:06:49

I had a NHS crown done about fifteen years ago, still intact, not causing any problems, dont even think about it being there. Had another crown done privately 2 years costing £600 - has given me nothing but trouble, and needs to come out some time in the near future.

spenditwisely Mon 09-Jan-12 22:17:54

Thanks Dorothy I may just be getting a few more quotes.

bonzo77 Mon 09-Jan-12 22:31:26

OP, another dentist here to answer some questions...

1. If he is a "specialist" he should be registered as such. Check the GDC website, go the section called "search the register". If he is not registered as specialist, he is marketing himself falsely. The GDC takes a dim view of this.

2. The standard of the work has to be the same whether NHS or private. An NHS crown is made of silver-coloured metal. A private one could be metal, gold, porcelain bonded to metal, all ceramic, computer designed / manufactured. Both still has to be fit for purpose. The dentist stlll has to assess the tooth correctly, provide a root canal if required and prepare the tooth to the same standards. An NHS crown will undoubtably not meet your aesthetic requirements. It should however totally meet your functional ones.

3. No No NO to a dentistry holiday... because who know what the foreign dentist's qualifications and experience are, who knows what materials and labs she uses, who knows if her English is sufficient to explain risks etc to you, who knows what (if any) after care you will get, and who knows what course of redress you will have should it go wrong. As grumpy says, look at the PIP thing.

I suggest that the next thing to do is to get a second opinion. This sounds like quite a big treatment plan, and there will be alternatives, both in terms of the exact treatment plan and the NHS / private question. There may well be sound reasons why this dentist is recommending some private options, but he cannot just opt out of offering certain treatment items on the NHS.

Feel free to PM me too.

Grumpystiltskin Tue 10-Jan-12 06:23:10

Ps superfly. Private lab work is not the same as NHS. Privately you will get far better aesthetics, a higher precious metal content where appropriate and usually a more experienced technician.

spenditwisely Thu 12-Jan-12 01:06:25

Thanks Bonzo and Grumpy, I went to my old dentist today and realised how nice she is and asked her lots of questions to which she gave loads of answers. The practice is a busy, mostly NHS one, but it's very clean, has had the same staff for years, always 2 receptionists on and very efficient. They send you text reminders and the assistants are excellent. Mr Moneybags on the other hand has a dingy practice with tatty furniture and he accidentally scratched my head with his spike. He had to talk the assistant through the computer system. My old dentist is young and dynamic but explained everything to me as an equal whereas Mr Moneybags left far too many questions unanswered. He probably is good at what he does, but I am reluctant to chuck £2400 to someone unless they can really show that they can do a much better job than the NHS dentist.

I've also booked a second opinion with a recommended dentist, he will charge £40 for that...

I won't be doing the dentistry holiday, now that I know what's involved - my teeth are totally wrecked. I've been extremely ignorant in my treatment of them over the years and I have to pay for it now. I never learnt how to brush my teeth properly until I was about 30. For instance. Sad, because I never had sweets until I was about 10 and then it was rare.

I stopped going after a bad experience with my old dentist but I discussed it with her and she was really supportive and apologetic etc. She said she would 'stabilise' the teeth and then her colleague would be able to do the crowns because she hasn't got enough points left. Points???

Grumpystiltskin Thu 12-Jan-12 05:56:15

It probably means that she has used her NHS funding for this financial year so any work she did, she wouldn't get paid for. Someone else may not I've reached their quota.

Charliebo Mon 01-Sep-14 20:20:28

I have today been told that I have to have a metal coloured crown fitted on my tooth and not a white one. A metal coloured one is £219 on nhs and if I want a white one it has to be fitted privately for £350. My sister has recently had a white crown fitted for £219. Could someone please tell me what are the rules and regulations.

EldonAve Mon 01-Sep-14 20:29:27

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