Did you know that your dental check-ups are dependent on your overall mouth health? The NHS states that some people may need to every three months, whilst others might only need to have a check-up every two years.
Regularly attending a UK dentistry clinic and not eating too many sugary foods are two common ways you can look after your teeth. But how do you find the best dentist and get the best dental treatments in London?
Private or NHS?
The first thing to do when you are considering what kind of UK dental treatment and dentist you want is to ask yourself whether you want to go private or on the NHS.
Most dentists offer both services, so if you want to get your oral care on the NHS, then you can. Or if you want to go private, then you can also do that at your local dentistry.
There are advantages and disadvantages of both, so be sure to consider everything before you go ahead and decide which service is right for you.
Most people assume that going private is a lot more expensive than using the NHS; however, this isn’t always the case. Unless you are entitled to free NHS dental treatments, then you have to pay for your treatment on the NHS too.
One clear advantage of going private is that you have more availability of when you can book an appointment. If you have a tight schedule or want an emergency appointment going private might be more beneficial for you.
Private dentists also offer a range of treatments which aren’t available on the NHS, for example, cosmetic treatments, such as teeth whitening.
Using the NHS
NHS treatments are designed to be more cost effective for the taxpayer, so treatments are generally cheaper. NHS dental treatments are split into three different bands.
Whilst these treatments might be cheaper; the NHS has less availability due to the number of patients they have to treat, so you might not be able to get an appointment with your dentist for a month or two.
Some NHS dental practices might be full and might not be able to take on new patients, so it might be a bit harder to find a new dentist on the NHS.
Find a Dentist Near You
According to an NHS Dental Statistics report, 22 million people saw a dentist in the UK during the 24 months to 30th June 2018. There are an estimated 66 million people in the UK, so that figure is only one-third of people who went to the dentist.
Regularly attending dental check-ups is an important way that you can look after your teeth and mouth. But finding a dentist near you isn’t always that easy. Once you have decided whether you want to go private or use the NHS, you then need to consider many other factors.
Research Dental Practices
You don’t need to register for an NHS dental practice, the same way you do a GP practice. All you have to do is find a local dentist in England and ring them up to see if you can get an appointment.
Look in directories, or search online or on the NHS for local dentists. They don’t have to be within a certain catchment area (like your GP does) so you can either choose one that is close to work or close to your home.
Some dental practices might not have any space for new patients or any available appointments. So when you search for a dental practice, make sure you have a few to try.
Remember to find a dental practice that is right for you, so ask yourself:
- What are the office hours? And do they suit your schedule?
- Will it be easier to have a dentist near your home or your work?
- Is the dentistry professional and trusted? Does it have relevant qualifications?
- How much are treatments at the practice? Does this align with your budget?
- What is the dentist’s policy on missed appointments? (Some are quite strict on this.)
- Does the dental practice have emergency care and out-of-hours appointments available?
Once you find a dental practice, you will have to fill in a registration form during your first visit. This is so that the practice can add you to their patient database.
If you think that you need an emergency appointment, then you should contact your dentist. They sometimes have emergency dental appointment slots available and can provide you with the necessary care.
Alternatively, you can call NHS 111, who will be able to help you in finding an urgent dental service.
The emergency dentist will only be able to provide you with treatment for the problem at hand and might advise you to go to your regular dentist for further treatments.
Individuals who are unable to get an emergency appointment should not contact their GP. And you should only visit A&E under serious circumstances, such as severe pain, heavy bleeding, and/or injuries of the face, mouth, or teeth.
Tips on How to Find a UK Dentistry
Some people don’t like going to the dentist; however, it is essential that you do. And you are more likely to go if your mind is at ease about the dental practice and their treatments.
Follow these tips on how to ensure you find the best dentist in London:
1. Learn About the Dentist and Their Training
Review the dentists and their information on the dental practices’ website. The website should have details about the practice, the dentists who work there and what their qualifications are and what training they have obtained.
If you can’t find any information on the website, then try ringing up the practice and asking for some more information about the dentists and the dental practice.
2. Does Your Dentist Have Notable Recognition from Professional Bodies?
Next, you can check whether the dentist has any recognition from a professional body, such as the Care Quality Commission (CQC) or the British Dental Association.
These professional bodies ensure that dental practices provide every patient with safe and fair treatments. They are also a sign of trustworthiness because the professional bodies are vouching for the businesses.
If you can’t find any logos for these professional bodies, you can check the CQC website, to see what the results were for the last inspection of the dentist clinic.
3. Check the Cost of Treatment
Dental treatment costs can vary, depending on what treatment you require and whether you go private or use the NHS. However, most dental practices provide details of how much their treatments cost.
Make sure you check out the cost of treatments and find a dental practice that suits your budget. This will put your mind at ease, especially if you need to have dental treatment and are afraid about how expensive it might be.
4. What Do Other People Say?
You should also look at what other people are saying about the dental practice. Look at other patients testimonials and reviews, to see what they say about the dentists and the practice.
There are several ways you can find out what other people are saying, for example, you can look online, on their website, on Google reviews, or see if they have any reviews on their social media accounts.
5. Excellent Customer Service
Focus on reviews and testimonials that talk about the positive or negative customer service that the patients received.
If you are anxious about going to the dentist, then you want to be sure that you find a dentist who will put your worries at ease and who is empathetic towards you and your experience.
6. What Services Do They Offer?
Finally, another way to ensure you find the right dentist for you is by looking at the services that they offer.
If you want a basic dentistry for regular check-ups, then you might not need to worry about an extensive services list. However, if you require special dental care services or want cosmetic services, then you will need to make sure your dental practice can offer this to you.
Dental Treatments in London
Remember to do your research on the different dental practices in your area and find one that is right for your needs and treatment requirements.
If you are looking for high-quality dental treatments in London, then we have just what you need. We offer an array of services, from emergency dentist treatments to cosmetic dentistry, both on the NHS and privately.
Here at Green Lane Dental Centre, we are accepting new patients in the Penge, London area. Sign up to our practice and book your dentist’s appointment now.