• Why do I have to sign the blue form given to me by reception?
This is a legal requirement for accepting treatment under the NHS. Every patient has to sign a similar form for every course of treatment, even if this consists of only a check up.
• What if I cannot bring proof of the benefit I am on?
We will still treat you as though you are on the benefit however we are required to note that we have not seen proof and you will have to sign the Government form which indicates which benefit you claim to be on and that entitles you to free treatment. If you are not telling the truth this can result in the Government charging you a fine of up to £100.
• Why does the NHS not provide white fillings and crowns on back teeth?
This is because they are not a clinical necessity. The NHS only provides metal fillings and crowns, on back teeth. If you would like a white filling or crown the Dentist can provide this as a private treatment and will advise you of the cost.
• I have already provided you with my medical history, why do you ask me to do it again?
The General Dental Council requires Dentists and Hygienists to check and note that they have checked a patient’s medical history before treatment. Whilst this will be a verbal check, to evidence that we have checked and to ensure that we have up-to-date information, it is important that patient’s complete and sign their medical history form on a regular basis.
• Will I be seen if I arrive late?
The receptionist will check with the Dentist to see if they can still see you. This is easier with shorter appointments but with long appointments it is often impossible to fit a patient in. This is because our Dentists are very busy and usually fully booked. They also need the full time allocated to do complicated work such as root canal treatment or preparing laboratory work which cannot be rushed. We may sometimes give you the option of waiting to see if the next patient arrives, just in case a slot becomes available.
• Will my appointment be on time?
We try very hard to make sure that we run late as infrequently as possible. We also ensure that our Receptionists inform patients if they have to wait more than 15 minutes. However, equipment can break down and a patient’s treatment can be more complicated than we anticipated, so yes, we may sometimes run late.
• What happens if I miss an appointment or cancel an appointment too late?
We are not allowed to charge NHS patients for failing to attend their appointments. So we have had to institute a policy that if 3 appointments are missed or cancelled without 24 hours notice within a year, then we may no longer be able to see that patient under the NHS.
Any patients that fail to attend or cancel a Private or Hygienist appointment with less than 24 hours notice will be liable to a charge.
• Do I have to pay for an urgent or emergency appointment?
Yes, this will usually be a Band 1 fee (£21.60) to get you out of pain, but if time allows and we are able to provide a more permanent solution it may result in a Band 2 fee (£59.10).
• What happens if I am unable to return for treatment after treatment has been planned?
If you are unable to attend to complete your treatment, please let us know as soon as possible. This can be done by calling us on 01480 213999. If we are not kept informed, the course of treatment will be closed within 2 months of your last visit. You may then incur additional NHS charges when you return for treatment.
• Why do I need to see the Hygienist?
They provide a comprehensive level of treatment that is not available on the NHS. We generally refer our patients to see the Hygienist as part of our long-term preventative protocol. In our opinion, patients who visit the Hygienist regularly and follow the regimes prescribed to them generally have fewer dental problems.
• How do I make a complaint?
In the first instance you must contact the Practice Manager who will do everything she can to help sort out any problem.
We hope you never have to make a complaint as we are always open to discussing any issues you may have, however, if you do feel the need to make a complaint please feel free to contact the practice on 01480 213999 or fill out a complaints form using the link at the top of the page.