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YOU ARE HERE > COMMUNITY > HEALTH > DENTIST
Cancer > Chemist > Dentist > Diet > Doctor > Drugs > Health Check > Family Planning > Hospital > NHS Dental
 
Making the most of NHS Dental Services
A Patients Guide
If you want to receive NHS Dental treatment you will need to find a dentist who is able to take on new patients. (A list of dentist can be obtained from West Kent Health Authority. See useful contacts below. When registering with a new practise, be sure to make it clear that you wish to be treated as an NHS patient. If you are told the dentist will only make a dicision after seeing you, ask on what basis the examination is to take place. If it is a private examination, ask how much it will cost you (including any necessary x-rays) and make sure you agree to this before the examination begins.
For most adults a check-up is every six months
Once you have been accepted as an NHS patient you must keep your registration up to date. This means you must have a check up at least once every 15 months. If you do not, your name will automatically be removed from the dentists list and they may not be willing to take you back.
If you not keep your registration, your name will automatically be removed from the dentists list and they may not be able or willing to take you back.

Once a dentist has accepted you as an NHS patient they are obliged to offer you all appropriate and necessary care and treatment to "secure and maintain oral health". Most treatments are available under the NHS but some are not. See mixing NHS and private treatment.
Making the most of NHS Dental Services

Emergency Treatment

If possible, contact your dental surgery during normal hours, as early as possible in the day. Emergency cover includes emergency treatment within 24 hours, if your dentist thinks it necessary.

Dentist are not obliged to give emergency treatment to non registered people, although they may do so in some circumstances.

There is also DENTALINE the NHS out of hours emergency services.

Dentaline is open from 7.30pm - 10.30pm 7 Days a week and also from 9.30am - 11.00am at weekends and on Bank Holidays.

You will find them at:

Medway Hospital
Accident & Emergency Dept
Medway Maritime Hospital
Windmill Road
Gillingham
Tel: 01634 819191

Kent & Canterbury Hospital
Ethelbert Road Canterbury
Tel: 01227 766877

Dentures will become loose within a few months of being fitted following extraction of teeth, because the gums have shrunk after the removal of the teeth. This is normal and dentures need to relined or replaced. This counts as a new course of treatment and incurs further charges.

If you are a new patient, your dentist should give you a treatment plan (Form FP17DC), after your first examination and before any treatment starts. This will require your signature.

The plan will show:

  • Details of the treatment proposed
  • What choices you have about the treatment
  • Whether or not you are having NHS and private treatment mixed
  • Any private alterations to NHS treatment
    You can ask for the treatment plan at any time. You must remember that this is just an estimate which might change as the treatment progresses. But your dentist should explain any change in treatment or cost as you go along.
For some treatment or for extensive courses of treatment, your dentist has to apply to the Dental Practice Board for approval to carry out the treatment. The Dental Practice Board may ask for you to be seen by an independant dentist (Dental Reference Officer) at a clinic near you. If the Dental Practice Board refuses approval, you or your dentist have the right to appeal against this decision within one month. Details of this procedure are sent to your dentist in these circumstances.
You can normally expect the dentist to repair, free of charge, any filling, inlay or crown provided by them which goes wrong within 12 months. This covers replacements where exactly the same treatment can be provided again.
All treatment considered necessary to make your mouth healthy is available under the NHS. However, you may choose to have some or all of your treatment done privately, this should be stated on the treatment plan with the difference in costs made clear.

If you have a complaint about your dental treatment, you should first talk to your dentist about it. If you are still unhappy, you should contact West Kent Health Authority or your local Community Health Council (CHC). The CHC is also able to provide support and advice to patients making a complaint.

It would be impossible to cover all the issues, problems and queries that patients can have in this leaflet. If you have a query that is not covered, please contact one of the organisations below, who will be happy to give advice and guidance.

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