NHS dental care has provided for many patients over the years, but increasingly, it is unable to offer what many patients want.
The Clock Tower Dental Practice is privately run. Like NHS practices, all of our dentists have to adhere to guidelines and regulations laid down by bodies such as the General Dental Council.
By offering private dental care though, we are able to offer our Epsom patients a much wider range of treatments than can be found in NHS only practices.
Over the years, funding for NHS dentistry has arguably not kept up with some people’s expectations and covers, more or less, only the basic essentials. Indeed, in the government’s announcement of £20bn for NHS funding yesterday, there was no mention of any being allocated to dental care (reference). If this comes to pass, this can only put an additional squeeze on NHS dental care, perhaps restricting options even more.
The benefits of private dental care
Although NHS dental care does offer patients ease of access to essential services, it also denies access to many newer treatments that may have superseded older ones. A classic case in point would be the use of dental implants to replace missing teeth, rather than using dentures. The difference in experiences of both of these restorative methods indicates that NHS patients are missing out on an opportunity to have what many consider to be the best tooth replacement system possible.
Private dental care also means that there is more money available to spend on the practice facilities too. Whilst we have no doubt that NHS practices have their patient’s best interests at heart and provide a safe service, funding constraints often mean that things like the waiting room are somewhat basic. Whilst this isn’t the most important thing when choosing a dentist; at the Clock Tower Dental Practice, we like to offer our patients the best overall experience possible. Whilst we try to keep waiting times to a minimum, we also like to provide a pleasant and relaxing environment whilst waiting for an appointment. This has particular relevance for nervous dental patients, with a relaxing environment hopefully helping to take their mind off their appointment a little.
Treatments – some differences
It is in the area of treatments though, that the difference between NHS and private dental care become obvious. Whilst NHS dentistry does offer the basics such as amalgam fillings, it denies patients the option of more aesthetic alternatives such as natural looking tooth coloured fillings.
Even in areas such as dental braces, there is a significant difference as to what we can offer. If you have orthodontics on the NHS, you will be given the standard type of dental brace. These have improved over the years but are still highly visible, and some find, potentially uncomfortable too. Our Epsom dental surgery offers modern alternatives such as the Clear Aligner and Six Month Smiles systems. These offer great ways to straighten the teeth, without the inconvenience of traditional braces.
Running a private dental practice means that we can personalise what we offer, rather than stick to a rigid system. For example, we hold a strong belief in holistic dental care, supported, where appropriate, by natural treatments. Although amalgam is deemed safe by regulatory bodies, we also opt to use non mercury based dental fillings. This now appears to be in line with current thinking, with the use of mercury in fillings to be reduced over time, largely due to environmental concerns.
We are also able to offer innovative treatments and equipment, such as the Wand, for those who have a phobia of injections, yet will still need to have a local anaesthetic before being treated. We are also able to offer PRGF technology which helps to speed up recovery times from invasive procedures such as dental implant placement.
Some of you may be asking how you can afford to pay for private treatment. Rather than ask you to pay the lump sum following a procedure, we offer a range of dental payment plans that can help you to spread your payments over a period of time. We also offer a membership scheme which requires a monthly payment towards your preventative oral care. Experience has shown that this type of membership often encourages a more diligent approach for the patients own home care regimen. If you would like to know more about our membership scheme, please do ask us for details.
If you are new to the Epsom area of Surrey or are looking to expand on what your current dental practice can offer you, then why not arrange to have an initial consultation with one of our team? We will be pleased to discuss what we can offer, along with answering any questions that you may have.
We invite you to call the Clock Tower Dental Clinic on 01372 720136.