What do I get for having a check up?
A half hour appointment is allocated for your check and photographs, if necessary. If X-rays are necessary you will be informed of the charge and you can either approve that at the same visit or return for them later. The treatment that you require will be discussed with various options. The consequences if you leave it untreated will be discussed. Any long-term deterioration over the years, if spotted, will be discussed. You will get a written explanation of the treatment required, estimated cost of treatment and number of visits anticipated.
What if I find the cost per visit is more than I can afford.
Feel free to contact us. In most cases the installment payment can be reduced by increasing the number of visits. It is a misconception that you need to have all the treatment right away. Urgent treatment can be started first. Ideally visits need to be weekly or fortnightly. If you decide to attend at 4 weekly intervals you have to bear in mind your estimate can alter due to some conditions deteriorating since the time of check-up.
I have tooth-ache. I want to have it extracted.
In most cases, emergency treatment can reduce the pain for up to a fortnight. You may feel more inclined to save the tooth with further treatment, once you have a pain-free period to think over. Extraction of a tooth is not normally undertaken on a first visit, unless it is loose.
Why do you treat on private basis only?
Studies have shown that a dentist‘s income falls after the age of 35. Leaning over patients seven hours a day takes its toll in the form of back-ache, stiff neck and frozen shoulders. Paradoxically the dentist earns less just when he is most experienced. Sadly there is no balancing mechanism in the NHS fees that will generate a loyalty from the experienced and older dentist. In most practices you will find, the senior dentist will have restricted his / her services to NHS patients. Over the years most dentists develops interest in a special subject, restricting their list to their field of interest. My interest is Preventive dentistry and Orthodontics. I am fortunate that when I withdrew from providing General NHS services to children, NHS were willing to continue funding Orthodontics, which happens to be one of my Special Interest.
How much would a set of dentures cost?
£350 to £700. There are many options in the kind of material and teeth used to make a denture. It is better to ask the dentist about various options. Other wise you get what you ask for.
What is preventive dentistry?
Most disease process including decay are reversible in early stages. Reversing a process requires one to one sessions with a patient to give a tailored plan in the form of hygiene instructions, diet modification and application of preventive varnishes. It takes about 2 to 4 years before you perceive a change for better. In the mean time someone has to pay the dentist to provide advice, treatment and motivation. Visits tend to be short and pleasant as there is less of painful repair work. Old fillings that have leakage or chips can be sealed or built up with resin / Glass Ionomer cements. Stained white fillings can be retouched and polished. Newer Bio-Active materials repair and become part of the tooth. If the filling wears out you are not going to be subjected to injections and drilling.
Why should I have check-up regularly?
There is no clinical reason for the six-monthly check-up. The reason I recommend a visit six-monthly is that you will be more relaxed if you are familiar with the staff and the surgery. In turn the staff tends to feel more relaxed while treating you. Tension is a two way street. If you attend when you feel the need, you are bound to be tense and distrustful. The surroundings will not be familiar. You will not have familiarity with the staff. Any treatment options discussed will be bad news, as you will be thinking “how much will this cost me?” An experienced dentist treating same patients for a number of years will have a mind-map of the conditions he faced when he last treated you. By the time you arrive with a problem, he will have chosen the right technique and materials that will work. The treatment proceeds quickly and smoothly. You can be on the way home in less than half an hour. If a practice is expected to offer a consistent and comfortable service the practice income has to be stable and assured by having a list of patients who will attend regularly.