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Uncaring NHS Dentists

Binky

Binky

Junior member
Joined
Apr 11, 2013
Messages
3
Location
Manchester, UK
I apologise in advance about the following epic post.

I suffer from extreme dentist phobia. Just thinking about dentists makes me feel physically sick to the point of vomiting, and inside a dentist's office, I usually cry hysterically, feel shaky and nautious, and if the unfortunate dentist comes near me I get so panicky, I lash out and push him away, which is pure fear-reaction.
My personal reasons for my phobia are complex- a combination of childhood experiences and other bad experiences. My mother thought it was a great idea to take her little kids into the dentist's office with her whenever she got treatment, cuz she thought we would lose all fear of dentists that way, but it worked totally the opposite way. Me and my sis must have seen our mother wince in pain and so we associate dentists with pain and both have massive phobias. Added to that, as a teenager I had a terrible dentist, and got lockjaw from tetanus (bloodpoisoning) after one particularly bad treatment. That must have been the last straw for me.

I have had 2 days from hell once again because I can not get any support in the UK for my dentist phobia.
You read in the papers all the time, how the NHS has become uncaring and there are so many horror stories of cold and harsh health professionals, and I am sorry to say, it's all true.
It all seemed to go downhill about 10 years ago, before that, I used to get excellent help with dental treatment. A friend recommended a kind and caring dentist to me, who specialised in nervous people. He was a lovely man, treated you with respect, and offered the following treatments for people like me, who are petrified of dental treatment: he would prescribe sleeping tablets for the night before an appointment, and Valium to take before coming to the surgery. Then he would offer you intravenous sedation (again, Valium) for the treatment. This would be enough sedation, so you would be totally knocked out for 30 minutes or less, so he could do the treatment, and you could walk out of the practice afterwards, woozy but able to walk, and go home.
Then one day, maybe about 10 years ago, he had to tell me that from then on, the NHS had forbidden individual NHS dentists to administer sedation, and ever since then, my whole dental treatment has been one disaster after another....
Now, whenever anything goes wrong with my teeth, I have to go to the dentist, who is supposed to refer nervous patients to a special Sedation Clinic for treatment. Of course there is a waiting list and no chance of immeditate treatment.
Only problem is, once you get there, they have clear messages posted on the walls, that they are legally only permitted to administer a certain amount of sedation. We have tried treatment under the new rules, but the sedation they give is so low, it doesn't work for me at all. I am still fully conscious, fully anxious and screaming with fear, and my husband said, I was making the other patients cry in the waiting room when they heard me...and treatment had to be broken off.
So these sedation clinics are NOT an option for me, and I have to be referred on to my local Dental Hospital. This entails a waiting list of many weeks, if not months, just for an initial consultation. They do sedation treatment there, but it is the same as at the regular sedation clinics, so they also can not treat me there. So I have to be referred to the main general hospital down the road, where I can have oral surgery, with an anaesthetic under medical supervision. And again, there can be several weeks or months waiting time before I finally get treatment.

So this has been going on for many years for me, and believe me, it is no picnic, when you are in pain, to wait months and months for treatment. And don't think i haven't tried other things. Me and the dentist have tried dosing me up to the gills with tranquilisers for treatment, but while monitoring my vitals, he had to break off the treatment, because I was getting so worked up with stress, he thought I might have a stroke, so to speak. So no, it really is impossible to treat me without the sedation. By these costcutting methods the NHS started a few years ago, they have taken away my safe and immediate treatment and have put me through hellish pain and delays many , many times.

It got to the point, where I said, I can't deal with this anymore, waiting for 6 months for different referrals every time I need dental treatment, I need drastic measures taken, and I asked for all my remaining teeth to be removed and requested dentures. That's when I found out that apparently, this is another NHS cost cutting measure, that they don't give people dentures anymore, like they used to do in the olden days....we all know people, who in the "good old days" of the NHS, used to ask for dentures by the age of 30 and get them, for various reasons. But no, not for me. For the past 2 years I have begged and pleaded with various dentists at the dental hospital for dentures, on the grounds of my dentist phobia and how stressful and painful it is for me to get treatment. They have now finally agreed, after many consultations, on the grounds I now have advanced gum disease (as I have not had my teeth polished and cleaned by a dentist since they outlawed sedation) and have lost several teeth which have simply fallen out after much pain and suffering.

I am now on the usual waiting list for treatment at the main general hospital, but added to that, they have now decided to make me have a consultation with an anaethesiologist first, instead of going straight on to the treatment (oral surgery). They just can' seem to get it into their heads that I am in pain and every day waiting for appointment is agonising. And NEVER have I met a more hardnosed, unsympathetic bunch of so-called health care professionals in my life....the way they have treated me and talked to me at that dental hospital, like I am the scum of the earth. Even my husband has been astonished at how they have spoken to me and treated me there. When you are already feeling down because of pain and fear, that is not how you want to be treated.

Whatever happened to the NHS? Are we really just units of cost to them now, and not human beings anymore????
 
carole

carole

Super Moderator
Joined
Jan 5, 2012
Messages
7,917
Location
UK
:welcome: to the forum.

I am sorry you have had these experiences, I think the nhs dentists are doing their best. I am also nervous and have always been. With the help form a very considerate and patient dentist I have gone from being a total phobic mess to being nervous.

I found that finding a sympathetic nhs dentist, as I cannot afford to go private, was not as hard as is written about in the papers. I have had a mixture of treatment through the years, some dentists have been absolute terrors and a lot of them have been lovely and I have managed to get treatment done. All on the nhs both at dental practices and dental hospital.

I am at the moment having treatment at a dental hospital and I have found them to be really good and understanding towards me. They have gone out of their way to make me feel comfortable.

There is good and not so good in all professions and people, I think in general that a lot of nhs dentists do very well and go that extra mile to help us. I have also been on the receiving end of an uncaring fool.

I do understand how awful and wretched you must be feeling, it is very draining to be in pain and waiting for appointments for so long, I think you must have been very unlucky to see so many uncaring people and I hope you can get the treatment you need soon.

I have never known a time in the last 55 years of my life when a dentist would take out healthy teeth as a request, and I did ask a couple of times over the years.

I am now at a point where I want to keep my teeth and I am so grateful that they didn't take out my teeth when I asked because with the help of caring dentists I have managed to get the treatment I have needed over the years.

I do think that if you could find a dentist that would be willing to work at a pace you could cope with it might help you. Could your doctor help you with prescribing something to help you calm down that you could take before going to an appointment ? A lot of people take various meds that have either been prescribed by the dentist or doctor, and this really helps them. I will say that I had to leave a very rude and uncaring dentist to find the people I see now but it was worth the move.

There are faults with the nhs, but I can only speak about the treatment I have had recently from both dentists at a practice I attend, and the dental hospital, and I have been treated very well and have been made to feel very comfortable and my being nervous has been taken very seriously. They have done everything they possibly can to help me feel less nervous, I have found them to be very caring and understanding.

I really hope you can manage to get whatever treatment you wish to have, and soon. I am so sorry you feel so helpless about your situation, let us know how you get on please :grouphug:
 
N

nikki06

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 24, 2006
Messages
168
Location
UK.
Where do I begin..!

From the beginning maybe. When I got pregnant in 2003 I suffered with depression (something major in my personal life knocked me for six).. Basically I went for long periods where I didn't wash, let alone brush my teeth, my days were spent on the sofa in my dressing gown! I know, nice! But I cheekily took the opportunity in 2004 to get my teeth checked out while it was free (because Id just given birth).
What a nightmare that was. he filled about 8 teeth, all deep fillings, one of which was joined over two teeth but with a gap underneath that ended up infected because I was unable to clean it properly. At the end of that appointment I was a mess, white as a sheet, almost sick in the car on the way home, and almost fainted in his chair..it was about 1.5 hours long that appointment, just far too much in one go, i wanted to do it over more appointments but he was having none of it. 1.5 hrs, I hated it. After him my teeth no longer touched because they were filled so much, my jaw locked and clicked from then on (and still does to this day, no idea why), so I set about finding a new one because the thought of him doing the same to the remaining side of my mouth filled me with dread.

The next dentist was a new practise (in a horrible area), oddly I thought because it was new it would be fine!? It wasn't. When I was in the room I happened to look over at his dentistry tools, every one still had blood on them and the dentist couldn't speak a word of proper English.. Which isn't a bad thing, I'm not knocking him, but it helps for the both of us to understand each other! Well that dentist/practise made me feel even worse.. It was like a meetmarket in there, I even had to take a ticket like you used to do in the co-op to buy cheese or cold meats!

I looked at a few more until I came to a decent one (by luck). She was amazing, I built trust with her. She corrected the other guys work, pulled that tooth he filled that was joined over both teeth. Then I moved and put off finding one in this area because I was so worried again, starting from scratch with a new person and having to build that trust again. I returned to her in Nottingham on an emergency basis to have a tooth pulled as I was in pain, but this time she seemed angry and told me I couldn't follow her around and would have to find a new dentist as she was moving anyway.. Which sort of upset me, but I understood. :/

I went in search of a dentist here in 2009/10.. the first guy didnt pay attention to me and only seemed interested in the Tv.. Didn't fancy him working on me when he couldn't care less.
THen I found another dentist and went in for treatment as an emergency, so my first meeting with him resulted in a filling.. He continued to drill a tooth not believing me when I told him that I wasn't fully numb, he also rushed my appointment and didn't bother to go through a treatment plan and just told me to come back later for more work - what that would be exactly I didnt know as he didn't take the time to tell me properly, the receptionist probably did more talking than him, and she was miserable! Another great one!

Then I went private.. None of the fancy treatment that's promised on their website though, no tv, no nice music, warm blankets and such, and in the end I got treated like some sort of petty thief being hounded for the remainder of the money I owed (I think they assumed Id done a runner with their £100) and so I'm too embarrassed to return, but also I don't have the money for any more work as I've already paid £500 for 3 fillings and theres no money left. But the thing with him was that thankfully he could get me numb, he also did bother to explain the treament of what i needed and why.. something the NHS ones don't seem to be able to do!?.

my problem at the moment is that I can't get numb. I think about going back to the private one because he could numb me but I just cannot afford it, and the atmosphere would probably be terrible after they chased me for the money (£80 of which I didn't actually owe in the first place, and they admitted this later, then said it was for cancelling (despite knowing i was ill at the time, i even saved gp and hospital paperwork to prove I couldn't help the short notice cancelations)..


So off I went to find another NHS dentist..

I found another but basically she doesn't want to know because I can't get numb with her either. She couldn't wait to refer me (I feel) because I don't appear to be normal, everyday work.. I present an issue that needs a bit more time and perhaps a different approach to the usual and she can't do it.
That appointment with her to have a tooth pulled was in January. I was in pain then and I still am today. she said Id be seen within two months.. I'm still waiting! when i asked how im meant to go for so long in pain she just said 'youll have to find painkillers that work' knowing full well i cant take strong painkillers because of my current medication (of which she knew nothing about).. Wonderful advice. I'm still waiting for this referral to turn up 3 months later and I have pain in several teeth with no sign of an appointment just empty promises..

to add to it all I have absolutely no idea what the future holds in terms of who will treat me or if I will need to be referred each and every time because they wont be able to numb me.. But how exactly would that work in an emergency? Just endure 2-3 months till my referal comes through, having sleepless nights where my painful tooth keeps me awake!? They don't even make animals suffer this long in pain!

I'm not kidding, but my fiancé spent the whole of 2012 in pain. All of it! He was dosed up on strong painkillers, many antibiotics and high strength orajel that he got imported! He was totally and utterly miserable. He was passed around from pillar to post, promised referrals here and there till the point came where they said he needed to be treated under general.. which meant a further wait. I should add that a private dentist managed to pull a tooth without any gagging (in 2011, but at a cost of over £250!), so why couldn't the NHS do it too, surely it's only a matter of time, patience and careful placement of the tools? But because he gags he wasn't straightforward, anything complicated seems a bit too much for most NHS dentists in my eyes... Even the dental access centre he went to didn't even look in his mouth, they told him he must have an infection and sent him packing!

So I'm with you too.. In limbo, in pain and just waiting.. And fully expecting to go as long as he did before actually recieving treatment!
Even when he went for an initial consultation (to check his weight, Bp etc/suitability for general anaesthetic) the nurse actually said 'what are you here for? I'm too busy. We have a month left before your times up, so come back later.' she was more than willing to make him wait until the very last moment.. thankfully after a fuss she made the time (all of five mins) to fulfill the checks and then send him away again! It was probably only a week or so after that appointment that he got taken in for the general.. Purely because at that point he was ringing them every day due to pain and thankfully there was a cancellation!

I'm the same, at this point I want mine out too. I'm sure the teeth look healthy enough on the outside, but I'm 99.9% sure that underneath my deep fillings there's something that's causing me these issues that they just can't see on the X-rays. I don't care if my face caves in a bit because my teeth wont be there.. Maybe down the line my bones will shrink and dentures will be lose (I'm 32 now), but surely your quality of life outweighs the pain and misery of all this waiting and suffering. I'm proper fed up of it. I'm sick of the pain stopping me in my tracks, of it occurring without warning while I'm out, of snapping at my loved ones because they're talking to me but all I can feel is pain and all I can concentrate on is my teeth! I'd happy let them take out the lot at this point in time, ESP so if they can't numb me after this referal and I end up having to wait a further 3+ months for a general and then that's my only option in the future, a general every time I need work.. Would I just have to endure pain till they become infected, because you can't have fillings under general, only extractions!

I'm sending virtual hugs as I know how you feel! It's properly frustrating and miserable!
 
N

nikki06

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 24, 2006
Messages
168
Location
UK.
Now that reply has to be one of epic proportions! I apologise about that :/ you don't have to read it if you don't want.. I don't think I'd bother if I saw all of that! Lol
 
Binky

Binky

Junior member
Joined
Apr 11, 2013
Messages
3
Location
Manchester, UK
Hi Nikki-
I am so sorry about your experiences, nobody should be made to suffer like this, for extended periods of time.
I do wonder if it has anything to do with living in a larger city, you mention Nottingham, and I am from Manchester, maybe the health professionals there are simply overwhelmed by the volume of patients and it makes them lose their "humanity". Perhaps if we lived in a small town, we would get treated differently?

I do think the whole NHS system of dentistry is pushing people towards going private, as many are just not getting what they need from NHS dentists. I too have decided to go that route, because you get to a point of desperation, where you will literally do ANYTHING to get rid of the pain. There have even been cases now of people driven to suicide because of toothache, how terrible.

Unfortunately, even when I am willing to pay for treatment, I still can't be seen immediately, as the good dentists are very busy, and I still have to wait weeks with toothache, grrrhh. The private dentist near me has a payment plan option, so even if you aren't too well off, you can make payments in installments I believe?

Someone made a joke to me the other day, saying even medieval quacks helped you better with toothache than the modern NHS- they gave you some booze to make you woozy, pulled your tooth and sent you home with painkilling herbs....

Now I could just about get my head around the fact that the NHS is totally overstretched nowadays and hence the long waiting lists. But why do the staff have to be so rude, nasty and uncaring in the face of someone who is in pain and frightened?? Last dentist I saw at the dental hospital, really took the biscuit...I sat down in his examination room, said: "I am here, because.." and he interrupted me, saying: "Don't talk too much, I have other patients waiting in the waiting room." WHAT??? I was so gobsmacked by his general manner and attitude, if you have waited weeks for an appointment to get in there, and you are scared and in pain, you do NOT want a health professional speaking to you like that.... After that, he interrupted every sentence I spoke, no matter how short...I went away, back to the waiting room, and was called back for the final discussion, where I got out a pen and paper from my bag and asked for his name, which I wrote down in front of him...and suddenly he became super-polite, and even noticed the fact I was upset and in tears and asked if I was going to be allright going home etc....Unfortunately, he told me he was leaving his job the next week, so there was no point taking his name really. But he was a real piece of work, that one.

Carole- thanks for your comments, and I am glad your experiences have been a lot better than mine and Nikki's.
About asking the doctor to prescribe something to help with the nerves- like I said, they used to do that and the system worked fine for me. But now they dont seem to want to do that. My current dentist looked at me like I was crazy when I asked for this, and my GP has not helped at all either. Whenever I mention my dentist phobia, the GP just ignores me (no eye contact, looking at his computer screen not me, changing the subject), I just think they don't know how to deal with it??

About taking out so-called "healthy" teeth on request- you make it sound a bit like it is a decision made on a whim...I think every person on this forum, who has asked for their teeth to be extracted, has come to this difficult decision after many years of pain and fear and heart-searching and agonising thoughts. I would say, in my case, all of my remaining teeth have something wrong with them, after years of lack of treatment and neglect, there are none that are 100% healthy, plus I now have advanced gum disease. If there was any other way of managing to cope, I would do so, but it is pure agony of waiting months and months every time I need treatment, that has made me come to this decision.
At the end of the day, I am a human being with a mind which is made ill by this process, and I am not just a body with teeth, I am a whole person and would like both my body and mind to be considered as a whole entity, ha ha. If my dentist phobia is affecting my mental health and making me ill, that should definitely be a deciding factor in choosing my treatment! But I have found that the NHS dentists don't seem to be able to grasp this wholly? They still only see you as a meatbag with teeth, not a human being with feelings.

I wish both Carole and Nikki all the best with future treatments!! Thanks so much for talking about your experiences. :XXLhug:
 
carole

carole

Super Moderator
Joined
Jan 5, 2012
Messages
7,917
Location
UK
I do not think you have come to the decision to have your teeth out easily, it is not the easy option, I would not be so disrespectful to you. I understand how terrible you must be feeling 100%


I have been under the so called care of a terrible nhs dentist and I did indeed ask him to arrange for me to have all my teeth out. I was scared and in total agony all the time, I spent over 20 months going from GP to Dentist almost begging them to find out what was wrong with me. My head was pounding all the time I felt really ill, my face used to swell up and I was driven mad with pain. Nothing took the pain away, I was given antibiotics at the start of it all by the GP and the dentist, these nearly finished me off but I was in agony so I suffered taking them. In the end they decided that I had neuralgia and the gp gave me tablets for that, which did feel like they calmed things down sometimes but then all the pain and swelling came back. I was really ill, but kept getting told there was nothing wrong with me. I felt like a real pest. I couldn't get any help anywhere.
I used to lay in bed and I had something horrible tasting running down the back of my throat, it made me feel sick. I used to think death was better than this.

In the end one day my tooth broke off, I dare not go back to the dentist and found another one out of my area, it turned out the tooth couldn't be saved and I had a long standing abcess, (sorry I just cannot spell that at the moment). I was a total wreck I couldn't speak, could hardly breath and I was shaking so much I could hardly walk in there to see him, I was terrified. Through a lot of understanding and patience I gained confidence and I got to trust him, I had to have the tooth removed, a lot of antibiotics and a rct, which is something I never thought I would do. I got the terrible news that he was moving too far for me to travel to, to see him. I was besides myself and didn't know what to do, I had also had a rct 2 before he left too. I decided to give his replacement a try as the practice catered for nervous patients so I thought I would be okay.

I was so wrong, I had to have an emergency appointment because the 2nd rct'd tooth was killing me despite not having any nerves in, I knew it was infected. I saw him he gave me some antibiotic that I later found out was penicillin which I am allergic to and was ill with it, I had to take steroids because of this. He barely looked at me and didn't look properly at the tooth. He told me it had to come out. I was too ill to have this done when I went back because of the allergic reaction I had. He would not listen to me and was annoyed because I refused to have the tooth out.

I have told you this because I very much know where both you and nikki06 are coming from and I have more than had my fare share of bad dentists both recent and in my past.

I still say you just need to find the right one for you. I have since found a good dentist that I see, and I also see a lovely dentist at the hospital for a rct re do on the tooth the last bad dentist just wanted to take you.

I am truly sorry you have both suffered, I do understand how you feel, it is scary to be in so much pain and not be even listened to, I was so scared as I didn't know what it was. I even at one point wondered myself if I was imagining it. I thought I was going mad.

I hope both of you will be lucky enough to find a good caring and considerate dentist that can help you, could you go out of your area's. I stand by what I said Not all dentists are bad, there are a lot of good ones and if you are having this kind of treatment as standard then you should complain.

I did also say that whatever decision you make is entirely your choice, and you have every right to make it. It is such a shame to end up losing all your teeth because of shoddy treatment. It isn't right or fair to you.

I wish you both well, please let us know how you get on :butterfly:

I am still very nervous about visiting a dentist but with an understanding dentist I do manage to get work done. Don't take bad treatment, find a dentist that will listen to you and act in your best interest.
 
Last edited:
S

spanna

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 28, 2013
Messages
189
Location
UK
Hi Binky and Nikki06,

Firstly I am so sorry that you find yourselves in this horrible situation, It must be terrible to feel such desperation. :(

I just wanted agree with and add to what Carole has said. I too (like most on this forum) have experienced some very poor and very uncaring nhs dentistry (only ever had 1 consultation at a private dentist which was way too expensive for me to return to). Those bad experiences led to me losing all trust in dentists and I never imagined I'd be able to trust and have confidence in any dentist again. However I recently had to face my fear (reasons for this are in my 'I did it' story over in 'Success stories' just in case you are interested!) and after a recommendation from a friend, I found my current dentist who, within just a few appointments and with lots of listening, explaining, caring and patience has done the impossible and restored my trust and confidence in dentists :)! (Obviously there is a lot more to my story than this but I'm trying to keep it short and sweet!)

I do understand I have been extremely lucky to find my dentist and it may not be as straight forward for others, but I do now believe that by finding the right dentist you at least give yourself a fighting chance to face your phobia and get on the track to dental health.

I can't comment on the sedation side of things as I have no experience of this but hopefully someone who knows more about this will comment. I really do hope you can find a way to get the type of sedation you want on the nhs.

Please don't give up on nhs dentists, honestly there really are some great ones out there we just have to keep looking till we find them.


Good luck to both of you :clover::clover: Please let us know how things go.:hug4::grouphug:
 
M

mango

Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2012
Messages
46
I am sorry to read of your terrible experiences.

I didn't go to the dentist for 16 years largely due to fear and was persuaded to do something about this. Over the years I have seen 3 NHS dentists in two different towns in a (largely) rural area and cannot speak highly enough of them. I always felt they had time, I was treated fairly and now no longer dread walking past dental surgeries ( I am no longer so fit though!). Maybe it has got something to do with you being in an urban environment but I would imagine that all NHS dentists suffer similar pressures. There are excellent ones out there
 
N

nikki06

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 24, 2006
Messages
168
Location
UK.
The lady I saw in Nottingham was brilliant (up until her last comment about not following her,anyway! Maybe she thought I was a nut case!), the others were terrible!

The one I have now is a very nice lady too, but I feel like the only one who had real time for me was the private dentist, yet his fees were almost double the cost of the fees of private dentists in my area (I live in a village, he was in Loughborough), so it's possible that he just has less patients on his books due to that, or maybe he doesn't need to book in so many per day charging those prices!

The dental access center that my partner ended up at was terrible, so bad that I ended up writing a complaint! I had to call the receptionist after they'd sent him home with antibiotics without examining him (or giving an x ray), the receptionist was so rude that I actually complained, she insisted on speaking over me so she didnt answer a single question I had because she wqsnt listening in the first place.. I ended up raising my voice just so I could get a full sentence out.. Then she told me she was going to put the phone down because she didnt like my tone!? I think she was simply trying to dodge the fact my fiance had been given medication because they didnt want to help properly as he kept gagging.. We ended up at the private dentist a day or two after that because he couldn't take the pain and and he was kind, patient, didnt make him gag once and confirmed there was no infection present (I got him in the private dentist before he'd had a chance to take any antibiotics properly).. Then last year we had the whole nightmare of him needing more work and having to deal with the NHS dentists again, more paperwork and being passed about than I dont know what! Pretty much the same as my year is going now I think, like groundhog day!
I think there will always be nice people, and equally nasty/short/uncaring people wherever you go and whatever you do, there just needs to be more thought and caring in these types of places especially.

Please excuse any typos or autocorrection! I'm trying to send this via my phone which is a nightmare! Lol
 
Binky

Binky

Junior member
Joined
Apr 11, 2013
Messages
3
Location
Manchester, UK
Re: Update- Uncaring NHS Dentists

Thanks to everyone who took the time to comment. :thankyou:

Carole and Spanna- I am glad you still have some confidence in the NHS, LOL. I have reached some sort of point now where I have given up with the NHS. I have tried several different ones over the years and have had reactions ranging from being laughed at to being ignored when I mention my dental phobia. And even when I find one who is friendly, if they can not give me any treatment without the sedation I need, then I can't have treatment, no matter how nice they are...and the NHS rules are very cut-and-dry on this, they are simply not allowed to give sedation in a regular NHS practice. It is pure and simply, a cost cutting exercise by the NHS.

Honestly, I am really not bothered about losing my teeth, as long as I am free of pain. I am not vain and I can live without them, LOL.:giggle:

Now I have an update with some better news....One week after being turned away from the private dentist because of a month long waiting list, I decided to phone again to beg for a consultation, ha ha, in case they had had a cancellation...and I managed to get in the very next day. So I have now seen a private dentist, and he happens to specialise in nervous people- hooray! I can't tell you how amazing the consultation was. He was brilliant! He was everything those nasty NHS dentists have not been, he was the total opposite to my joy and amazement....he was polite and friendly, he actually listened to me without interrupting, he was totally understanding about the phobia, and totally non-judgmental about me asking for help. Instead of arguing with me about what treatment to do or not do (the NHS dentists I had to beg for several years to extract rotten teeth, which they wouldn't agree to...) he agreed with my wishes. He had modern equipment in his surgery, such as a microcamera, with which he took close up pictures of my rotten teeth (ugh!) and saved them straight onto a computer. He was very happy to offer the kind of sedation I am looking for, and while I was there in the office, waiting to be seen, I saw other people coming out who were having sedation and that they were being looked after very well. Honestly, I couldn't be more happy that I got to see this dentist at last. I am only annoyed at myself that it took me so long to pluck up the courage to go there...because I have had the brochure from there for over 3 years, ha ha.

Now the thing that a few people have commented on, which was also one of the reasons I didn't go there any sooner, is that with being a private dentist, you obviously have to pay him and some people said this was too expensive. They took the consultation fee off me over the phone before I even went there, and after the consultation, I was taken to a seperate office to discuss a payment plan for any treatment. I have to honestly say, I was pleasantly surprised at the cost, considering how much waiting time and pain I will be saving by not going on 6 months NHS waiting lists! Now some people might say, why should I pay money when I have paid taxes all these years and the NHS should provide services for those taxes. But it's fairly obvious that the NHS has much stricter guidelines than they used to have, about what services they are willing to supply. So if you want anything other than the bare-bones NHS treatment, such as sedation, you get what you pay for, I guess?? Now I have thought about this long and hard. The way I see it, is that my fee for the private dentist is the amount of money some women probably spend on clothes or on going out in a month or two...and as I don't smoke, don't drink, rarely buy new clothes or other luxuries, this can be my one major luxury that I am willing to treat myself to. Like the ad says, I am worth it!

I gotta say though, when I saw how relatively low the fee was, when I was expecting it to be much, much higher, I did think: what, over these measly few squids the NHS has been so mean, that they won't allow people a bit of sedation and condemn them to months in pain on hospital waiting lists for special sedation clinics?? And then they only permit one low level of sedation, with no deviation from the amount, no matter what...now that to me is a sign of heartless bureaucrats making up rules without real consideration for people. They are deliberately driving nervous people like me to the private sector! The dentist told me by the way, that people come to him from miles around because of his special qualification for dealing with nervous people.

I am booked in for my broken tooth extraction soon, I will let you know how it went. I definitely feel 100% better now I have the appointment, I was so depressed before after how I have been treated, and now I am actually able to see the light at the end of the tunnel again. It has also been a tremendous help to read everyone elses stories on this forum. It is soooo good to know I am not alone in how I feel. The NHS dentists sometimes make you feel like you are the only person with dental phobia they have ever come across! But I can see from this forum that there are many of us.

Big Hugs to everyone! :XXLhug:
 
Pianimo

Pianimo

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Re: Update- Uncaring NHS Dentists

I have reached some sort of point now where I have given up with the NHS. I have tried several different ones over the years and have had reactions ranging from being laughed at to being ignored when I mention my dental phobia. And even when I find one who is friendly, if they can not give me any treatment without the sedation I need, then I can't have treatment, no matter how nice they are...and the NHS rules are very cut-and-dry on this, they are simply not allowed to give sedation in a regular NHS practice. It is pure and simply, a cost cutting exercise by the NHS.
Hi Binky. Sorry to hear you've been treated so badly for so long :hug4:, and great to hear you've finally found the kind of dentist you've been looking for! :jump: He sounds great! It makes such a difference to be listened to, doesn't it? I have never understood why there are people in caring professions who seem to have no interest in their patients at all!

Given your experience, I totally understand your feelings about the NHS, but I do think that nice people are nice people whether they work for the NHS or in prviate practice. :) I know that a couple of my favourite dental people treat both NHS and private patients, and I can't believe that they suddenly become nasty or unsympathetic when they have their NHS hat on! And some private dentists can be horrible too. I understand the need to go private - I took the same decision, and I can't really afford it either! (I had to have help from family to afford my initial treatment, which I'm extremely grateful for.) But I wouldn't want anyone reading your story to think nice NHS dentists, who can and will want to help them, don't exist, because they do. Though clearly, not most of the ones you met!

Also, fwiw, my dental practice does offer multiple forms of sedation (and at different levels) to both NHS and private patients. I'm not sure how this works within the rules that you mention, and I've no idea about waiting times :dunno: , all I know is that they definitely do offer it. I'm guessing it must be another case of NHS postcode lottery? :(

All the best for your appointment - hope it goes really well. :grouphug:
 
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