Dental Charges: Getting the Best Affordable Treatment

We all want to get the best possible value for our money when we visit the dentist, but how do you find one who will do a good job, give you emergency treatment when toothache strikes and not expect you to pay privately for treatment that’s available on the National Health ?

You just have to shop around to find a dentist who suits you. Dentists are self-employed. Besides making a living for themselves, they have to cover their entire practice costs—rent, rates, heat, light, equipment, staff wages, even the tropical fish tank in the waiting room! As a National Health patient, you’re entitled to whatever treatment is necessary to make you dentally fit. This could include extractions, fillings and dentures—crowns, too, if they’re to restore faulty teeth and not just to improve your smile!

But even if you’re entitled to National Health treatment, your dentist isn’t obliged to give it. He (or she) probably does both private and National Health work and he’s allowed to pick and choose ‘between the two. Every course of treatment is separate. Each time, after giving you a free inspection (for which the government pays him), he tells you whether or not he’ll treat you on the National Health.

He may do so for 20 years, then suddenly offer only private treatment when something particularly com­plicated or out of the ordinary crops up. To avoid later misunderstandings, it’s worth choosing carefully in the first place. You can see a list of dentists who do National Health work at your library or main post office. Or you can contact your Family Practitioner Committee.

Don’t pick blindly. Enquire among friends. When you hear of one who seems right ask if he will treat you on the National Health. Ask, too, if he does crowns and dentures on the National Health in case you need them later. Find out about arrangements for emergency treatment. If you don’t get on with him, try someone else. When you find a dentist you like, stick with him. Form a good relationship over the years and he’ll take much more interest in you and your family.

You pay for National Health treatment according to a regulated scale. You’re excused altogether if you’re pregnant or if you have had a child in the previous 12 months. Treatment is free, too, for those families on Supplementary Benefit or Family Income Supplement and also for those who get free milk, vitamins or prescriptions because their incomes are low.

Under-19s in full-time education don’t have to pay. Nor do children under 16. Those between 16 and 18 who are not in full-time education are charged for dentures only. Having bleeding stopped or National Health dentures repaired is free to everybody. So are the extra costs involved in home visits when these are necessary.

About the Author: Jenny is a stay-at-home mom, who is an expert writer in the field of implant dentar, fitness, diets, healthy food, etc. She already knows the benefits of living healthy and shares her experience with others.

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