A question that lies on many people’s minds is whether or not it is better to use an NHS dentist or a private dentist. There are of course pros and cons to both however a private dentist does tend to offer better services to its patients.
NHS dentists are without a doubt very skilled and qualified practitioners who are very capable of looking after your teeth. They are unfortunately thought tied down with unrealistic targets in order to get their incentives. This often means that appointment times are short and patients can often feel like they have been rushed in and out. Due to appointments being quite short dentists fail to give patients full advice on how to care for their teeth and prevent any further decay or issues. As well as this equipment used in an NHS dental practice tends to be less advanced than the equipment you would find in a private practice. Certain speciality skills aren’t always covered either, for example it is rare that you would find a hygienist working in a NHS practice.
The great thing about visiting an NHS dentist is that it is considerably cheaper than going private. The NHS have a three bracket pricing system that covers various treatments. This makes the costs for treatment easier for people to pay for, however some treatments will not be covered by the NHS and additional costs can be accumulated should you need a second treatment. Price brackets in the NHS consist of…
Band 1 – £19.70 – covering examinations, X-rays, scale and polish and preventative care
Band 2 – £53.90 – covering everything listed in band 1, fillings, root canals and the removal of teeth
Band 3 – £233.70 – covering everything in bands 1 and 2, crowns, dentures, bridges and other laboratory work.
The problem that most people have with private dental care is the cost of it. As expected check-ups and treatments are far more expensive than those the NHS provide but you are paying for the level of service provided to you. Private dentists have a lot more time for their patients and provide longer appointment times in order to provide patients with information that they need. They are extremely helpful with meeting their customers’ needs and understand that different patients require varying standards of care. For example, some patients are very nervous about going to the dentist. At a private dental practice patients will receive reassurances where dentist allow them to take things slowly so that they don’t feel any unnecessary pressures.
Private dentists offer a much more varied range of treatments for patients and offer alternatives to certain treatments. For example the NHS offer braces to their patients but only metal ones. A Private dentist has various options for clear braces, braces to the back of the teeth, clear braces that can be removed and cleaned and much more. They also have a much more advanced selection of equipment ensuring that patient’s receive the best possible care.
Like anything dental appointments can interfere with work causing you to take time off or make time up. The NHS tend to have standard 9-5 appointments whereas a private dentist offers early slots, evening slots and even weekend slots enabling you to fit appointments around your busy lifestyle.