What’s your opinion of dentistry in the UK? Does it need urgent reform?
An impending visit has got me thinking.
My last attendance was three years ago for a Lava crown - the cost of the whole treatment was sufficiently extortionate to put me off going again in a hurry. My mother was recently fleeced for bridge work when she was unknowingly eligible for NHS treatment. Another experience involving my (at the time 95 year old) grandmother revealed the dentist for her care-home to have the professionalism and qualms of a Georgian charlatan.
It appears that some dentists are misleading their patients about their right to NHS treatment so they will pay for private treatment. The OFT found that about 500,000 (yes that’s right, 500,000) people a year were given the wrong information about their treatment options.
Surely patients need to know that the can receive a whole range of treatment on the NHS, and that they know what those prices are? There is a requirement on those that have an NHS contract to provide that information to their patients. Root canal work on the NHS is around £45 compared to £350 upwards for private treatment.
What I’d also like to see is the removal of the restriction on patients visiting dental care professionals such as hygienists without first having to go to a dentist.
Given the current limits on people's finances, is now a good time to scrutinise whether competition is working effectively to drive up the quality of private and NHS dental services and deliver better value for money for costumers?
Are some of our dentists in the UK unethical, unscrupulous money grabbing shysters who need bringing into line?