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Not allowed to change to another dentist in NHS Practice



Junior member
Jul 26, 2016
Hi all,

My mother has been a patient at an NHS practice for some time. I managed to join the same practice first as a private and now as an NHS patient in the summer (after 13 years of not seeing a dentist). The practice has at least 5 dentists, maybe more.

The last time my mother saw the dentist she is registered with, she found her very heavy handed and was in pain after a simple scale and polish. That dentist went on maternity leave so my mother was happy seeing her replacement but now she's back from mat leave and my mother requested not to see her anymore when she was making an appointment for a check up. The practice says the other dentists' books are full and she can't change to another dentist until they reopen their NHS register (which will be goodness knows when). This is despite my mother telling them how rough she found her.

This seems quite unfair to me. My mother now completely refuses to make an appt and says she will wait for the register to open again. Surely the practice should take her concerns more seriously? As my mum says, she's not phobic but those who are might be put off going back ever again if the dentist is like that way with them.

I am due a check up soon. I'm not sure who my registered dentist is but if it's a different dentist to my mum, do you think they would let us swap dentists? That way neither will get extra patients? I have a higher pain threshold than my mum and have no problem speaking up in medical situations if I am not happy as I am from a healthcare background myself so could handle that dentist!
Hello most dentists are usually self-employed, work independently and have their own dental list so it will be their discretion whether they will take on more patients (NHS or private). If all other dentists are not accepting NHS patients because they have reached maximum capacity, then the next option is to ask for private registration.
I am afraid not visiting the dentist at all to wait for this list to open is inadvisable because if she does not attend regularly then her own dentist has got the right to deregister your mother and then she will end up not having a dentist to see her when she needs one.
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