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What is the difference between public dentist vs normal dentist?



Mar 4, 2020
Sorry sounds silly but when I say normal dentist, I’ve been registered at a dental practice all those years but they take private and NHS. Lately I got referred to public dentist, I asked if I could see both but was told it needs to be one the other. So I need to choose between sticking at my practice I’ve been at for years, where I know them and the dentist or move to public.

I have Autism and unsure what would be best, is there pros cons?
I do find general dentist work fine but its the after I struggle with.
it also seemed like public would see me every 3 months for scale and polish whereas other dentist wouldn’t see so often, they also quoted 6 months for seeing me for check up whereas other practice said a year!
I also get fluoride high on prescription from my usual dentist but unsure if public could prescribe!
Basically the way they're paid. Normal dentist gets (mostly) paid on piecework basis, a set fee per item of treatment done.

PDS are on a fixed salary, which means they're not under so much financial pressure to get through the work and can spend a bit longer to do something, they're primarily there to treat patients with additional needs, not the regular public (which makes the name a bit confusing!).

"Normal" dentist could do a scaling every 3 months but the NHS wouldn't pay them for it. So they're not likely to do it. Not a problem in the PDS, they can do this if needed.

There is no difference in what they can prescribe.
@Gordon Thank you Gordon, I’ve been stuck on deciding but maybe public wouldn’t be so bad. Would you say one is better than other or both just the same really? (They train the same way?) thanks!
Training is basically the same, PDS will tend to do more postgraduate training on sedation, medical issues etc rather than just the techie stuff.
PDS is better suited for people with additional needs it's horses for courses.