Can I Mix Private and NHS Dental Treatment?
The waiting lists for new patients to join a dental practice are incredibly long and people are even being turned away. There are tens of thousands of children and adults going without any access to dental care.
Unfortunately, we currently face a lack of dentists, NHS dentists and funding for dentists in general.
Covid-19 only amplified this problem more and in August of 2022, the British Dental Association estimated that it would take another £880 million every year just to get the funding back to where it was in 2010.
This means that there are so many people not receiving the help that they need.
We are here to do our utmost to help you get the dental care that you need when you need it. There are 24-hour private dentists that can help you and it is essential that people know this so that they can receive the proper care in an emergency.
Do private dentists take on NHS patients?
Here at Didsbury Dental Practice we only take on private patients.
There are so many practices across the country and here in Manchester, however, that can offer you both NHS and private appointments.
You should make sure that you have a good understanding of what the differences are between the two types of services, why each one is great and what will suit you best.
The easiest way to find out if the dental practice that you are looking at visiting looks after both NHS and private patients is to check their website. You can also search them on the NHS database which contains all NHS dental practices.
Just like NHS dental practices, private dental practices also sometimes have waiting lists. You should make sure that you confirm that your practice is taking on new patients in the foreseeable future.
In their press release the BDA said that in the BBC’s research, when they surveyed NHS dental practices, some ‘said the wait time was a year or longer, or were unable to say how long it would be.’
Although it is unlikely to find this long of a wait for a private practice you should still make sure you ask how long their waiting list is.
The practice will do their best to try and for you where they can so do bear with them if they tell you the wait will be a long one.
Here, our goal is to make space for new patients, guaranteeing emergency appointments no matter if you are registered with us or not.
If you are looking to book an appointment with us click here to see our new patients page and get started. If you are in an emergency click here to go to our ‘emergencies’ page to find out what you can do next and who you can contact.
We, at Didsbury Dental Practice, have worked hard to ensure our level of care to our patients and we do not want to compromise this for anything.
Although we are not an NHS dentist we have competitive pricing and even offer treatments that you can not get through the NHS. This includes cosmetic procedures such as teeth whitening and straightening.
Are private dentists better than NHS ones?
We all want to believe that the way you would be treated and looked after would be pretty similar from practice to practice. We feel that there are benefits however to choosing a private dental practice.
Here are some benefits that private dentistry offers:
- Shorter waiting times for an appointment.
- Greater flexibility for appointment times (e.g. during evenings, weekends, and outside of 9-5 office hours.)
- Greater flexibility for emergency treatment.
- Private dentists can generally offer more time with patients, which is helpful for treating immediate problems and preventing any future issues.
- Better quality of care, as there are no funding restrictions.
- More treatment options (e.g. orthodontic work, Invisalign or teeth whitening).
- Access to treatments that are not available at certain NHS dental practices (like veneers and dental implants).
- Wider access to dental specialists (such as orthodontists, periodontists and endodontists.)
- More services are available for nervous patients (e.g. sedation).
- Better customer service and more individualised attention for patients, as there are fewer patients registered than an NHS dental practice would have.
- A wider range of cosmetic treatments is available (such as lip fillers, which are not available on the NHS).
- Many private dentists offer payment plans and finance options, which allow you to spread the cost of dental treatments.
- A more relaxed waiting room atmosphere, as private dentists are less likely to be in a rush.
- Quicker solution for minor inconveniences (such as losing or breaking your dentures).
- Better aftercare, as a private dentist, can offer you more in-depth, tailored advice.
- More access to cutting-edge, advanced dental technology and equipment (e.g. 3D scanners to custom-make retainers for a patient’s mouth.)
- You can build a better rapport with your dentist, as you can see the same one each time, and they have fewer patients to treat. This is really advantageous, as they can get to know your individual needs far better.
- Quicker times for items to be returned from a private laboratory.
- Private dentists are usually independently owned, so you will be supporting a local business.
What is the difference between a private dentist and an NHS dentist?
NHS dental treatment
If you go to an NHS dental practice then the treatment you receive will be what is deemed to be necessary by your dentist so that your gums, teeth and mouth remain healthy.
This means that treatment will only be available on the NHS if your dentist finds it to be clinically needed. You would not be expected to pay for the treatment privately in this circumstance.
Choosing private treatment
Cosmetic treatments are not covered by the NHS. This is because they are not deemed to be clinically necessary as they only affect appearance. You can, however, have cosmetic treatments privately, as stated previously, among the other benefits of private dental practices.
How much do private dentists cost?
We cannot give you a price for what all private dental practices will charge you. We can show you our price guide to help you see what we charge for some of our more common procedures. These prices are as follows:
- Examinations from £45
- Hygiene appointments from £64
- Fillings from £50
- Teeth Whitening from £95
Which should you choose?
There may be some cases where you would prefer to use the NHS and others where you prefer to use a private dentist and this is fine. Some people prefer this.
There is nothing wrong with going to the NHS to get dental treatments. Unfortunately, as NHS dental practices are put under immense pressure with high targets and a fixed budget there really is only so much they can do.
The high volumes of patients and reduced opening hours result in longer waiting times and a lack of availability of treatment options.
At Didsbury Dental Practice we strongly believe that by committing to be a private dental practice we will be able to produce long-term benefits for our patients. Not only for their oral health but for their overall health and well-being, by taking away some of the stress of going to a dental appointment where we can.
So, yes, while it is true that private dental practices cost more than NHS dental practices we believe that the cost can be entirely justified.
Ultimately, the answer to ‘can I mix private and NHS dental treatment?’ is yes, of course, you can. Whatever works best for you and your denta