Any dentists out there?

I recently went to the dentist as a false tooth I have, which has a metal post on it which fits into my route, had fallen out.

The dentist said that the route had split and that I need an extraction and a temporary denture until the gums had settled down. Then I could consider a bridge or something.

He then went about making impressions of my teeth, taking xrays etc and asked me to come back the week after for the extraction. I went to the receptionist and booked a date and signed for the treatment that I'd had that day.

When I got home I realised that I'd signed a piece of paper which had costs totalling £450!!!!

The very next day I rang the dentist to cancel future treatments and then managed, after 10 phone calls, to find a dentist that would take me on as a NHS patient therefore enabling me to control the costs.

The dentist is now saying that in the time between my leaving the surgery and calling to cancel future treatments (less than 6 business hours) the denture had been made and therefore they want me to pay for it.

I've looked on the copy of the treatment sheet that I signed and there are no T&C's.

Will I have to pay this bill even though I cancelled quickly?


  • Ooops route = root ;-)
  • Crashie is one!
  • I don't like dentists.

    Sorry Wolfy, not seen a dentist (properly) since I was 16.
  • Crashie's yer man.

    Hello btw!
  • Thanks squishy! Hi cath and monkey how you diggling? I'm being ripped off aren't I? Cheeky gits
  • Hi Wolfums - sounds like it..!!
  • I was really nervous whilst I was there, I'm scared of dentists, so was confused and probably on the edge of a panic attack but I managed to control it. Flustered when I left the surgery and really didn't notice the total charges until I got home!

  • Email Crashie Wolfy and see what he thinks.
  • Thanks Cath. I've not been on here for ages and I can't remember the quickest way to find him. Any ideas ;-)
  • [innocent blink]

    Aahh DM to the rescue..
  • Tee hee thanks Cath and Minky ;-)
  • For once I agree with the BINT

    had too many nasty experiences with gob Dr's
  • I actually didnt mean Wolfie was a BINT by the way!
  • What ho Wolfy!

    I suppose a service is worth what you can get for it, but that does sound a tad expensive...the NHS costs for that treatment would be £189.00 for the extraction and the temporary denture (plus any other dentistry required during that course of treatment ie in effect, if you needed a couple of fillings as well, you'd get them thrown in 'for free')

    Then your gum needs to heal and settle for at least 3 months...this generally means that your bridge to complete the job counts as a separate course of treatment which is another £189 (but again you'd get any fillings, scaling and polishing etc free)

    Now, to make the denture:
    impressions have to be taken. They have to be sent to the lab. The lab has to cast the impressions in plaster. The plaster has to dry. The denture has to be constructed in wax and the model modified to take account of the hole left when your root is removed. It has to be lubricated, then a second lot of plaster poured over the wax. This has to set. The was is removed with boiling water. Acrylic is packed into the space where the wax was. The mould is reassembled. The acrylic is cured with heat and/or pressure. The mould is broken open. The 'raw' denture is trimmed and polished, then returned to the dental surgery to be fitted to you.

    Do you imagine that, even if yours was the only denture to be made by the lab that day, that all that could happen in 6 hours? Nope, me neither.

    The impressions had probably not even been sent to the lab. If they had, thay may have been cast up, but would still be drying.

    I guesss that the dentist could charge you for his time (maybe £200/hr to err on the expensive but not London prices side) I guess he could charge you for the impression materials used (about £1.50) and for casting up the models (£20ish), though I'd doubt it had got this far. I make that about £71.50. Personally, I'd have charged you for the time you spent in the surgery, but nothing else.

    I'd have also told you what it cost before taking the impressions...consent to treatment is an absolute minefield and if he's provided more than simple treatment without telling you the cost, he's on shaky ground.

    If you ring and say that as you cancelled after 6 hours the denture cannot have been made, then stress that you would never have consented to the treatment had you known the cost prior to commencement of treatment, he'll fold. It wouldn't be worth the hassle to him to fight it even if he thought he was right.

    I can find you addresses of people to complain to, but you should be able to sort it out with one phonecall/personal visit.

    Good luck!
  • One of the places at work ... they had a private dental practice on-site.

    I'd broken a tooth and wasn't with an NHS practice, so like a fool went into see them.

    Was told:

    - My gums were receding.
    - I needed four crowns at a cost of £350 each

    That was about 3 years ago I think. I managed to get in with an NHS practice instead and had one crown fitted (think it cost about £70 all in) and one filling. And no problems since.

    Enough to put you off sweeties for life.
  • Sorry ... "one of the places I used to work at ..."
  • MuttleyMuttley ✭✭✭
    Ooooh, a fangwrencher thread. Since we're on the topic ...

    My six-month checkup is due soon. The usual routine is no fillings or treatment but referred to the hygienist for a clean, polish and floss ... at a cost of £40 for a 20-minute session. This seems a tad pricey to me, and it's more than I pay the dentist himself.

    Are they doing me a good service or just filling their boots? Any thoughts?
  • Muttley - mine's hygienist is more expensive than that!
  • Wolfy,
    I can so sympathise with you. I have had 3 root canal treatments in the past 3 months totalling almost £1000. I have now been told that I require 8 fillings and the total for this will be £650!!!! I tried to go the NHS route but they don't do the white fillings only silver ones and I don't fancy a mouth full of silver. So I'm at a loss- can't afford £650 but don't want silver either!!

    Wish things were more affordable!!

    Good luck with your saga- for what it's worth I think they are ripping you off from the sounds of it :)
  • or "my hygienist" even (ahem)
  • It the honest answer to that...

    NHS practice? Private practice? NHS practice but you can only see the hygienist privately?

    NHS is supposed to 'secure and maintain oral health' which includes treating gum disease, but then you get into the 'you don't actually have gum disease, but would benefit from a scale and polish' argument.

    The NHS deal is currently that you pay £15.50 for a check up, plus any scaling and x-rays, pay £42.40 for any or all of the above plus fillings, extractions or root fillings, pay £189 for any or all of the above plus crowns, bridges and dentures.

    Unfortunately, though a bridge may be desireable in a certain circumstance, a denture would secure or maintain oral health so that's all the dentist has to do.

    In short, Muttley, your scale and polish is being done privately and thay can charge whatever the market will stand. Strikes me as a little steep, but I work on the NHS in a 'working class area'...
  • ...and white fillings in back teeth aren't available on the NHS, so the dentist can name their own price... advice would be to 'ask around then shop around'...find a friend with nice teeth and ask who they see. Just one word of caution: your regular dentist may have been watching a particular spot on a particular tooth for years and they know it's not getting any worse. A new dentist may want to fill the same spot. Changing dentists can lead to more work being done on your teeth.
  • MuttleyMuttley ✭✭✭
    Ta Crashie. I'm not complaining about my dentist practice, which has always done me well, btw.

    But I'm in the posh end of Reading (like Fraggle) so I suppose a price that's a bit steep where you are is about right here. Oh well.

    I only live here because my work's here. I'm not really posh. Fraggle is, though.
  • Reading has a posh end??
  • Crashie - my better half has been told that it would cost £1000 to have a false tooth (i think it was called a 'bridge'?) or have the NHS special (plate?) for £180.

    I'm a bit confused about some of the prices and realise that there is a lot of work to do but a grand seems a little steep?
  • Thanks very much everyone!

    Crashie thanks for your invaluable feedback. I've received another letter from the dentist basically telling me not to 'trust' the NHS prices as they are very misleading. they are not and at least they are published so that patients are aware of the charges before the dentist commences with the work. Crashie I'll take your advice and respond to him and see what happens.

    Thanks again!
  • Meldy I wasn't offended...thick skinned!
  • wolfy..perhaps you could threaten to sing some David Bowie songs to him?
  • D(CD) two very different things...a bridge (basically...though there are lots of variations) involves cutting down the teeth either side of a gap, then making one piece of metal/porcelain that fits over the stumps and (literally) bridges the gap in the middle. As the piece of metal/porcelain is designed to look like 3 separate teeth and is glued in, it looks and feels very natural.

    A plate is a denture (of whatever size) made of acrylic which fits into the roof of your mouth or in the space between your tongue and teeth and carries a tooth into the gap. It's removeable and more intrusive, so it feels much less natural and can fall out at inappropriate moments.

    Bridges are often priced 'per unit'; the one I mentioned above would be 3 units (2 supporting teeth and 1 span) and I charge £250 per unit, so it would cost you £750.

    A health service denture would cost £189 as it's a 'band 3' treatment on the fee scale I outlined above.

    (I'm not touting for business BTW; I'm always happy to give general advice to people; the forum has been kind to me when I've needed information...)
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