Unable to have Dental Fillings

(38 Posts)
DentalPatient Wed 15-Jan-20 14:06:37

I am currently unable to have a filling done on a painful tooth as my dentist is unable to get me numb enough to complete the work. She has tried three times and used different injections, as recommended by a dental hospital so has referred me to this hospital.
After waiting 6 months for the referral appointment I went to the nhs dental hospital yesterday. The department I was referred to did investigations including xrays and said the hospital would need to try to do the filling themselves. They then said their department only removed teeth so they would have to refer me to the department across the corridor and to expect another 6 month wait as this would be a new referral.
Does anyone know if there is anyway I can complain about having to wait again as presumably I have been referred to the wrong depart,ent. and this is hardly my fault and I am sick and tired of putting up with the tooth pain that started almost a year ago.

OP’s posts: |
Amani Wed 15-Jan-20 17:56:08

I can only sympathies and say I understand as I have not had a good experience with being referred to a hospital for dental treatment either ...

NotSuchASmugMarriedNow1 Wed 15-Jan-20 18:05:22

Can you go private?

DentalPatient Wed 15-Jan-20 19:59:45

Is that an option, I have a private dentist but was referred into the nhs without being asked. It is a big university hospital so doubt there is a private equivalent.
Sorry to hear that Amani, what happened?

OP’s posts: |
WrongKindOfFace Wed 15-Jan-20 20:08:18

It would be PALS you’d need to complain to. Google PALS and the name of the trust.

Could you consider private sedation? Some max fax consultants also do private dental work via local private hospitals.

Orangeshark Wed 15-Jan-20 21:07:10

Don't complain to PALs. It's not the hospitals mistake, sounds like your dentist referred you into the wrong department

If your tooth is painful I think it unlikely it needs just a filling. Especially if they can't get it numb.

Realistically I think I would just try another private dentist first.

What have you been referred for? Sedation? I don't know what the hospital are actually going to do differently. It would have to be inhalation sedation I suppose.

A maxfacs consultant is not going to give you a private filling.

WrongKindOfFace Wed 15-Jan-20 21:15:42

If the referral was to the wrong department is probably should have been picked up by the hospital - assuming the dentist gave the right info in the referral.


BallstoFLeBay Wed 15-Jan-20 21:18:44

I've had this exact scenario. I chose to have the tooth removed but that didn't help as they still couldn't get it numb to remove it.

I was referred to the dental hospital for a GA and they refused and said I needed sedation.

I went for sedation and the (sedating dentist) said that sedation was no good as I would just be very drowsy but still feel the agony of having a tooth ripped out with no anaesthetic!

I ended up the dentist giving me lots of injections over an hour or so getting it numbish!!... and she just 'went for it' it hurt but was just about doable!

It was a back tooth though - god knows what we would have done with a visible one, which tooth is affected OP?

(There was an abscess at the root tip which was blocking the anaesthetic)

roiseandjim Wed 15-Jan-20 21:38:57

Don't complain to pals Jesus Christ PP. call patient access or speak to someone in management

roiseandjim Wed 15-Jan-20 21:40:26

@WrongKindOfFace don't jump straight to a complaint! And max fax don't deal with fillings so absolutely rubbish advise all round 🙄

roiseandjim Wed 15-Jan-20 21:41:24

What hospital did you get referred to op?

WrongKindOfFace Wed 15-Jan-20 21:43:25

A maxfacs consultant is not going to give you a private filling.

They might if she needs a general to get it sorted. Possibly worth speaking to the secretary as they may know what can and can’t be done, or where to go.

WrongKindOfFace Wed 15-Jan-20 21:46:41

Fair point, it doesn’t need to be a formal complaint but it’s usually PALS you speak to if there is an issue. I suppose she could try and speak to the department directly, but good luck getting through to the right person.

Orangeshark Wed 15-Jan-20 21:47:20

Not necessarily if OP is referred to oral surgery with a painful tooth that won't go numb sounds a reasonable referral.

It depends what the referral said.

IV sedation doesn't numb, you still need local. Inhalation sedation has some numbing effect but again still requires local.

Oohmegooliebird Wed 15-Jan-20 21:49:01

I disagree with the posters who advised against using PALS , this is what PALS are for.

Orangeshark Wed 15-Jan-20 21:50:01


Maxfacs don't do fillings. Maxfacs are oral cancer/facial fractures/extractions.

Community might give GA for fillings, but not for one and on patients with severe special needs or very young children.

No adult is getting a GA for one filling. That's why I think OP should just try another dentist first.

WrongKindOfFace Wed 15-Jan-20 21:55:26

So who do you see if you need a GA privately? Normal dentists can’t do them.

nespressowoo Wed 15-Jan-20 21:58:03

If it's that painful it's best to whip it out. Call the team secretary and explain.

Orangeshark Wed 15-Jan-20 23:05:24

@WrongKindOfFace you don't. Fillings are done under LA

Technically a general dentist can carry out treatment under GA, you need an aneasthetist to give GA and a hospital. There may be a dental practice with access to a hospital to carry out dental treatment under GA. But even then they won't do one filling.

If you have a complex extraction that requires GA and want to go private you would have to find a private oral surgeon or maxfacs surgeon who carries out extractions under GA. But they won't do fillings only extractions.

If you have severe special needs and cannot cope with treatment under LA you would see the community dental service or a special care dentist who can carry out dental treatment under GA.

However if a patient needs one filling no one is giving them a GA for that.

DentalPatient Thu 16-Jan-20 08:26:15

I don’t have additional needs and have had many previous fillings with the usual LA it’s just this tooth that is causing the problem. No one knows why it is problematic as the xrays only show a possible shadow under an existing filling which might be decay. It only a faint shadow.
My usual dentist is very good/experienced so I don’t see why a different one would be better. They even called the hospital before referring me and tried other LA they suggested.
The problem I have is waiting another 3 to 6 months just because I was initially sent to the wrong department but sounds like I do need to contact PALS.

OP’s posts: |
Orangeshark Thu 16-Jan-20 09:50:06

Does it cause you pain day to day?

DentalPatient Thu 16-Jan-20 10:05:56

Painful every day.

OP’s posts: |
roiseandjim Thu 16-Jan-20 11:48:31

@DentalPatient I'd be shocked if you do have to wait that long, it will be flagged that you were sent to the wrong department and a DATIX would of been done. It's obviously in your right to complain but that won't speed up your appointment. Following my advice and calling patient access/management team would speed up your appointment. @WrongKindOfFace please stop posting you clearly have no idea what a Max fax surgeon does and your advise could be confusing.

delilahbucket Thu 16-Jan-20 12:04:36

I sympathise OP, I have issues with numbing too, and not just for dental work (had stitches after giving birth and the midwife told me to stop being so dramatic). I now know it is because I have hypermobility syndrome, and I always tell health care professionals this. Some do look at me like I'm mad!
You don't necessarily need a hospital, you need a different dentist. Is it on the bottom row by any chance? This is the hardest place to numb due to where the nerve runs. I have had issues with my top row too though. I have a private dentist and he really is superb. For my last filling he booked an appointment to do the anaesthetic, half hour wait to let it settle, and then an hour. I ended up with 20 injections, and he didn't manage to do the job as thoroughly as he would have liked but it was near enough.
My last nhs dentist was adamant I needed a root canal on a tooth that was causing no issues. He drilled half of it out with no anaesthetic, left me a quivering wreck after repeated appointments and failed anaesthetic, referred me to hospital whereby they declared there was no need for a root canal and the pain I was suddenly getting was from the dodgy temporary filling he'd put in. They removed that filling and out a permanent one in. It's not been the same since though.
Complain to your dentist, not the hospital, but I would also look for a new dentist in the interim, and go private if you can. To be fair, six months is pretty good for a dental hospital. My son waited eight months for a letter, and then another three for an actual appointment. It has since been a catalog of cancelled appointments, systems are down (after we have driven for 45 minutes to get there) etc, and after 18 months he's still not finished treatment that has actually only spanned across five appointments so far.

WrongKindOfFace Thu 16-Jan-20 12:23:55

@roiseandjim I did stop posting? My confusion been very kindly cleared up by other posters. I thought (clearly in error) that by saying they dealt with complex teeth issues and extractions on their private work bios it may include this sort of thing. Apologies to the OP for any confusion.

However I don’t know if all areas have a patient access/management team? We don’t seem to have one - website says to contact Pals with any issues or concerns as well as complaints.

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