We’ve had a lot of patients recently call us asking what the difference is between NHS Dentistry and Private Dentistry.
As a whole, we do the same thing. We fix teeth! But there are many reasons to consider switching to a private dentist.
We also know that a lot of patients choose their dentist soley based on cost, but we aren’t expensive! And I’m going to tell you why:
- We have the luxury of time and availablility. We book a minimum of 30 minutes for our exam and hygeiene appointments, whereas at an NHS dentist, the appointments are usually only 10 to 15 minutes. This is because most NHS practices have targets to meet, so the more patients they can see, the better. We are under no such strain, so our appointments can be carried out at a much more relaxed pace.
- We have an excellent pool of dentists to choose from, all of whom have their own strengths and special interests. This means that 99% of the time, your needs can be met under one roof.
- We only have 2 surgeries at the practice, which means we are able to focus on just you whilst you are here. Our waiting room is never full to bursting.
- We set our own fees, which also means we can set our own discounts…!
- You are not able to have cosmetic treatment on the NHS. This means the materials/treatments which produce the best appearance are often not used. Private treatment will always give you the best possible functional outcome but also a fantastic cosmetic result.
- Private treatment gives us complete freedom to provide the very highest standard of treatment and materials. We have no funding restrictions and can focus purely on quality of the treatment.
- Private work such as dentures, crowns, bridges and implants are usually sent to different private laboratories where named experienced technicians hand make the item. All our dentists have long standing relationships with the labs they use. Heck, I’m even married to one of the technicians! There is also usually more flexibility in returning items from a private laboratory quickly.
- We have a treatment co-ordinator waiting at the end of the phone for any questions or queries you may have regarding your treatment, and she has her own room in which to sit you down and go through everything at a pace that suits you.
- Certain treatments are not always available on the NHS eg. dental implants. As there are other treatments available to replace a lost tooth, such as bridges and dentures, the NHS will not fund implants as they are too expensive.
- Tooth whitening is not available on the NHS.
- With private treatments you can request your treatment to be performed by a specialist and be given quick and easy access.
- Orthodontic treatment for patients over the age of 18 is not available on the NHS and invisalign is not offered on the NHS
- Your dentist will discuss your treatment options and costs and give you a written estimate before you commit to any treatment
- We see children! If you’re on Denplan and have a child under 6, we will see them completely free of charge. Otherwise, we have plans for kids that start from as little as £6.99 per month.
- NHS patients are treated with the same care as private patients though the government does impose some restrictions and fixes the patient charges nationally.
- Treatment needs to be functional on the NHS and not for cosmetic reasons. This is why you may find you end up with a private fee anyway for that filling, because you want a composite one and not an amalgam one.
- NHS treatment is designed to be cost effective for the tax payer and each NHS clinic works to a fixed NHS budget so naturally this means more cost effective and usually cheaper materials and laboratories are used.
- They must follow government guidelines for recalling patients which may mean you may not be entitled to a check up or clean as often as you want.
- NHS cleaning is designed to ensure gum health and treat what is clinically necessary eg gum disease and not to specifically remove all stains or for cosmetic reasons, and this is why you may be charged privately for a clean.
- Appointment availability may be limited. You may not be able to get appointments outside school or work hours. You may also not be able to see more experienced dentists or specialists who choose to work outside the NHS.
- The government imposes limits on the amount of NHS treatment each practice can provide and the contracts are usually Monday to Friday 9-5. Once a clinic reaches its NHS limit they may not be able to offer any more NHS treatment until the next financial year
- There are NHS clinics which will have contracts to provide emergency services on weekends and Bank holidays
- Some treatments are not available under the NHS at all or in certain cases eg. cosmetic treatments / dental implants or certain preventative treatments eg. fissure sealants for low decay risk patients
- Tooth whitening is not available on the NHS
- Hygienists are not funded by the NHS
- Specialist referral on the NHS may not always be available and you may have to be placed on a waiting list if accepted, meaning you may have a substantial wait before being seen.
On paper, we may look more expensive, but if you also consider the fact that we offer Denplan, which is a great budgeting tool that allows you to pay for your routine dental treatment monthly instead of in one go, then private dentistry is the way forward!
Not many people will say they enjoy visiting the dentist, but why not do it in style with us? We’re not a big, scary corperate practice who are just looking to make money. We genuinely care about the health and wellbeing of our patients, and we want you all to enjoy visiting the dentist. With NHS dentistry, if you want top quality goods, you have to pay privaltey anyway, so why not take the plunge now?
For more information on NHS Dentistry and prices, please visit: https://www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/dentists/dental-costs/how-much-will-i-pay-for-nhs-dental-treatment/
For our price list, visit: https://www.halesowendental.co.uk/dentist-prices/
For more information on our Denplan, please visit: https://www.halesowendental.co.uk/dentist-prices/denplan-halesowen/
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