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Nhs charges

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BarbaraM

Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2012
Messages
25
I have a question re NHS charges.

three weeks ago I had three extractions and a partial temp lower denture.

Whilst i knew I would need to pay for a permanent denture or a bridge, which is the other alternative, does anyone know why my NHS dentist is now quoting me at least £400 for either option.

Whst happend to the NHS bands which apparently cover this treatment in the £209 band.
 
vicki

vicki

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 24, 2005
Messages
1,005
Location
UK
As far as I am aware, band 3 covers crowns, bridges and dentures. I'm not an expert on these things, however even on the NHS, I think they are supposed to give you a treatment plan which details what treatment is proposed and now much it will cost. When your dentist told you that you needed the extractions, they should have discussed the options for replacing the teeth with you.

Usually, you pay for treatment as you go along, so if you had the extractions done over one or two appointments, you would have paid a band 2 charge because extractions come under band 2. If your dentist decided that you needed a bridge or partial denture to replace the teeth, then providing it was part of the same course of treatment, you would then pay the difference to make the total amount paid up to band 3 (I think this only applies if the course of treatment is completed within 2 months - otherwise you'd need to pay the entire band 3 charge for the bridge/denture as well as the band 2 charge for the extractions).

The NHS is supposed to provide any treatment (except cosmetic stuff) which is clinically necessary to maintain the health of your teeth and gums. However, I am hearing more and more stories from people who are in a similar situation to you where they need something which is supposed to be available on the NHS, but yet their dentist tells them that they can't do it on the NHS and wants to charge them privately for the treatment instead.

If it was me in this situation, I would print this page out from the NHS website:

http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/nhs-dental-band-charges.aspx?CategoryID=74&SubCategoryID=742

Take it to my next appointment and ask them why they think they should be charging more than NHS band 3. If they tell you that a bridge or denture is not necessary and so therefore not available on the NHS (but is available privately), you are entitled to ask for a second opinion. As an NHS patient, if you contact your local PCT, they should be able to help you with this (and they might also want to investigate further if they think your dentist is 'bending' the rules).

Hope this helps. Good luck and let us know how you get on :).
 
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BarbaraM

Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2012
Messages
25
Hi Vicki,

Thanks for your reply. I had three extractions three weeks ago and a partial denture fitted I paid £209 for this. After I came out of the surgery I had £109 to pay as they charge a deposit before you get any work done of £100. They also gave me a leaflet which said in very large red letters YES YOU DO NEED TO PAY FOR A PERMANENT DENTURE. They did before I had this work done give me a treatment plan but it was only the standard NHS one whch said three extractions and a partial denture on it.

I went last thursday for a check up and to have the partial slightly adjusted the dentist then tells me that a bridge or a cobalt denture will be around the £400 mark but he said its cheaper than implants which would cost you about £4000. I understand that if I decide on the permanent denture if it is a better made one it will probably cost more money but I was surprised about the cost of a bridge and then he said of course it may not work.

I am wondering if it is possible to go to a dental lab to get a permenent denture made and if this will save me some money as at this rate its going to cost me over £600 for a three teeth permanent denture or possibly a bridge for two teeth as the dentist has told me they will have to leave the other gap. I am an NHS patient so am surprised at these costs to say the least.
 
vicki

vicki

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 24, 2005
Messages
1,005
Location
UK
After I came out of the surgery I had £109 to pay as they charge a deposit before you get any work done of £100. They also gave me a leaflet which said in very large red letters YES YOU DO NEED TO PAY FOR A PERMANENT DENTURE. They did before I had this work done give me a treatment plan but it was only the standard NHS one whch said three extractions and a partial denture on it.
This sounds very odd to me. As far as I'm aware, bridges and permanent dentures are available on the NHS and they come under band 3. What they might do is charge you band 3 for the extractions and temporary partial denture and then charge a separate band 3 charge for the bridge or permanent denture as a new course of treatment in order to maximise the money they make. However, what it sounds like is that they've provided you with a temporary partial denture, on the basis that you will pay privately for the permanent one.

The materials that are used in NHS treatment are not always of the same quality as you would get if you paid privately. The costs you've been given could well be for a higher quality permanent denture than the one that would be available on the NHS. However, they should have given you the NHS option as well so that you could make an informed choice. Think about it... The whole point of NHS treatment is to provide affordable access to dental treatment for those who want it and also for people who are unable to afford private dentistry. They're supposed to give you the full range of options both private and NHS and then you can choose what's best for you. How do people on low incomes afford permanent dentures? Do they pay privately? No they don't; they get them on the NHS, either free (if they're exempt from charges) or at the appropriate NHS price band.

I really think that you should consider contacting your local PCT and asking them to look into this for you, because it sounds as though they may be trying to get you to pay privately for something which should (in theory) be available on the NHS. The NHS option may not use the same materials as the private option, but the point is that you should be given the choice. They can't cherry pick the NHS treatments that are the most profitable for them.

Having said that, if you decide to go for something better quality which is only available privately, you can always shop around and see what other dentists in your area offer because prices do vary :).
 
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