Ask The Dentist – NHS or Private Dentistry?
A new patient to the Ipswich area wonders which route he should take.
With more and more dental treatments becoming widely available, the NHS can struggle to keep up with demand, and many newer treatments are now only available privately. We explain this in more detail in our response to this person’s question.
Q. Hi. I’ve just moved to Ipswich, from London and need to find a local dentist. Previously, I was with an NHS dentist, but, before I register with a new one up here, I’d really like to know whether there is any benefit to registering as a private patient, rather than an NHS one.
Hello and welcome to Ipswich, I’m sure you will find us to be friendly and welcoming in this area. As I’m sure, from your question, you will have noticed that we provide both private and NHS dentistry at the Foxhall Dental Practice. By doing so, we are able to offer our patients a much wider choice of procedures than we would if we were solely an NHS dentist. Some people wonder if NHS dental care is inferior as it is mainly designed to help patients keep their teeth healthy and in good condition, using both preventative and restorative care. This generally means essential treatments such as fillings, extractions, crowns along with procedures such as root canal treatment, but excluding cosmetic treatments other than is special circumstances. So it is not inferior as such, just more restricted in its scope.
One of the main reasons that many dentists now offer private care is that the range of treatments has now expanded, with many of these being cosmetic in nature. The reality is that NHS funding simply does not cover these. If politicians ever deemed that this should change, the fact is that the cost of funding the NHS would rise significantly which is therefore very unlikely to happen and certainly not for non-essential treatments.
To answer your question directly, I would say that it really does depend on your requirements. If you have great looking teeth that are generally healthy (and your gums of course!), you may find that NHS dental care is sufficient for your needs. If, however, you are starting to see the effects of ageing on your teeth, with discoloured, crooked, or even missing teeth being an issue, then private cosmetic dental treatments can offer solutions that NHS ones simply can’t.
If you want to understand the advantages of private dental treatments, the following offers a brief snapshot of some of the benefits that can be provided.
Discoloured teeth – A teeth whitening procedure or dental veneers can be used to restore the whiteness of your teeth when they become discoloured or badly stained.
Crooked teeth – Whilst NHS braces are still available for some, an increasing number of people now opt for cosmetic dental braces as these offer better comfort, and, equally importantly, are close to being unnoticeable when being worn.
Missing teeth – Dental implants are one of the best new innovations in modern dental care and offer an excellent and almost permanent method of replacing missing teeth. These are solely available privately.
If you are still unsure about your choice, why not give us a call at the Foxhall Dental Practice on 01473 258396 and arrange an initial consultation where we can discuss your needs and the best way forwards.