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LIVE24SEVEN // Fashion, Health & Beauty DR J E L L E Y : DENT I S T @ TUP S L E Y


NHS or Private? What’s right for you?


Deciding on what dentist you should use can be confusing and frustrating!


CHOICE In some NHS dental practices, you may frequently see different practitioners on each course of treatment. It must be noted that this is not always the case in NHS practices. In a private practice, especially family run ones, you will see the same dentist, which is important as this allows your dentist to get to know your mouth and dental needs that are specific to you. Often in private practices you have the option for more cosmetic treatments (such as whitening and tooth coloured fillings) and aesthetic alternatives can be offered.


Dr Jelley, BDS, DipDH


There are both pros and cons to each, however understanding the differences and what you should be asking a dentist whilst looking for a practice, can help you make an informed decision. Private practices are fully funded by the owner, whereas NHS dentists are contracted by the NHS and will have subsidies towards treatment.


TIME! Many NHS patients feel as though they are rushed during their visit to the dentist, this is due to time constraints placed on NHS dentists. A NHS dentist could see up to 60 patients a day, where as a private dentist may see between 8-10.


Private practices are blessed with the gift of time. The dentists can offer you longer appointments, which not only enables the dentist to get to know patients, including whether they have any fears and help overcome these. Timing of appointments are more flexible in a private practice – many are open earlier, later and at weekends. If you have extensive treatment, you can have appointments to reflect the appropriate timing between appointments, as opposed to having to wait for the next available appointment, which could be many weeks or months.


NHS is designed to be functional but cost effective. More recently, aspects of specialist care, such as 2nd and 3rd molar root fillings, are being excluded from the NHS.


EMERGENCIES Many Private practices offer out of hour emergency services, meaning that they will open the practice for you if required and the appointment may be with your usual practitioner who knows your dental history. However, some dentists join an out of hours scheme that covers the area, therefore you probably won’t get to see your own dentist.


Using an NHS emergency dental service is likely to mean that costs will be minimal, as you will just pay for the treatment band you have received. Though many private practices provide emergency appointments as part of their plans, you would not therefore incur a charge for the appointment, only for the treatment that is received, at a discounted fee.


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