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Pathways to NHS sedation clinic - UK



Oct 17, 2021
United Kingdom
Hi. Been a long time getting round to sorting this out. I posted a thread on here back in September. I had an abscessed tooth which needed extraction and was incapable of allowing the regular dentist to do it under local anaesthetic. Was referred to the hospital and due to a string of errors by the original dentist, I was discharged from hospital just before Christmas having received no treatment.

As it turns out I have quite a list of necessary works. The LL7, UR7, UL7 LR7 and LR8 all require work, two extractions, two root canals and two fillings at the time of diagnosis (November). One of those is broken at the gum and will require surgical extraction. Lots of fun to look forward to.

My problem is that I really do not want to go back to this dentist after the runaround spanning over 3 months and 6 appointments which culminated in a complete dead end and the necessity to start back at square one. However they are the only one I could/can find willing to take on new NHS patients without signing up to a very long waiting list, and I cannot currently afford to go private for this amount of work.

So I was hoping someone might be able to point out which strings to pull and which buttons to push to get into the sedation dentist clinics under the NHS, if there are some other pathways in without having to go back to that dentists chair again and hope this time they get it right?
Current circumstances are the abscess has, thank god, drained and not returned. Obviously sensitivity to cold foods and drink in some of the teeth but otherwise painless. Submandibular lymph node behind the previously abscessed tooth is still a huge swollen bulge but mostly unnoticeable ie painless. So not super urgent to get treated immediately but I do need to stop putting it off and get it all done. So now is that time and this time I’m going to do it.
Hi @Sausage, the referral pathways vary a lot from area to area. Whereabouts are you located?
@letsconnect Leicestershire, but also close to Warwickshire and Derbyshire.
Have a look at this:

It says "we accept referrals from dentists and other healthcare professionals such as doctors. If you have Dental Anxiety, please contact your dentist or GP and ask them for a referral." So it looks as if your GP can refer you.

Is this the same service that you were referred to last time?


No. I was referred to a surgery, who was willing to deal with the extractions but said they do not have a remit to do any restorative dental work, but they wanted a treatment plan for all the other work that needed doing before they would agree to the extractions, which never materialised.

I may try the GP. I had expected I might already know what they will say to me! Like all GP’s it’s a struggle to even get a phone appointment so they may not appreciate me trying to burden them with someone else’s job. I have already been to see them about the lymph node maybe October-ish time, before the first hospital appointment, as it was really playing on my mind when I found it.

But it was that very paragraph you quoted which prompted me to try and explore other ways to get in to the sedation clinic. Do you reckon it’s worth a shot?

Can a private dentist refer me to NHS for treatment? I could probably meet the cost of a consultation but not afford to have them do it. I suppose they will all just want the job themselves?
I would have thought that private dentists can also refer... can't see a reason why not. Maybe email a few in your area and ask if they would be prepared to do that? I'd be interested to find out what their replies are ?
I dithered and dithered and dithered and in a moment of madness just booked an appointment to see the same dentist again next week. Honestly feel like such a plum but the longer it’s going on the more it’s affecting me mentally I think and the harder it becomes to do something about it. Or maybe rather the longer I put it off the easier it is to continue doing nothing.

Need to get on with it and move on.

Are you paying privatley then . Be interested to know the cost as i have similar treatment pending

Are you paying privatley then . Be interested to know the cost as i have similar treatment pending

No, I was back to procrastinating so chose the path of least resistance and going back to the NHS dentist I saw originally just to get the ball rolling again. It feels almost embarrassing to be going and asking if maybe this time they could try and do their job properly!