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Navigating Waiting Times and Options with Us

We try our best to manage our fixed budget throughout the year in an attempt to avoid running out of funds in each financial period. This results in NHS waiting times which vary from practice to practice, and between individual dentists within each practice.

If you do not wish to wait for an appointment with the dentist of your choice under the NHS, then you may book a private appointment with your dentist, or see another dentist within the practice for the treatment required, if available sooner. Once a course of treatment has commenced, treatment must be completed by the same practitioner unless offered to change by the treating dentist.

Understanding Your NHS Dental Care

The new NHS contract was introduced in April 2006. The Local Health Board (LHB) now allocates each dental practice a limited number of ‘units of dental activity (UDAs). Each check-up is one unit, which also includes a scale and polish if necessary. There are two additional units for all fillings, root fillings, extractions etc, per course of treatment. Under this new system, the patient charge is the same whether they need one or more fillings. Crowns and dentures carry twelve units.

Once the UDAs are completed we will no longer be able to offer NHS dentistry of any kind until the next round of allocations in the next financial year. We have attempted to provide treatment under the NHS throughout the year by making available an equal quota of UDAs each month. This is proving difficult to manage due to excess demand. As a result, waiting times vary. Please contact reception for the latest availability.

In the event of there being a shortfall in UDAs, the LHB has indicated that it will be unable to fund additional units as every dental practice is in a similar position.

Nationally, Denplan have received a large increase in applications to join their monthly payment plans, as a direct result of the new NHS contract leaving patients concerned over the lack of registration and emergency cover.

We will endeavour to keep our patients informed of any further changes.

If you do not wish to wait for an NHS appointment for an examination or treatment, you may elect to carry out the whole or part of the treatment privately and return to NHS Dentistry at a later date.

Frequently Asked Questions

More questions? We’re ready to help. Give us a call at 01480 470570 or book your consultation now.

The NHS in the UK provides a comprehensive range of dental treatments for residents. These treatments cover essential oral health needs, including routine check-ups, preventive care, and treatments for common dental issues. Basic services such as examinations, X-rays, and dental cleanings are typically covered.

Additionally, necessary restorative treatments like fillings and extractions fall under NHS coverage. Some more complex procedures, like root canals or crowns, may also be available, but certain eligibility criteria or additional charges may apply. Orthodontic treatments, such as braces, are usually covered for eligible individuals, especially children.

Cosmetic procedures, like teeth whitening, are generally not covered by the NHS as they are considered elective. Overall, the NHS dental services aim to address the diverse oral health needs of the population, ensuring access to essential treatments for maintaining good dental health.
Finding an NHS dentist is a straightforward process. The NHS website provides a search tool that allows individuals to find nearby NHS dental practices. Patients can enter their location and filter results based on specific criteria, such as whether the practice is currently accepting new patients.

Additionally, local NHS authorities or general practitioners can offer information on available dental services. It is advisable to contact the dental practice directly to confirm their status regarding new patients and to inquire about appointment availability.

Patients can also seek recommendations from friends, family, or colleagues who may have information about reputable NHS dental providers in their area. Registering with an NHS dentist ensures access to subsidised dental care and routine check-ups, promoting proactive oral health management.
While some NHS dental practices may have waiting lists, the length of time individuals have to wait can vary. Urgent cases are typically prioritized, and patients experiencing severe pain or requiring emergency treatment are usually seen promptly. Routine check-ups and non-urgent treatments may have shorter or no waiting times.

It's important to note that the demand for NHS dental services can vary across regions, affecting waiting times. Individuals can inquire about waiting times when contacting dental practices or local NHS authorities. If facing a dental emergency, it is recommended to seek immediate assistance, and many areas have specific NHS services or emergency dental clinics that can provide timely care.
Yes, routine dental check-ups and cleanings are covered by the NHS for UK residents. These preventive services are crucial for maintaining good oral health by detecting issues early and preventing the development of more serious dental problems. During a routine check-up, the dentist will assess the overall health of the teeth and gums, perform necessary X-rays, and provide advice on maintaining oral hygiene.

Dental cleanings, which involve the removal of plaque and tartar, are also part of routine NHS dental care. Regular check-ups and cleanings play a key role in preventing dental issues, promoting early intervention when needed, and ensuring that individuals receive appropriate guidance for maintaining optimal oral health. It is recommended to attend these check-ups at least once a year, although the frequency may vary based on individual needs and risk factors.
NHS dental treatments in the UK are subject to charges, but these charges are significantly subsidized to make dental care more accessible. The costs depend on the type of treatment provided, with three standard charge bands in place.

Band 1 covers a basic examination and advice and is the lowest cost, while Band 2 includes additional treatments like fillings and extractions. Band 3 covers more complex procedures, including crowns and dentures.

There are exemptions and discounts available for certain groups, such as those receiving certain benefits, children, pregnant women, and individuals on a low income. Exempt individuals do not have to pay for their NHS dental treatment, while others may be eligible for reduced costs through the NHS Low Income Scheme.

It's essential to inquire about charges and potential exemptions when registering or receiving treatment to ensure that individuals are aware of their financial responsibilities and potential entitlements.
In general, NHS patients have the right to choose their preferred dentist for dental treatment, provided that the chosen dentist is accepting new NHS patients. The NHS website and local NHS authorities provide tools and information to help individuals find and choose an NHS dentist in their area. Factors such as the location of the dental practice, whether they are currently accepting new patients, and any specific treatment preferences can influence the choice.

Patients may want to consider factors such as the accessibility of the dental practice, the reputation of the dentist, and the range of services offered. Choosing a dentist that aligns with individual preferences can contribute to a positive dental care experience and facilitate a long-term relationship for ongoing oral health management.
Cosmetic dental procedures, including teeth whitening, are generally considered elective and are not covered by the NHS. The NHS primarily focuses on providing essential and medically necessary dental treatments to maintain or improve oral health. While cosmetic procedures aim to enhance the appearance of teeth, they are typically not deemed essential for overall health.
The frequency at which individuals can receive NHS-funded dental treatments, such as fillings or extractions, is determined by the clinical needs assessed by the dentist. NHS dentistry emphasises providing necessary and appropriate treatments to address oral health issues. For routine treatments like fillings, the dentist will consider factors such as the extent of decay and the overall condition of the teeth before recommending intervention.
Orthodontic treatment, including the provision of braces, is available under the NHS for eligible individuals, particularly children and teenagers. The decision to provide orthodontic treatment is based on the clinical need and the severity of the orthodontic issues.

The NHS follows specific eligibility criteria, and individuals with more severe orthodontic problems are given priority. The provision of braces for adults on the NHS is limited and is usually reserved for cases where the misalignment significantly impacts oral health.

Patients interested in orthodontic treatment should consult with their NHS dentist, who can assess the need for braces and provide guidance on eligibility.
If you experience dental pain or encounter an urgent dental issue, it's crucial to take prompt action to address the problem.

The first step is to contact your registered NHS dentist as they can provide guidance and arrange an emergency appointment if needed. Explain the nature of your symptoms and any visible issues, such as swelling or bleeding, to ensure the dentist understands the urgency.

If you cannot reach your regular dentist or it's outside normal working hours, contacting NHS 111 can provide assistance in finding available emergency dental services in your area. In severe cases, especially if there is trauma or significant pain, seeking immediate attention at the nearest Accident & Emergency department may be necessary.
Yes, children can access NHS dental treatments, and there are specific services tailored to paediatric dental care. The NHS places a strong emphasis on promoting good oral health habits from a young age, and children are encouraged to attend regular check-ups with an NHS dentist. These check-ups may include preventive measures such as fluoride applications and sealants to protect children's teeth from decay. Orthodontic treatment, including braces, is also available for eligible children under the NHS. Parents or guardians can register their children with an NHS dentist, and it's advisable to schedule the first dental check-up as soon as the child's first teeth appear.
Registering with an NHS dentist is a straightforward process. Individuals can find and choose a local NHS dental practice using the NHS website or by contacting their local NHS authority for assistance. Once a suitable dentist is selected, contacting the practice directly to inquire about registration is the next step. The practice will provide information on availability, registration procedures, and any specific requirements. Typically, new patients will need to complete a registration form, which may be available online or at the dental practice. While specific documentation requirements may vary, individuals are generally asked to provide proof of identity, proof of address, and, in some cases, documentation related to entitlement for exemptions or reduced charges. It's advisable to check with the chosen dental practice about the specific documents they require for registration.
Yes, dentures and other prosthetic devices are covered by the NHS for eligible patients. The NHS provides comprehensive dental care, including the provision of dentures, to help individuals restore their oral function and appearance.

Eligibility for NHS-funded dentures is typically assessed by the dentist based on clinical need. Dentures may be recommended for individuals who have lost some or all of their natural teeth due to various reasons, such as decay, gum disease, or trauma.

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