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Whats the furthest you'd travel to see your dentist?



Junior member
Oct 18, 2019
I'm unsure what to do..

The dentist I like, trust and feel at ease with has left my current practise and gone 30 or so miles away.

I don't know whether to go there too (also hoping she doesn't think I'm stalking her!!)

What worries me is that she will only be in clinic two days a week as she now manages more than one practise.
I'll also have to do the school run.. So allowing time for the 1hr ish journey each way, my appointments will only be in a 3-4hr window, 2 days a week.
This is fine normally I guess, but if there's an emergency I'd be stuck hoping it occurs on those two days a week(!). It's worth noting my teeth seem to have a twinge or some level of pain more days than not..

(I also still get some anxiety when having to be somewhere further away from home too. This goes back to having agoraphobia I guess. On the plus side, my father lives 2 streets away from the new practise, so I could go there if needed)

Both dentists have been kind. My current one has offered to allow me to see someone else as I'm uncomfortable with my replacement one. Although I've no idea who I'd get at this point.
The new practise manager/dentist I've been emailing has offered to try and see me if an emergency occurs and it's not on a day that my dentist should be there, to try and keep some continuity and familiarity for me, which is nice.

So I don't know what to do as my practise says I'll lose my place if I join another NHS practise, which is understandable
Some people travel an hour or more to see a dentist they are comfortable with. I'm not familiar with the NHS so I can't comment on that but I don't think its all that unusual of a situation. Seems like you will have to weigh the pros and cons in terms of how comfortable you feel with traveling and if you can work with their limited schedule. Don't suppose there is something like an emergency dentist near by that you could use just for that purpose when needed?
I have driven great lengths over the years to keep my dentist for the past 16 years. I was living 65 miles away at one point and would just arrange to take the day off work when I needed to go. At that point, things were fairly stable with my teeth so I wasn’t going very often. I have since moved around a couple of times and am back to living within 15 minutes of the practice but it was always worth it to me to keep my dentist. I did not want to start over with somebody knew. I did the same thing with my chiropractor.
My sister used to take a 1 hour 15 minutes flight back to where we grew up to see the dentist we had growing up.
Having a dentist you feel comfortable with and trust is very important, driving a bit further to see them is no big deal. In the dental practice I worked at we had people attending from other parts of the country or ocasionally even from another countries. Lincoln Hirst, one of our forum dentists, based in UK has a google review from an American who flies to UK to see him. For me it takes a two hour flight to see my dentist, it's about 750 miles.

An emergency is what it is: an emergency. I think it is good to have the mental flexibility to be able to get treated by someone else if that becomes necessary at one point. With many emergency cases you would still be able to wait for few days anyway.

I totally get the part about not feeling comfortable with traveling and it is reassuring your father lives nearby so that you have the possibility to go there if that makes you feel comfortable. By the way, you could see the longer travel as a small opportunity to see you can cope with that small level of anxiety.

Your dentist shouldn't feel stalked, on the contrary, your willingness to travel only shows how happy you are with her which is a compliment.
If my dentist moved, I would go with her. I agree with @Enarete that seeing someone you like and trust is really important.

In terms of scheduling appointments, I think a lot of people who work have a fairly narrow window, so it’s not unusual. I teach, so unless it’s a dire emergency which my work would accommodate, I am restricted by my timetable. My dentist also only works part-time. However, I also think in a true emergency situation, seeing any dentist is better than no dentist! I had to see one of my dentist’s colleagues unexpectedly a couple of years ago because she was on holiday. I was nervous to see a different person, but really grateful that someone could slot me in. He was absolutely lovely, and I had told reception that I was apprehensive about someone new when I phoned, which they had let him know. He actually sat on a stool beside me, with me sitting upright in the “big chair” for a chat before I even opened my mouth. (Not always easy if you are scared or in pain, but I 100% believe that good communication is the key to most things.)

Not sure if this is relevant for where you live, but here the NHS 24 helpline can hook people up with a dentist at the hospital if they are in a lot of pain outside surgery hours, or if they are not registered with a dentist. I have never used this service, but my friend has when her little boy had awful toothache on the weekend. They rang on a Saturday night and were seen first thing on Sunday morning.
For the right dentist I’d drive 6-7 hours or more if necessary. I'll go way out of my way to avoid being traumatized again.
I have patients from Panama which is pretty far from Miami. I also have patients who regularly over many years drive 2.5 hours and 150 miles. Last week I saw a man who drove across the state. I have some more from further away but they see me when they are visiting for other reasons as I'm their preferred dentist. But plenty who drive 1-1.5 hours. I know that I would drive an hour plus without a thought if I trusted that person to treat me with excellence. I know my peers would too. A few weeks ago I saw a lady fly in from Los Angeles as she said chiefly to see me.
At the moment it is a 15 minute walk.

I would travel further to see my dentist
I would definately drive up to a few hours to see a dentist and I may even fly, though it would be hard to make arrangements and expensive but.. depending on the situation could be very worth it. I have friends that fly to their dentist , their dentist is really top dentist for nervous patients so worth it.. I also have a dentist friend in the Phillipines who has people that fly from all over different countries to see him, I can't fly that far , or totally would see him ... Mine is around a 30 minute to an hour drive depending on traffic.