"Difference in quality of NHS Dentists"

About: Kirklees PCT

(as the patient),

My NHS Dentist does an annual check-up that lasts 10 to 20 seconds , yes seconds ,which costs £16.50 then insists that I have a session with their " Dental Hygienist" every 6 months ( at a cost of c£27 per 15 minute session )to remove plaque from my teeth.( TOTAL COST £70pa )

My previous NHS Dentist used to give my teeth a quick plaque removal treatment as part of his more thorough 5 minute check-up.

My wife's dentist currently removes any traces of plaque from her teeth as part of her annual check-up.( ie TOTAL COST £16.50 pa )

Is anybody else concerned about this or is it just me ?

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Responses

Response from PALS IN BOX, Patient Advice & Liaison Service, NHS Kirklees

Within a band one course of treatment, a dentist should check the patient’s medical history, examine the teeth, take x-rays if needed and recommend what course of treatment is necessary. A General Dental Practitioner must be registered with the General Dental Council and will have completed a five year training period and gained appropriate qualifications to enable them to practice. Over time the dentist builds speed and confidence with their skills and some work much faster than others though the quality of service provided should remain high at all times.

If the dentist considers it to be clinically necessary, they can provide a basic scale and polish within this band of treatment or provide a more thorough scale and polish if, in his/her professional opinion, this is required within a band two course of treatment (at two or more visits) or offer a referral to a dental hygienist who specialises in this role. If the patient chooses not to have a hygienist appointment and the dentist considers it to be clinically necessary they should provide this care themselves as either a band one or band two course of treatment (determined by the need of the patient).

Patients who are concerned about any aspect of their dental care should speak to their dentist in the first instance to clarify the situation and can bring any matters of concern to the NHS Kirklees PALS department on 01484 466172 if they are not satisfied with their care.

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Update posted by Future Patient (the patient)

I am not questioning the 5 year training of Dentists, only the variation in their charges.

Plumbers also serve a long apprenticeship, but you still get the odd "Cowboy Plumber".

If dissatisfied, you can easily change your Plumber.