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another dental query - NHS patients cannot have an appointment longer than 20 mins ?

(21 Posts)
gingeroots Tue 27-Nov-12 21:48:39

Does this seem right to you ?

I have a long standing ( partly because pain orginially attributed to sinus pain ) problem which now requires the dentist to drill through a gold crown and then check if the root is cracked ( as the dental hospital have suggested ) and if not ,attempt a RC if calcification permits .

My last appt - which I attended but had nothing done because one dentist off sick + all IT failed - was for 45 mins .

When I phoned today was told not possible to book a 45min appt as these were only for private patients .
Does that seem odd ?

tink123 Tue 27-Nov-12 23:10:04

Sounds odd. I had a 1 hour appt for my root canal on the NHS

MirandaWest Tue 27-Nov-12 23:15:16

I have plenty of longer than 20 minute appointments on the nhs

fluffydressinggown Tue 27-Nov-12 23:21:08

That is not right at all, I have had long appointments on the NHS.

gingeroots Wed 28-Nov-12 08:28:54

Ok thanks ,seemed extremely weird to me .
Am beginning to think everytrhing to do with this tooth is jinxed .

NightLark Wed 28-Nov-12 08:31:37

I've read the other re

NightLark Wed 28-Nov-12 08:35:27

I've read the other replies but I don't find this surprising. Our dentist has stopped offering nhs children's appointments outside of school hours. The 3pm and later slots are now only for private patients. I think the future holds a lot more erosion of nhs services like this. Starting with the relatively trivial like withholding some appointment times, but moving swiftly into genuine (further) restrictions on treatment.

stubbornstains Wed 28-Nov-12 08:40:02

Are there written regulations on the level of service dentists should provide to NHS patients and are they flouting them I wonder?

(Our old dentist refused to clean tartar off my teeth, which I see as a dental health issue rather than a cosmetic one, and told me to pay for a hygienist instead. Mind you, he did go bankrupt and do a runner soon afterwards, so perhaps he wasn't entirely kosher hmm).

gingeroots Wed 28-Nov-12 10:39:05

Mmmm ,my dentist does that about not cleaning the teeth .
We have to pay to see the practice hygenist .
I think this is quite usual and I know some dentists refuse to treat you unless you see hygenist .

I can see the logic in offering certain slots only to private patients and my dentist has signs up that clearly explain this .

I mean there has to be some advantage to going private otherwise we'd all be NHS wouldn't we ?

But I'm still a bit hmm about short appointments only for NHS patients ,particularly if it's known in advance that it's going to be a little complicated .

I'm thinking now that he'll just do a bit of the procedure and then send me home with temp. stuff in place . Which I'm not keen on as the nerve is infected and the tooth keeps "flaring" up .
I'm thinking 10 mins drilling through the gold crown and a bit of temp.filling will be just the thing to really inflame it for Christmas .
Plus I'm just finishing yet another course of antibiotics which actually seem to have worked this time and I would have liked to have all the work done asap while the infection ( which seems to have spread to my sinuses ) was damped down .

Not to mention how scared I am .sad

gingeroots Wed 28-Nov-12 11:34:13

The more I think about this ,the more bonkers I think it is .

I simply can't imagine any dentist stopping work 3/4 or 1/2 through a procedure to fit into a 20 mins slot .

Surely it would make his job harder ,surely he/she isn't going to opt for 2 twenty minute sessions when one 45 min appointment would do the job ?

After all I imagine everything has to be cleaned etc between patients .

But the receptionist was quite clear ,she even went off to check with one of the dentists .

digerd Wed 28-Nov-12 16:58:05

My dentist, years ago, insisted on a private Hygienist for clean and polish.
Not many NHS dentists now round here, anyway.

MrsMiniversCharlady Wed 28-Nov-12 19:02:16

My dentist practice even answers the phone more quickly to private patients than NHS ones shock You have to dial 1 if you're private and get put straight through to someone whereas if you're NHS you have to wait until the receptionist is free angry

gingeroots Wed 28-Nov-12 20:44:23

Well I suppose they have to offer something extra for the private patients .

Crosses fingers nervously and hopes that the actual dentistry skill is the same for both categories .

foxy6 Wed 28-Nov-12 20:48:45

never had a problem with the time of dental appointments but dh had to pay extra for a hygienist appointment as he was only allowed 15 mins free and he need a 30 min one. he teeth were bad he hadn't been for years.

foxy6 Wed 28-Nov-12 20:50:13

just ask for 2x20 mins appointments one after the other see what they say then

MsElleTow Wed 28-Nov-12 20:53:59

I've got a half hour appointment booked for next Wednesday on the NHS. I think your dentist is trying to bully you into going private TBH?

dippywhentired Thu 29-Nov-12 12:48:07

Utter rubbish, I was an NHS dentist (am not working at the moment as am not in UK), and I made appointments based on how long I thought a procedure would take me. So, a check-up was 10 minutes, one filling was 20 minutes, molar root canal was an hour, etc. They might not like having appointments longer than 20 minutes because they get paid the same for doing one filling as for doing what you're having done, but that's the issue with being an NHS dentist, and is not the patient's fault. Ask to speak to the practice manager.

gingeroots Thu 29-Nov-12 13:13:37

dippy thanks for that .
At the risk of boring everyone ,I have a full gold crown on a molar .
Diagnosis is that nerve has died ( now infected ) and work required to drill through crown and investigate whether RCT possible .
There is possibility root is cracked ,also calcification may prevent RCT .
So do you think perhaps the 20 mins is just to drill and look ?

I'm scared the drilling will aggravate the tooth and that while I'm waiting for next appointment it'll flare up and I'll be in pain .

Any advice gratefully received .
I've tried discussing with dentist but he says he can't tell in advance and really I've just got to trust him .

dippywhentired Thu 29-Nov-12 13:23:32

It may well be just to open it up and see whether he can find and access the root canals. It is impossible to predict whether it may flare up before you can have the treatment completed, but just as likely to flare up if you leave it (probably more so as he can put a dressing inside the tooth to help stop it doing just that). If he can't find the canals/ if he can't get down them to clean them, you may be offered a referral to a specialist (which is always private and several hundred pounds), or an extraction. It's true that he can't tell in advance whether he'll be able to do it or not.

dippywhentired Thu 29-Nov-12 13:38:35

Just thought, it may be that he just told reception you needed a filling appointment (rather than go into details, knowing he just wanted to open it up and see what can be done). In which case, she probably has been instructed to make appointments for fillings for 20 minutes, and longer ones are for private ones. Could just be crossed wires, otherwise it'd just be plain weird.

gingeroots Thu 29-Nov-12 18:02:32

I think you must be right dippy - that sounds like an explanation .
Thank you ,I was getting paranoid .

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