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AIBU?

To ask who has an NHS dentist etc?

163 replies

girlfriend44 · 25/01/2024 17:43

I am Lucky to have a dentist?
Would be really worried otherwise. Reports that nobody is taking anyone on NHS?
If you haven't got a dentist? Are you worrying about it?
What are people doing ?

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Am I being unreasonable?

46 votes. Final results.

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72%
SweetBirdsong · 26/01/2024 21:25

JaneLawrence · 25/01/2024 21:25

I wonder if dental treatment is free for everyone over 67? Even if they are not registered with an NHS dentist?

@SweetBirdsong no, it’s not. Pensioners only get free dental treatment if they’re registered with an NHS dentist.
If they’re registered with a private dentist, then they have to pay for their treatment.

And of course in a lot of areas those pensioners are left with a choice between finding the money for a private dentist or not having a dentist at all.

Thanks Jane! xx

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PurplePansy05 · 26/01/2024 21:26

What's pretty fascinating is that you can't get seen on the NHS anytime soon even if you pay in gold unless you've lucked out and got an emergency appointment, but the very same practice with the same team can see you privately on the same day no problem. It's a disgrace and the health ministers should really look into this, these things should never be allowed.

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SweetBirdsong · 26/01/2024 21:32

Lollygaggle · 25/01/2024 21:38

Pensioners do not get free dental treatment on the NHS , only if they are receiving certain benefits the same as everyone else https://www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/dentists/who-is-entitled-to-free-nhs-dental-treatment-in-england/

Charge exemptions are similar in Scotland , Wales and NI except check ups are free for over 60s in Wales and free for everyone in Scotland , everything else you pay for unless exempt.

Oh, just noticed this too! So dental work is free (as a pensioner) on the NHS if you don't have a high income? (So you get it if you have a basic income?)

But if you are not registered with an NHS dentist, (and have to go private,) you have to pay, no matter how much money you have/have coming in?

That's helpful. Thank you. Smile

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Lollygaggle · 26/01/2024 21:34

PurplePansy05 · 26/01/2024 21:26

What's pretty fascinating is that you can't get seen on the NHS anytime soon even if you pay in gold unless you've lucked out and got an emergency appointment, but the very same practice with the same team can see you privately on the same day no problem. It's a disgrace and the health ministers should really look into this, these things should never be allowed.

NHS dental practices are given a set amount of work (UDAs units of dental activity) a year . If they do less they have the money clawed back , if they do more they are not paid and, in fact , have to pay back patient contributions.

So practices do not run out of funding they will set aside so much time a day or week for NHS work. The majority of practices will do some private work as well which cross subsidises the practice.

They cannot do more than those allotted hours as they would run out of funding and , as has happened with practices in the past , would not be able to see NHS patients until the new financial year.

EG a practice May do 60% NHS work and 40% private so the time allowed each week will be divided up accordingly.

Hence they may well not have any space in a NHS session for a long while but may have space ,sooner , in a private session.

The NHS does not pay for any expenses for a dental practice other than what is earned doing treatment .

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AJPGreen · 26/01/2024 21:37

We have to travel almost an hour to reach our nearest NHS Dentist with space. We waited around 5/6 years for one this close to become available. We live near Portsmouth.

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SweetBirdsong · 26/01/2024 21:39

PurplePansy05 · 26/01/2024 21:26

What's pretty fascinating is that you can't get seen on the NHS anytime soon even if you pay in gold unless you've lucked out and got an emergency appointment, but the very same practice with the same team can see you privately on the same day no problem. It's a disgrace and the health ministers should really look into this, these things should never be allowed.

I am sorry that's your experience, but IME every NHS dentist I have ever been registered with has seen me that day if it's a dental emergency... (Sometimes it's the next day if I don't call til say 2-3pm...) And it's always within 2-5 days if it's not too much of an emergency, like a chipped tooth or filling come out but not causing too much bother.) Never had to wait long.

Now medical treatment is different of course. Routine procedures you could be waiting 2 years for on the NHS. But if you go private, you will be sorted within a month or two. Sometimes less. I think that's always been the same though.

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PurplePansy05 · 26/01/2024 21:39

Lollygaggle · 26/01/2024 21:34

NHS dental practices are given a set amount of work (UDAs units of dental activity) a year . If they do less they have the money clawed back , if they do more they are not paid and, in fact , have to pay back patient contributions.

So practices do not run out of funding they will set aside so much time a day or week for NHS work. The majority of practices will do some private work as well which cross subsidises the practice.

They cannot do more than those allotted hours as they would run out of funding and , as has happened with practices in the past , would not be able to see NHS patients until the new financial year.

EG a practice May do 60% NHS work and 40% private so the time allowed each week will be divided up accordingly.

Hence they may well not have any space in a NHS session for a long while but may have space ,sooner , in a private session.

The NHS does not pay for any expenses for a dental practice other than what is earned doing treatment .

So if the Covid backlog is not an issue anymore (as they've worked through the post-Covid waiting lists), why is it the case there are far less NHS appointments available now? Was there a dramatic cut in funding? Why, if so?

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TinDogTavern · 26/01/2024 21:41

I have an NHS dentist and she is WONDERFUL but also very young (she's tiny and looks about 12 but she's a recent graduate). I don't know how long she'll stay in the NHS but it's a fairly deprived area of Wales (where it's actually not that difficult to get an NHS dentist) and she's from the local area, so who knows.

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Prickled · 26/01/2024 21:44

I don’t have one, and I’m pregnant. Impossible to get in anywhere. They all add you to the waiting list which is five years plus long. I don’t even think such a list exists.

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Lollygaggle · 26/01/2024 21:49

PurplePansy05 · 26/01/2024 21:39

So if the Covid backlog is not an issue anymore (as they've worked through the post-Covid waiting lists), why is it the case there are far less NHS appointments available now? Was there a dramatic cut in funding? Why, if so?

Pre covid dentistry was already in crisis , investment had gone down year on year for at least 10 years.

There was very little support , financially, for dental practices during covid so many owners build up massive debt keeping practices going and post covid the cost of dental inflation , which was already high at 10% per year, rose even higher.

A hugely unpopular contract had been introduced in 2006 which everyone admitted was not fit for purpose , and yet is still in place with very few changes.

Dental practices started to shut down because they could not , financially , keep going. BUPA shut or sold over 80 practices alone.

Huge numbers of practices began to hand back their dental contracts unable to keep the business going on what the NHS paid.

More than 80% of dental practices were unable to fulfil their contracts despite working increased hours , which meant they had to pay back huge sums in claw back.

All of this money from shut surgeries, surgeries handing back contracts and clawback was not reinvested back into dentistry but was and is used to prop up overspends in other areas of the NHS.

All healthcare spending in England is controlled by CCGs (clinical commissioning groups). There is not one dentist sitting on one of these groups in the whole of England.

Dentistry is not at the back of the queue for NHS funding , it's not even in the queue.

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PurplePansy05 · 26/01/2024 21:53

That's disgusting @Lollygaggle. You lot need far better representation and a contract fit for purpose. Us, patients, need it too.

It's the same old shit everywhere, look what they've done in childcare, nobody can afford it anymore and yet they're introducing more underfunded "free hours" which all of us will have to prop until the whole system collapses, instead of providing adequate funding. This country is broken, completely.

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hudpat · 26/01/2024 22:15

I live in Austria and my dentist is in Budapest. I was there on Wednesday and was surprised to hear two ladies with Scottish accents chatting away in the waiting room! One of them was having implants done. She said she did have a dentist in Scotland but couldn't afford the treatment she needed. She said that lots of her friends were now coming to this particular practice in Budapest for their regular dental treatment.

In Austria we also have problems getting to see a "Kassenarzt" - which is the equivalent of an NHS dentist. There are plenty of "Wahlärzte" around (private) but these also have long waiting lists and are very expensive. The public health insurance companies pay back part of your bill at a Wahlarzt - ie. the equivalent amount they would pay a "Kassenarzt" - so say they paid €30 for a filling to a Kassenarzt, if you went to a private dentist and were charged €100 for the filling, you can send in the bill and get €30 back.
I am also able to do this for any treatment I have in Hungary so it works out reasonably in the end because the treatment is cheaper at a private dentist in Hungary than one in Austria.

The local "Kassenarzt" dentist in my village hasn't taken on any new patients for 10 years. So the problems with dentists isn't just a UK thing.

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Emmadaily · 26/01/2024 23:05

I am now with a private dentist as like lots more people I couldn't get a NHS dentist after moving into a new area
I am very happy with the treatment I recieve
Yes it's quite pricey but I don't mind paying more as my gum health is now the best ever hence teeth very stable and i have more confidence
I never liked the scrape and polish with the NHS
My dentist ( hygienest)offers Air flow which is so much better Teeth and gums feel great and look great

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