Beginning to get concerned about our private dentistry


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Apr 17, 2021
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Hello everyone, this is my first post, so please, if this is not appropriate or does not meet regulations please DELETE. Myself and my wife are in a dental dilema. By the way, we both have healthcare/medical backgrounds of over 40 yrs, so although we are retired we do have a fair degree of knowledge. I will try and be succinct.
I am going back 4 yrs when I was visiting my NHS dentist who advertised they were taking on new patients. I decided to register my wife, who had got a fear of dentists but also had been so busy with work she had not had a check-up for over 2 years, but she agreed to go as she needed to get her mouth checked. With great trepidation she went in to see a very nice and competent dentist who managed to put my wife at ease and indeed start dealing with any issues. One was a gap in her teeth which she was somewhat self conscious of when smiling. He built a small plate and transformed her smile.
This dentist left the practice soon after for another one out of town quite some distance away and went private. So pleased was my wife we followed and took out a recommended DENPLAN account which was set at £90 per month for the two of us, something we have paid ever since. Our dentist was starting to specialise in implantology, and his partner at the new practice ( full of the latest technology ) also specialised in this. Firstly we had a full dental review ( My teeth and my wives were in quite a good condition overall, however, I had one problem with a tooth and was advised to have an Onlay procedure.).
This was about £400 if I recall, extra to the Denplan. My wife's gap, served by the plate, was reviewed and an implant was recommended, and I also had a gap and the same was recommended to me( I had had this gap years, since a teenager). My wife's implant was priced at some £4000, mine at £2,700 appox. We agreed and went ahead. No issues the implants were done with no problems.
A month or two later one of my wife's molars was according to the dentist 'needing treatment' ( She had another small gap at the rear right, and it was suggested she have the tooth ( and I am sure this was correct ) root-canaled (it's really a dead tooth), and use it as an anchor for a bridge over the gap to improve the biting surface and save the tooth. This cost approx £2000.
Our dentist moved again, and we followed him recently. So our new dental review at the practice. Well, I am Ok generally apart from some mild gum problem covered by Denplan, but he was not happy with my wifes bridge which he says will probably 'fail'. He has outlined yet another treatment plan to replace this molar tooth and get rid of the bridge and replace it with an implant which he has costed at approx £6500.
Now, we are not idiots, we know private dental care costs, and we are fortunate that we could afford this. However since taking out our Denplan ( no reduction to fees during lockdown by the way ) we have spent already in the region of some £10,000. before calculating all the Denplan fees. He now wants another £6500..To be fair my wife was shocked and quite unhappy. Let me make it clear, we have no concerns about the competence of the dentist ( although we are very unhappy at the bridge failure from the other practice )...we are thinking though, when will this end, as I am sure that there will always be something to be done. my cynical side sees it as seeing patients a cash cows...
At 66 and 67 we have worked hard for our money, and we both feel that while we know it's not cheap, it does seem somewhat of an extortionate merry go round. We are on the point of leaving the practice and going back to NHS care. We don't neglect our teeth and keep all our appointments, but the costs are getting prohibitive....I would appreciate views, and thank you for taking the time to read this.
 
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honestdoc

Verified Dentist
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Jun 14, 2018
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I'm from the US and I can understand the burdens of dentistry costs. I believed you liked the NHS dentist and followed him to 2 other clinics. I cannot explain the fees this dentist wanted. I can understand the financial pressures of operating a dental clinic in which many dental supplies and equipment can be marked up astronomically. In the US, I believe to be worse because the recent grad dentists can owe more than $500,000 student loans (US will fail because of nationwide healthcare and student loan crisis).

Try to get different opinions and set realistic expectations and budget. Best of luck!
 
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Joined
Apr 17, 2021
Messages
2
I'm from the US and I can understand the burdens of dentistry costs. I believed you liked the NHS dentist and followed him to 2 other clinics. I cannot explain the fees this dentist wanted. I can understand the financial pressures of operating a dental clinic in which many dental supplies and equipment can be marked up astronomically. In the US, I believe to be worse because the recent grad dentists can owe more than $500,000 student loans (US will fail because of nationwide healthcare and student loan crisis).

Try to get different opinions and set realistic expectations and budget. Best of luck!
Many thanks for your sensible reply. The dentist we used worked for the NHS and then went private. I can well understand your problems in the USA having got family over there and been many times. I think we need a second opinion, and we will probably go back to the NHS practice
 

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