Q. WHY DO YOU ASK FOR A COPY OF MY PREVIOUS X-RAYS WHEN I VISIT YOU FOR THE FIRST TIME?
If you are a new patient to us, we encourage you to email us a copy of your X-Rays (less than 12 months old) before attending your first appointment, if possible to obtain from you previous dentist. The benefits of providing suitable X-Rays could include not being exposed to unnecessary radiation if we can avoid it (although the amount of radiation is very small) and also helps us arrange an appropriate appointment time and better prepare.
Q. DO I HAVE TO PAY FOR AN EMERGENCY VISIT ON THE NHS?
Yes, the current fee is £22.70. You pay nothing if you are exempt from making NHS payments.
Q. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NHS AND PRIVATE? DOES IT MEAN WE GET A POOR SERVICE UNDER NHS?
- A. The quality of service and duty of care that we provide is not affected by the choice between NHS or Private treatments. The NHS contracts us to provide most oral care services. We are able to provide most treatments under the NHS contract, where it is necessary. Your dentist would be able to better explain the differences and present treatment options to suit your needs.
Q. CAN I BE TREATED AT YOUR CLINIC IF I LIVE OUTSIDE YOUR AREA?
- A. Yes, there are no geographical restrictions.
Q. WILL I HAVE TREATMENT ON MY FIRST VISIT?
- A. It is unlikely because during this visit we will examine your mouth, chart the existing condition on our computer, take radiographs if necessary, discuss the options for your treatment and give you a written treatment plan. If you are in pain, we will do our best to get you out of pain.
Q. WILL I BE SEEN IF I AM LATE FOR MY APPOINTMENT?
- A. We will do our best to accommodate you if we can. However, if there isn’t sufficient time to carry out your consultation or treatment, then we would treat your lateness as a missed appointment. See our ‘Registration’ page.
Q. WILL MY APPOINTMENT BE ON TIME?
- A. We understand that it is in everyone’s interest to ensure that appointments run efficiently and on time. We do our best through preparation to ensure treatments run smoothly and on time. However, for reasons that are often outside of our control, we do run late sometimes, though we try to keep disruptions to a minimum. Some of these reasons could include unforeseen complications in treatment, having to accommodate an emergency patient or lack of understanding or agreement when discussing treatment plans leading to further explanation. If delays become unreasonable and lengthy, we will do our best to inform you as soon as possible and rearrange an alternative appointment.
Q. DO YOU TREAT ‘NERVOUS’ PATIENTS?
- A. It is not uncommon to be nervous about visiting a dentist. The reasons for this anxiety are often deep rooted and may be based on traumatic experiences in the long past. For some it will take much more than ‘good dentistry’ to rid this fear. However, we are happy that a large proportion of nervous patients that visit us end up being considerably less nervous on subsequent visits and a few even lose the fear altogether. We operate from a clean and pleasant setting and aim to provide a friendly atmosphere. Our dental professionals always try to put patients at ease and aim to explain in detail every procedure they carry out (and seek your approval before treatment). We use educational material to demonstrate procedures if necessary. We can provide anaesthetics for any treatment that is likely to hurt: The injection can be uncomfortable but will only take a few seconds. We can use a topical anaesthetic on the skin in the mouth which dulls the pin prick feeling of the needle. However, in extreme cases where sedation is required, we do not provide this service but can refer you to appropriate centres.
Q. IF I NEED MORE THAN ONE CROWN AND MULTIPLE FILLINGS, IS IT STILL ONE BAND 3 CHARGE ON THE NHS?
You can have all the necessary treatments in the same course if it is clinically appropriate and you only pay for that band of treatment once. For example, if it is necessary and appropriate to have more than one crown and multiple fillings on NHS, then you only pay for a Band 3 once under that course of treatment. However, in some cases it may be necessary to have some of the required treatment followed by a period of healing and observation before starting a new course of treatment for the remainder of the work. In these cases you need to pay again for the new course of treatment.
Q. HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO MAKE A DENTURE?
- A. You could have a number of appointments and the process could take between three to six weeks, sometimes longer. The process involves us sending the mould of your teeth to a laboratory and depends on the number of adjustments necessary to get the final cast right for your mouth. More options and shorter treatment time is available under Private fee for this treatment.
Q. DO I HAVE TO PAY TO HAVE A COPY OF MY X-RAY?
We are fully digitised, meaning that X-Rays are stored electronically on the patient records. Wanting a copy of your X-Rays is normal and acceptable. There is no charge to send an electronic copy of your X-Rays by email. This process is quick, easy and reliable. A charge could be applied only if we need to send a copy on a disc or a stick and/or have to provide paper copies.
Q. ARE IMPLANTS AVAILABLE ON THE NHS?
- A. Generally no, only in the most extreme circumstances, which would be determined by a specialist at a hospital.
Q. IS AMALGAM DANGEROUS TO MY HEALTH?
- A. The Department of Health considers that there is no evidence to indicate any ill effects on human health from amalgam fillings. There have been concerns in the past by researchers about the way in which amalgam waste is discarded. There are now strict rules on clinical waste disposal and we abide by these rules rigorously.
Q. WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO SEE A HYGIENIST?
Hygienists are mainly concerned with gum health. They concentrate on cleaning patients’ teeth professionally and they demonstrate the best way to keep teeth free of plaque. They also give advice on diet and the prevention of dental decay. Along with dentists, Hygienists support the patient to maintain good oral health at all times, with the aim to help prevent dental disease.
Q. WHY DOESN’T THE DENTIST PROVIDE THE HYGIENIST SERVICE ON NHS?
In relation to NHS services, the dentist examines the patient at set intervals, which varies according to the patient’s oral health condition. During the examination, the dentist provides a course of treatment to get the patient dentally fit and provides everything that is clinically necessary. After receiving oral hygiene instructions and advice from the dentist, it is up to the patient to maintain good oral health until seen again by the dentist at the next check-up appointment. It may be difficult for some to keep up with good hygiene practices every day and so they could end up with little or no progress before their next examination visit with the dentist. Whether the patient needs this additional help or not, a regular visit to the Hygienist is highly recommended, as they professionally support the patient in their efforts. Often a Hygienist spends a number of appointments getting the gums healthy and ready for the dentist to restore the teeth with fillings, crowns or other treatments.
Q. WHY DO YOU NOT OFFER HYGIENIST APPOINTMENTS ON NHS?
Our Hygienists are not contracted by the NHS. They are trained to work with dentists to provide important additional care.