What if I cannot provide proof of the benefit I am on?
If you are very sure that you are entitled to exemption from dental charges and unable to show evidence of your exemption, we will only proceed with your permission, and will note that we have not seen proof of your exemption. You need to be aware that there are NHS checks that result in a penalty of £100 for incorrect or false information. The practice and its team try very hard to make patients aware of checks and penalties, and responsibility for accurate information is for the patient to declare at outset.
I have already provided you with my medical history. Why do I have to do it again?
Please keep us informed of any medical history changes or developments. Our professional regulation and good practice requires dentists to check medical histories at each appointment. It's important to check patients medical histories, as medication and/ or a patients health could have changed since their last appointment. This could affect whether we can continue to proceed with the planned treatment, as we place safe care at the heart of the dentistry we provide. Signature verification will be required at each course of treatment.
Will the dentist see me if I arrive late?
We try and accommodate patients whenever it is reasonably possible, but do note that we rely on our patients arriving on time for the surgery to run smoothly for all concerned. If in the event you are late, the receptionist will check with the dentist to see if they can still see you. This may be possible for the shorter time needed for a check up appointment. For some more involved treatment appointments, it is difficult to fit a patient in as the dentist allows for the allocated time for that treatment. You may want to forewarn the receptionist by calling us and speaking to the receptionist in person, with as much notice as possible if you are running late, to see if we are still able to see you.
Will I be seen on time?
We try very hard not to run late. It is possible for you to check upon arrival if your dentist is running late. The dentist-nurse team looking after you that day will do their best to see you as soon as possible if they are running late. We do rely on understanding from patients that dental treatments can take longer than expected, and delays occur due to unforeseen situations. You can be reassured that we have patients best interests in mind and work hard to see patients without much of a wait.
What happens if I miss an appointment or cancel an appointment on the same day?
We do not charge NHS patients for failing to attend their appointments, or cancelling at short notice. However, our terms and conditions are that should you have an attendance history that shows two appointments that are failed or cancelled with short notice (less than 24 hours notice is taken as short notice), then we will no longer be prepared to see you as an NHS patient. You may be offered a private alternative.
Private treatment appointments (includes patients who have booked cosmetic alternative to NHS treatment) that are not kept because of failure to attend or short notice cancellation (less than 24 hours notice), are charged a fee at the rate of up to £120 per hour of time that is booked.
Do I have to pay for an urgent or emergency appointment?
Yes, there is a charge applicable for NHS patients that is equivalent in fee as for a check up Band 1. This treatment is for the urgent treatment you need to try and stabilise your dental health. The dentist will explain what options you have for the emergency or urgent treatment you require.
Private treatments are charged fees per item of treatment that you require.
What happens if I am unable to return for treatment after treatment has been planned?
If you are unable to attend to complete your treatment, please let us know as soon as possible. This can be done by calling us on 01767 681100. You must keep us posted as to your intention to continue treatment. If you do not re-book your appointment, and have not asked us to record as to when you will return for treatment, the course of treatment will be closed soon after your latest visit. Note that we are unlikely to keep your course of treatment open for a long period of time. You should speak to and agree in advance with your usual dentist on reasons why you want that dentist to keep your course of treatment open without proceeding to completion.
Note that each NHS course of treatment is charged unless the patient has a valid exemption from charges.
Will I see the same dentist?
We will try to ensure you see the same dentist, and you will be made aware of their availability. Each dentist has a different working pattern - the practice information leaflet explains this.
If you are needing to see a dentist in an emergency, your usual dentist may not be available if they are not working that day. We will offer you an alternative dentist.
We currently have two dentists that are on a yearly contract. These expire each September, so some patients will find that they see a new dentist.
When do I pay? Can I pay at the end?
We currently do not provide a credit service. Our policy is that NHS payments are taken at the start of each course of treatment. Generally, private payments are 'pay as you go', so you would pay for the treatment that you have, on that day.
May I have reminders for appointments?
May we remind you that it is your responsibility to note and record in your personal diary the time and date of your dental appointments. Courtesy text and email reminders for booked appointments may be sent but we cannot guarantee these. Please ensure that we have up to date contact information for you, so you receive this service.
What is unavailable on the NHS?
The NHS will not provide cosmetic treatments such as tooth whitening, which you may want to make your teeth more attractive, but which are not clinically necessary.
Even where treatment is clinically necessary the dentist will offer you a treatment option that is clinically appropriate. If you choose to have alternative treatment options then you will have to pay privately for these
have up to date contact information for you, so you receive this service.