NHS Dentistry [182kb]

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  • 1. NHS Dentistry Jenny Mazarelo & Hiral Patel
  • 2. Primary Care Trust (PCT) Responsibility
    • Since 1 st April 2006, your PCT has been responsible for local NHS dental services:
    • has funding that must be used for local dental services, 
    • agrees contracts with NHS dentists for services that best meet local needs, 
    • can influence where new practices are established, and 
    • is responsible for urgent and out-of-hours care in your area .
    • Over time, this ensures that NHS dental services better meet the needs of the PCT’s population.
  • 3. What is an NHS dentist?
    • An NHS dentist is one who has agreed with their local PCT to provide NHS dental services for the local community.
    • Some dentists may provide a mixture of NHS and private care.
    • All dentists are required to update their practice information leaflet to include details of the NHS services they have agreed to provide and to display information about NHS dentistry and dental charges in their premises.
  • 4. How do I find an NHS dentist?
    • Contact the PCT on 0800 78 333 96
    • Call NHS Direct on 0845 4647
    • Log onto the NHS Choices website page and choose the ‘Dentists' option
    • NHS dental care is always available if you are in discomfort, whether you have a regular dentist or not.
  • 5. Why can't I get an appointment with my usual dentist?
    • You have a right to say which dental professional you receive services from at your practice. However, while the practice will do its best to accommodate your wishes, it may not always be possible.
    • You may also notice that the frequency of your routine check-up appointments changes from every 6 months to every 12 to 24 months. This is because of guidelines introduced by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).
    • These guidelines recommend that patients should attend at intervals that reflect their oral health needs and not at a fixed interval. So people with higher treatment needs may need to attend more frequently than before.
  • 6. Why can't I register with a dentist any more?
    • Dentists no longer need to ‘register’ patients, but this does not prevent them from keeping lists of regular patients or providing ongoing treatment and care.
    • Registration was introduced in 1990 as a way of measuring how much dentists should be paid for providing NHS dental services. Under this system, dentists received a payment for the number of patients registered with the practice. They were also responsible for providing out-of-hours care for patients registered with the practice.
    • This system changed on 1 st April 2006
  • 7. Why is my dentist no longer accepting NHS patients?
    • Most dentists that worked for the NHS prior to 1st April 2006 are continuing to provide NHS dental services. However since April 2006 some have decided to either change the amount of NHS dentistry they provide, or to stop providing NHS dentistry altogether.
    • Where this is the case, the money to provide these services remains with your PCT to reinvest in local NHS dentistry services.
  • 8. Am I entitled to free NHS dental treatment?
    • You are eligible to receive free services from your NHS dentist if, when the treatment starts, you are:
    • aged under 18,
    • aged 18 in full-time education,
    • pregnant, or have had a baby in the 12 months before treatment starts,
    • an NHS in-patient and the treatment is carried out by the hospital dentist, or
    • an NHS hospital dental service out-patient (though there may be a charge for dentures and bridges).
    • You are also eligible for free services if, when the treatment starts or when the charge is made, you are:
    • getting, or your partner gets Income Support, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance or Pension Credit Guarantee Credit,
    • entitled to, or named on, a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate,
    • named on a valid HC2 certificate.
    • Your dentist or dentist's receptionist will ask for evidence that you are
    • entitled to free NHS dental treatment
  • 9. Simpler charging
    • From  1 st April 2009, if you are not exempt from charges,  you should pay one of the following rates for each course of treatment you receive:
    • Band 1 course of treatment £16.50 - This covers an examination, diagnosis (eg: x-rays), advice on how to prevent future problems, and a scale and polish if needed.
    • Urgent treatment when you need to see a dentist immediately also costs £16.50.
    • Band 2 course of treatment £45.60 - This covers everything listed in Band 1, above, plus any further treatment such as fillings, root canal work or if your dentist needs to take out one or more of your teeth.
    • Band 3 course of treatment £198 - This covers everything listed in Bands 1 and 2 above, plus crowns, dentures or bridges.
    • These are the only dental charges your dentist should ask you to pay when you are having NHS treatment.
  • 10. What are the patient charges?
    • The amount you pay depends on the treatment you might need to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
    • All charges apply to an overall course of treatment, and not the individual items within the course of treatment.
    • You will only pay one charge for each course of treatment, even if you need to visit your dentist more than once to finish it.
    • If you need more treatment within the same charge band (for example, an additional filling) within two months of completing a course of treatment, you do not have to pay anything extra.
  • 11. Treatment Plans
    • Note: your dentist should give you a treatment
    • plan to sign before carrying out any Band 2 or 3
    • treatments.
    • This confirms the NHS treatment your dentist is going to do, and the amount you will need to pay for it on the NHS.
    • If you have talked to your dentist about having private treatment, details and costs for this will be listed separately on the same form.
    • If you are not offered a treatment plan for Band 2 or 3 treatments, please ask your dentist for one.
  • 12. What do you not pay for:
    • You do not have to pay to have your:
    • Dentures repaired
    • Having stitches out
    • If your dentist has to stop blood loss.
    • If your dentist only needs to write you a prescription (but if you pay for your prescriptions, you will pay the usual charge when you collect your medicine from your pharmacist).
  • 13. How can I find out about urgent and out-of-hours care?
    • 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday ~ call the PCT on 0800 78 333 96
    • At all other times, call NHS Direct on 0845 4647 to find out how to access services in your area.
  • 14. How do I complain about my NHS dental treatment?
    • If you wish to make a complaint about the care or service provided by your dental surgery, contact the person responsible for the practice complaints procedure.
    • Your dentist will try to resolve your complaint at this stage.
    • Further information about making a complaint is available from the Patients Advice and Liaison Services (PALS) , your local Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS) and the Department of Health website.