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Only dentist I've ever trusted is leaving! So gutted!

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spanna

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At my appointment today my dentist informed me he's leaving in 2 weeks! I'm so gutted :cry:. I have come so far with him, I was so happy I had finally found an understanding dentist, built up a good relationship with him and he earned my trust. I actually thought I was getting over my fear, but when he asked me which of the other dentists I wanted to complete my treatment I realised that I cant face treatment with anyone else! The thought terrifies me. I want him to complete it and don't want to lose him as my dentist.

I am coming to the end of my treatment, he has fitted me in for 2 more appointments with him before he leaves but will still have 2 rcts that need to be completed.

He is moving about an hour away but to a private practice. Atm all I can think is that I'm gonna have to move to his new practice, only problem is I have a low income and don't know how I'll afford it. Am I silly to consider this if im gonna struggle to afford it? I don't see another way to complete my treatment. I'm willing to do whatever it takes to keep him as my dentist i.e. sell things, get a loan etc. I know im rambling and I'm sorry for that but I don't know what to do!

Can anyone offer any advice or thoughts please??
 
kitkat

kitkat

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Hi Spanna,
I have had the lucky fortune of being with my dentist for 10 yrs and I can only imagine your dismay to hear that your Dr. Right is leaving. It sounds like you are fairly close to being finished with treatment and I don't think it is entirely absurd to follow him to complete the work if you can afford it but surely when this work is done you will need a dentist in the future for maintenance and future problems. Can you afford to keep this dentist long term or would you be able to complete this bout of work with your dentist and start seeking a new one, once the waters have calmed a bit and you don't require any actual treatment? Most good dentists know other good dentists so maybe he could recommend someone to you or even introduce you to another dentist in the practice. As hard as it may be to believe, there are plenty of amazing dentists just like him out there if you look. Really it is impossible to keep the same dentist for our entire lifetime at some point it is bound to happen when we have to switch people move, retire, I actually had a friend whose dentist died in a motorcycle accident. Inevitably at some time or another it is likely that you will have to adjust to someone else because dentistry is ongoing you can't just stop going when this work is done and risk falling into a pattern of avoidance and neglect. It would be stressful to switch midtreatment though so maybe embark on finding another after this treatment is finished or find someone through his recommendation to switch to or find a way to afford him long term even though there will likely come a day when you will have to switch. Please ignore any typos and poor organization/syntax as I'm trying to respond on my phone.:rolleyes:
 
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irmemac

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Hi Spanna. I was with my dentist for 22 years and had to find a new dentist this summer. I didn't think I would ever be able to find anyone else, and was worried sick. However, after going to someone completely wrong I found a great new dentist yesterday. My advice would be to look for someone else, while keeping the possibility of staying with him as an option. It doesn't matter how many other dentists you check out, this is hugely important for you. Could you ask him if there's anyone elsewhere that he knows of?

On the other hand, it's not silly at all to want to complete your treatment with him. Maybe you could pay in instalments. You are so close to finishing. After that it might be easier to think about someone else. When I moved house I stayed with that same dentist, even though it was a 70 mile round trip, for the next 19 years!

Good luck with your decision, I'm thinking of you :XXLhug:
 
vicki

vicki

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Hi Spanna :)

This has happened to me a couple of times and it’s never easy, particularly if you’ve got to a point where you’ve started to build up trust and maybe overcome some of your fears. Just when you start to think that everything is going to be OK, the rug is pulled from under your feet.

A few years ago, I was in a similar situation. I was going to a fairly large NHS practice and I’d been a patient there on and off for a number of years. The dentists only stayed between 18 months to 2 years and so it wasn’t great for someone who was absolutely terrified. A lot of the dentists there were either too rushed or not that great, so it was almost a relief when they left. Then I did start seeing a dentist at the practice who was really nice, who never made me feel bad about being scared and who always took time to make sure I was OK with whatever treatment I was having. I never managed to tell him what I was scared of or why and I spent most appointments shaking like a leaf and not really saying very much because I could hardly speak. But it never seemed to matter because I knew that everything would be OK and that nothing bad would happen.

I think I’d been seeing this dentist nearly two years when I started having pain in one of my lower molars and despite trying fillings and other stuff, the pain just continued to get worse and so he suggested a root canal. He said that to get me out of pain at that appointment, he could place a dressing and then I would need to book an appointment for a root canal in a week or so. I couldn’t really handle having fillings and so the thought of a root canal (which I’d never had before) was just completely terrifying, but I thought everything would be OK because I trusted my dentist and I knew that he would stop whenever I needed a break. At the end of that appointment, I found out that he was leaving the following week and that because I needed a one hour appointment for the root canal, they couldn’t fit me in for five weeks and so the root canal would be done by his replacement. I actually cried when I went home that night because despite all the years of bad experiences with various dentists, I’d finally managed to find someone who I could trust and feel OK with. The thought of seeing someone new, let alone having a root canal was unthinkable.

To cut a long story short, I now go to a different practice which is a private practice. Having a different dentist every year or so was not helping either me or my teeth at all. Since changing practices, my fear/anxiety has started to improve (although I do still have a panic sometimes!) because I’m now seeing the same person every time and I know that I’m not going to go there one day and find out that he’s leaving, or worse, go there and find some stranger sat in his place.

As kitkat said, there will come a point when you will need to change dentists or see someone else at the same practice because they don’t stay forever (they have to retire at some point!). But from reading your post, it seems like you could really do with some stability and knowing that you’ll see the same person for a few years. As you start to overcome your fears and your confidence improves, you will find that you’re able to cope better with seeing someone new, but it does take time.

I think if it were me in your shoes, I would probably be looking at going to your dentist’s new practice because if I was in the middle of treatment, I’m not sure that I would want to (or be able to) start all over again with someone new. If it was affordable, then you could always stay there and if not, once your treatment is completed, it would buy you some time to search for a new dental practice. I suppose it depends on your finances really. It’s not unheard of for patients to follow their dentist to a new practice and if you think about it, it’s actually quite a compliment. Do you know where your dentist is going? His new practice may have a website that you can check out to get a feel for the place and maybe an idea of costs.

Then again, if you’ve got a choice about which of the other dentists at the practice you can see, then maybe one of the others is just as good and maybe even better than your current dentist? Perhaps you could have a chat with your dentist about what to do? He may be able to suggest someone else you could see at the practice, especially since he’s got to know you now and so might be able to recommend someone you would feel comfortable with. He probably won’t be able to suggest that you follow him to his new practice because I think they often have clauses in their contracts that prevent them from poaching patients, however it does happen ;).

Learning from both my own experiences and also years of reading and responding to other people’s posts on here, generally, if you go to an NHS practice, then depending on the practice, the dentists don’t tend to stay more than a few years at best, possibly because of the enormous pressures they’re under. You stand a better chance of seeing the same person for longer at a private practice and they also have more time to spend with you. However, just as with anything else that you buy, going private doesn’t always guarantee that you’ll have a good experience (although it does increase the chances significantly because they lose your custom if you don’t have a good experience).

Good luck :clover::clover::clover:
 
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spanna

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Thank you for the replies. Still trying to get my head round this, been up most of the night stressing about it. I think all I can do for the time being is wait until my appointment Friday and talk to my dentist about my options.

There is another great dentist at the surgery who is also the principal dentist. My 1st appointment there was with him and I've seen him once since, he's lovely and helped to train my current dentist so is obviously very good. but I've not had treatment with him or built up trust or a relationship. If my dentist were moving abroad and I had no choice it would be him I would go to but it would feel like starting all over again. The way I'm thinking about it atm (don't know if this will change) is that I do have a choice and as long if I can find a way to afford to complete my treatment with him privately, then hopefully it wouldn't be too bad money wise to just keep on top of things.

I do understand that I'll have to trust another dentist at some point in my life but Im just not ready for that yet. Plus my dentist is young (only qualified last year) so I could potentially stay with him for quite a while. I only started going to him in February and we have both worked hard to get to the stage im at now and I don't want to risk undoing that and slipping into old ways i.e. avoidance

Something that is worrying me is if I'll get in at the private surgery. Are they always looking for patients or do they often get full?

Finally irmemac, I'm so glad to read you found a great dentist, the other one didn't sound right for you. Have you written about yesterday on here yet? I'll have a look as I'd like to read it.
 
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spanna

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Hi Vicki and thank you so much for that post. I was writing mine at the same time so only just read it but it is although you are reading my mind! You said a lot of how im feeling just a lot better than I could say it! In my last post I have mentioned a few of the things you asked about in your post.

I think if it were me in your shoes, I would probably be looking at going to your dentist’s new practice because if I was in the middle of treatment, I’m not sure that I would want to (or be able to) start all over again with someone new. If it was affordable, then you could always stay there and if not, once your treatment is completed, it would buy you some time to search for a new dental practice. I suppose it depends on your finances really. It’s not unheard of for patients to follow their dentist to a new practice and if you think about it, it’s actually quite a compliment. Do you know where your dentist is going? His new practice may have a website that you can check out to get a feel for the place and maybe an idea of costs

This is exactly what I'm thinking! He told me the area he's moving to but not the actual practice name, I'll ask this on Friday, but I did search for practices in that area and think I may have found the one. I really hope he does see it as a compliment and not think I'm a stalker! lol

Learning from both my own experiences and also years of reading and responding to other people’s posts on here, generally, if you go to an NHS practice, then depending on the practice, the dentists don’t tend to stay more than a few years at best, possibly because of the enormous pressures they’re under. You stand a better chance of seeing the same person for longer at a private practice and they also have more time to spend with you. However, just as with anything else that you buy, going private doesn’t always guarantee that you’ll have a good experience (although it does increase the chances significantly because they lose your custom if you don’t have a good experience).

This is also true but as I already know my dentist I know I'm more than happy with him and the fact he will have more time, less pressure and better equipment/facilities is an huge bonus. I think the peace of mind is more than worth the money its just a matter of cutting back a bit to be able to afford it which I'm more than willing to do. My teeth are my priority atm so I'll reduce my phone contract, sell some stuff and my boyfriend has offered to help out too. Where there's a will there's a way! :)

Starting to feel better bout this now, just really hope can get in the new practice!
 
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irmemac

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Thank you, Spanna. You should be fine to get into a private practise, not like NHS! Good idea to talk things over with your lovely dentist. Please try not to over think things, I'm sure it will work out. I posted about my recent adventures on 'Difficult Dental Appointment' in this forum.

Thinking of you :XXLhug::clover:
 
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spanna

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I am terrible for overthinking things! I do it all the time and drive myself mad!:frantic: I'm glad to hear you think I'll be able to get in at the private practice. I found your post and have just replied.

The one plus to all this is that its taken my mind off the fact I have another rct on Friday! :scared: :scared: Every cloud eh?!:giggle:

Thank you all for your support, I'll be sure to keep you updated on my latest dental saga! Don't actually know how I'd cope without this forum now!
 
vicki

vicki

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You should be able to get an appointment at a private practice without any problems :). As irmemac said, it's not like an NHS practice. Private practices are run very differently to NHS practices; the experience from a patient's perspective is very different and usually a lot more calm and relaxed. It's in their interests to provide a positive patient experience, otherwise they'd lose business. Also, whilst they will have a regular customer (or patient) base, private practices are usually constantly advertising for new patients as well. The only exception to this, tends to be specialist dental practices where you get referred by your own dentist for treatment and then you go back to your dentist after your treatment has been completed. Having said that, I'm in the middle of root canal treatment at the moment (5 root canals :o!) and although I thought that the practice I'm going to (not my usual dentist) only did specialist treatment, it would seem that if patients find that they prefer to continue going there rather than return to their own dentist, then they wouldn't turn them away (so one of the dental nurses was telling my mum in the waiting room whilst I was busy having a root canal :p).

I'm sure your dentist wouldn't think you were stalking him if you went to his new practice; he might actually be a little bit flattered :).

As far as costs go, once you've completed your treatment and you're at the point where you just need checkups every six months and maybe a filling now and then, many private dental practices accept Denplan. You need to be what they call 'dentally fit' (which I'm certainly not at the moment!!) before you can sign up to it. This means that you need to have completed all the treatment to get your mouth and teeth healthy again, but once you can join, you pay a monthly fee and this covers the cost of your checkups, fillings and other routine treatment. Your dentist decides which monthly fee you pay depending on what your future treatment needs are likely to be, but I think the cost varies between maybe £15 to £30-5 per month... so this could maybe be an option for you long term if you're worried about costs.
 
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spanna

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Thanks for the reassurance Vicki. I'm actually looking forward to Friday a bit now to sort things out with my dentist, hope I get the answers I want.

If the website I found is the right practice then they do mention Denplan on there but I wasn't sure what it was, from what you say it sounds like that would be ideal.
 
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spanna

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Ok so yesterday I remembered my dentist said something about he'd be working with/for his dad, So I looked for dentists in the area he said with same surname and didn't like what I found. Its a little outside where he said but there's a dentist with the same surname (and it not that much of a common name) but he only does cosmetic dentistry! I don't think that's gonna be a coincidence, so now I'm assuming my dentist is off to specialise in cosmetic dentistry which is no good to me!

I really hope im thinking too much into this but to be honest I'm losing hope. Had hardly any sleep again last night stressing again. Cant believe this is such a big deal to me but it really is, I'm so upset. If anyone from my surgery reads this they are gonna think I'm such an idiot! Suppose I am really.
 
vicki

vicki

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Nobody is going to think you're an idiot. If it's not a common surname, then you could check the GDC's register on their website at www.gdc-uk.org If you type in the surname, it will bring up a list of all the dentists with the same surname. That way you can make sure that it isn't just someone else with the same name. Some dentists use their home address and some use their practice address, but whichever it is, it will give you an idea about whether it's the right person.

Unless the practice very specifically does cosmetic dentistry only, then they may well do routine dentistry as well. Given the number of people out of work and/or on a low income at the moment, unless the practice is in a very rich/posh/affluent area where people have plenty of spare cash to spend on cosmetic dentistry, then I would think they probably do routine stuff as well otherwise customers could be a bit thin on the ground. One easy way to find out is just to give them a ring (you don't have to give your name and if you don't want them to know your phone number, dial 141 before you dial their number) and just ask whether they're accepting new patients and whether they do routine or general dentistry as well as the cosmetic stuff. The receptionist will be able to tell you what they do and also give you a cost for a new patient appointment and/or costs for a checkup. The next thing to do is (if you're sure this is definitely the right practice), is keep an eye on their website and see whether they update their 'about us' page to include their new dentist. Listen at me... I'm the one who sounds like a professional stalker now!!! :giggle:
 
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Tink

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Ok so yesterday I remembered my dentist said something about he'd be working with/for his dad, So I looked for dentists in the area he said with same surname and didn't like what I found. Its a little outside where he said but there's a dentist with the same surname (and it not that much of a common name) but he only does cosmetic dentistry! I don't think that's gonna be a coincidence, so now I'm assuming my dentist is off to specialise in cosmetic dentistry which is no good to me!

Spanna, I don't think you need to worry about this! My dentist calls himself a cosmetic dentist too, lots of the private ones do, but he's quite happy to do just general dentistry and has never pushed the cosmetic stuff. If you have a good relationship with your dentist and go with him to the new practice, he's really unlikely to suddenly switch personalities and start pressuring you to have work done that you don't want. Please don't let the "cosmetic" label put you off.

honestly, I think this will work out well for you :XXLhug:
 
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irmemac

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Oh poor you. Of course you're not an idiot! This is a huge issue for you. However you've had very good advice about how to check the place out, and this lovely dentist will understand why you want to finish your work with him. We are here, and you know we are all with you on this journey :XXLhug:

Would it help you to write things down on paper? Sometimes that helps me. I am a massive over thinker and like to torment myself with every conceivable what if, and I know I was completely panicking recently when I had to change dentist. You sound as if you know what you want, and it's just the unknown aspects such as the actual new practise and the ethos of the place that are bothering you. Vicki has got good advice - maybe she'll check the place out for you? :giggle:

You are getting there, just keep going!
 
carole

carole

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Hi Spanna

Try not to get too stressed out about this, I noticed you said that you are on a low income and if you really couldn't afford to see your trusted dentist you did mention that you did see the principle dentist before seeing this one that you thought was really nice and considerate. Could you give him a try before paying out money you may not have. If you try and are not happy then you can always follow the one you have been seeing.

I have had the same experience's as vicki has mentioned in that you just get used to a good dentist on the nhs and then they leave and get replaced by someone that is not too good or you don't feel comfortable with them.

It is very upsetting and sends you into a tiss, you would have thought a family member had died when my last dentist left the practice I was going to. I didn't get on with the new dentist but I did find another one at a different practice and have been very lucky so far that this one is also good too. I have had work done that I never thought I would be able to cope with from anyone, never mind a new dentist so there are a lot of good ones out there just waiting to be found.

Good luck :clover::clover::clover: I hope whatever you decide to do, it works out how you want it to. :)
 
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spanna

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They do general dentistry!!! And they are accepting new patients!!!:yay::) :) :) :D :D :D OMG that is just the biggest weight lifted from my shoulders, cant believe how stressed I've been over a dentist. A few months ago I would have just seen it as a reason to not go anymore!

Im sorry if I've drove anyone mad stressing about this, I certainly drove myself mad and probably my family and boyfriend too :redface:. I cant thank you all enough for taking the time to reply, advise and reassure me. If ever we have a DFC get together I shall buy you guys a drink :cheers:! lol :thankyou: :you-rock::grouphug:
 
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irmemac

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Oh fantastic! So relieved for you!!:jump::jump::jump:
 
vicki

vicki

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:jump::jump::jump::jump::jump::jump:

That's fantastic news! Hopefully you can stop worrying now :D :cloud9:.
 
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