Author Topic: Dentistry (goodbye savings)  (Read 2535 times)

Cloud

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Dentistry (goodbye savings)
« on: October 10, 2021, 09:01:56 PM »
When I was a teenager I fell headfirst off my bike, breaking my two front teeth and one next to them.  Back in the good old days of being a child, no financial hit, the dentist did root canals and used some "build up" white cement type stuff to make the teeth look whole again and sent me on my merry way.  The fake bits making the teeth look whole snapped off not long after but I just left it.

Fast forward to having a job and the question of "do you want crowns on those?  They start at £600 each" started coming up.  Kept leaving it, eventually bit the bullet and got them crowned, thinking "holy fuck that was a lot of money" (I hadn't seen nothing yet)

Fast forward to just before the pandemic, went in for a check up and remarked that one of my crowned front teeth kept getting a bit of gum disease.  Xrays taken "oh wow I'm not sure how that's even still hanging in there, I don't think we'll be able to save that".  Dentist started out straight away with "this is going to be expensive I'm afraid".  Best case, remove the crown, fix the problem, put a new crown on "if you're very lucky", bill would be around £800.  But that realistically it'd probably need to be pulled.  I can't remember if a denture was even mentioned, but if it was it was pretty much ruled out and then "we can try a bridge but that'd set you back (something like £1700) and I don't think the adjacent teeth are strong enough... if they fail then you're down 3 teeth".  So then it comes along to "The best option really would be an implant.  That'd cost you £2500 if you just need the one, though I'm not sure about the other teeth so that could multiply"
Nearly had a fucking heart attack.

Went away to mull things over, got called in again to see the senior dentist.  She'd found my old x-rays and that the dark bits making it look like there's barely any tooth left have been there for years and years and it depends on what angle the x-ray is taken at.  "We might as well just leave it as it is", and I breathed a massive sigh of relief.

Fast forward to last week.  I notice that when biting into something tough, that tooth doesn't feel "safe".  No pain (it's a dead tooth), and not particularly loose, just a feeling that if I bit down harder it'd snap.  And shortly later a little bump appeared and started leaking blood and pus.

Google says abscess, and after a lot of reasarch, the likely cause seems to be a vertical fracture along the root, so it'll need to be pulled.  So that comes back around to that £2500 bill again.
How the hell do people cope with this :(  I've even seen people on moeysavingexpert cheerfully saying they paid £17k for implants and it's the best money they've ever spent etc.

Denture honestly not an option?  Are they really shit?  Is it bad to have one at 39?  Even then it'd cost a grand.  For fuck's sake.

Thought "maybe go abroad" but.. covid.. plus a long way to go back if it goes tits up.  Everything comes back to "you're going to be at LEAST 2.5k down"

Johnny Foreigner

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Re: Dentistry (goodbye savings)
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2021, 09:08:28 PM »
Find an NHS dentist. My root canal plus crown cost me 180 quid.
Seeing as it's the front of your mouth, that is not considered a merely cosmetic procedure and it should hence be available on the NHS.

touchingcloth

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Re: Dentistry (goodbye savings)
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2021, 09:20:09 PM »
How did it ever come to be that dentistry was seen as not really being a health thing and therefore not covered on the NHS? Imagine if they did that with cancer - gotta go private for that.

bgmnts

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Re: Dentistry (goodbye savings)
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2021, 09:22:44 PM »
Probably best not to get the diagnosis from google.

But yeah NHS dentist.

Cloud

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Re: Dentistry (goodbye savings)
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2021, 09:24:07 PM »
No easy feat - nowhere near me is taking new NHS patients, or say "only by referral from another dentist" (I'm not sure what referral entails, but I don't think it's "I don't want to pay your prices can you refer me", surely?)

At one point pre pandemic I found one 45 miles away who took my phone number and name and said I'm on around a 6 month waiting list and they'll call back, which they never did, because covid happened. Seems everywhere has a waiting list, meanwhile I have what everyone says is an infection that needs seeing to urgently before it spreads. So I'd love the NHS route but it's almost impossible :(

If I do somehow find an NHS one they don't do implants (unless it's an accident but I'd have a hard time proving it was an accident over 20 years ago) so that also comes back around to the question of how bad dentures are (I think it'll have to be pulled, considering it's had a root canal before and the X-rays look dodgy) and how bad the horror stories of your jaw bone shrinking are.

Pavlov`s Dog`s Dad`s Dead

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Re: Dentistry (goodbye savings)
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2021, 09:24:30 PM »
Find an NHS dentist. My root canal plus crown cost me 180 quid.
Seeing as it's the front of your mouth, that is not considered a merely cosmetic procedure and it should hence be available on the NHS.
If you can find one that is accepting new patients, that is. I'm a bit further down a similar road to the OP. I had a lower front tooth that had begun wobbling badly, and a hole in my gum underneath it that you could see the base of the tooth through. I spent ages ringing round dentists in the area, only to be met with either flat refusals or ridiculously long waiting lists: four years - yes, years - was the shortest.

I then spent over an hour on hold to the emergency dental line. To be fair, they booked me in the following day for what turned out to be a very efficient extraction. But it's the emergency dentists, so it was a case of "emergency solved, now off you pop. You can figure out how best to fill that unsightly gap yourself." *shrug emoji*

TrenterPercenter

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Re: Dentistry (goodbye savings)
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2021, 09:25:46 PM »
Lots of people have dentistry insurance for this very reason.  I doubt you'll be able to get an implant on the NHS but might get the denture.  Don't have the bridge it will not last better to save up and get the implant in that sense.

Check your work sometimes they have dental plans etc you can take advantage on also dental school might be able to get you a decent rate for being a test patient.

Cloud

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Re: Dentistry (goodbye savings)
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2021, 09:26:51 PM »
How did it ever come to be that dentistry was seen as not really being a health thing and therefore not covered on the NHS? Imagine if they did that with cancer - gotta go private for that.

Don't give them very profitable ideas!

canadagoose

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Re: Dentistry (goodbye savings)
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2021, 09:27:27 PM »
No easy feat - nowhere near me is taking new NHS patients, or say "only by referral from another dentist" (I'm not sure what referral entails, but I don't think it's "I don't want to pay your prices can you refer me", surely?)

At one point pre pandemic I found one 45 miles away who took my phone number and name and said I'm on around a 6 month waiting list and they'll call back, which they never did, because covid happened. Seems everywhere has a waiting list, meanwhile I have what everyone says is an infection that needs seeing to urgently before it spreads. So I'd love the NHS route but it's almost impossible :(

If I do somehow find an NHS one they don't do implants (unless it's an accident but I'd have a hard time proving it was an accident over 20 years ago) so that also comes back around to the question of how bad dentures are (I think it'll have to be pulled, considering it's had a root canal before and the X-rays look dodgy) and how bad the horror stories of your jaw bone shrinking are.
Jeez. Things sound pretty bad where you are. You could try other ones that are quite far away, and if the cost of the transport is cheaper than the private dentistry, it'd work out, I suppose.

I'm probably mixing you up with someone else but are you close enough to get a train up to Lockerbie and use this lot? http://lockerbiedental.com/nhs-treatment/

Pavlov`s Dog`s Dad`s Dead

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Re: Dentistry (goodbye savings)
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2021, 09:29:37 PM »
Lots of people have dentistry insurance for this very reason.
Well, A) we shouldn't have to go down the private route canal and B) can you find any that covers pre-existing conditions?

I've got a mate in London who says her dentist is taking new NHS patients, and I could put down her address. They live a convenient 223 miles from me.

TrenterPercenter

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Re: Dentistry (goodbye savings)
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2021, 09:31:31 PM »
Well, A) we shouldn't have to go down the private route canal and B) can you find any that covers pre-existing conditions?

No and I'm not endorsing private insurance[1] - just pointing out how shit it is that the only way you can cover these procedures is by insurance.
 1. I don't have any myself

DolphinFace

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Re: Dentistry (goodbye savings)
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2021, 09:31:40 PM »
Going to the dentist for the first time in about 15 years tomorrow. Was on an NHS waiting list for 2 years. My teeth have always been good. I've looked after them pretty well but have experienced signs of gum disease. I'm expecting a shocking great bill and a tutting at by the dentist. I'm dreading it.

Cloud

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Re: Dentistry (goodbye savings)
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2021, 09:32:21 PM »
Definitely wish I'd got insurance.  Though whether they'd have covered an already dead and crowned tooth I'm not sure. Can't insure after the fact of course, or try to fiddle or, first thing they want is a check up...

The regret is real. I'll certainly look into insurance once it's all done, if I have any money left!

Jeez. Things sound pretty bad where you are. You could try other ones that are quite far away, and if the cost of the transport is cheaper than the private dentistry, it'd work out, I suppose.

I'm probably mixing you up with someone else but are you close enough to get a train up to Lockerbie and use this lot? http://lockerbiedental.com/nhs-treatment/

That's feasible - I'll check them out thank you

DolphinFace

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Re: Dentistry (goodbye savings)
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2021, 09:33:57 PM »
A collegue showed me his private dentists bill for relatively small work. It was over £1000 of which £50 was for the provision of ppe.

Re: Dentistry (goodbye savings)
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2021, 09:34:25 PM »
Find an NHS dentist, I don't have any wisdom tooth on the bottom jaw as I had them all pulled out.

I never used a private dentist but I always found them expensive on low wages, which lead to removal of my wisdom teeth on the bottom Jaw.

canadagoose

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Re: Dentistry (goodbye savings)
« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2021, 09:35:31 PM »
That's feasible - I'll check them out thank you
No bother, I hope it works out!

Re: Dentistry (goodbye savings)
« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2021, 09:35:54 PM »
What's wrong with dentures? Seriously, you're not some Adonis or Diana, are you? some gorgeous, perfect specimen? Course not (you wouldn't be on here if you looked halfway presentable.) So what flippin' difference will it really make to your life, a few slightly sub-optimal teeth?

Pavlov`s Dog`s Dad`s Dead

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Re: Dentistry (goodbye savings)
« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2021, 09:36:18 PM »
No and I'm not endorsing private insurance[1] - just pointing out how shit it is that the only way you can cover these procedures is by insurance.
 1. I don't have any myself
Aye, fair enough. Apologies for reading it initially as an endorsement.

TrenterPercenter

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Re: Dentistry (goodbye savings)
« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2021, 09:39:45 PM »
Had an old root canal that got infected at the beginning of the year; couldn't get to a dentist as it was Saturday.  When it exploded, it exploded downwards into my jaw (because of the root canal) giving me nerve damage in my jaw and the loss of feeling to the bottom right of my mouth and chin.  I managed to get an emergency dentist to rip the fake canals out which was bliss but a lot of blood, pus and time to repair to massive holes in my jaw (was a molar).

Thankfully after about 6 months I've got most of the feeling back in my face.  Don't fuck around with teeth; however scared you are of dentists nothing they can do to you can be more painful than getting a nasty infection.

TrenterPercenter

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Re: Dentistry (goodbye savings)
« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2021, 09:41:28 PM »
Aye, fair enough. Apologies for reading it initially as an endorsement.

No probs it was a bit ambiguous tbf.

Pavlov`s Dog`s Dad`s Dead

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Re: Dentistry (goodbye savings)
« Reply #20 on: October 10, 2021, 09:42:22 PM »
What's wrong with dentures? Seriously, you're not some Adonis or Diana, are you? some gorgeous, perfect specimen? Course not (you wouldn't be on here if you looked halfway presentable.) So what flippin' difference will it really make to your life, a few slightly sub-optimal teeth?
If you've any sensory issues at all, you might find them unbearable. That was certainly my experience - I'm missing most of my molars on my upper left jaw, but I simply could not tolerate the sensation of plastic on my alveolar ridge. The denture offered absolutely no assistance when eating, either. Fortunately, those missing molars don't present a cosmetic issue, but I am conscious of the gap on my lower jaw at the front.

Cloud

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Re: Dentistry (goodbye savings)
« Reply #21 on: October 10, 2021, 09:49:38 PM »
Looks from comments on one of their pages like Lockerbie isn't accepting new NHS patients at the moment, but won't hurt to call.

What's wrong with dentures? Seriously, you're not some Adonis or Diana, are you? some gorgeous, perfect specimen? Course not (you wouldn't be on here if you looked halfway presentable.) So what flippin' difference will it really make to your life, a few slightly sub-optimal teeth?

Well honestly that's partly what I want to know :). Are they bad or what?  I don't want a gap that's for sure, I may not be Diana (and am very much alive still) but as a singleton I don't really want to go round looking like Farmer Giles, so a denture is a minimum. Stuff I've heard:
"They're a hassle"
"They make your speech bad"
"They make your jawbone shrink and you'll get that sunken jaw old granny look"
"They're like £1000 anyway if you have to go private, and you'll need a new one in 5 years"
Plus admittedly some anxiety over having some bedroom intimacy followed by "right, got to pop my denture out and dump it in a glass" 😅
Is it that bad though or is it mostly "influenced" comments by those with a financial interest in selling implants?  I've never had one so I wouldn't know. As I say, I checked Moneysavingexpert forums expecting people there would have ideas on saving money and I similar situations they're all "nah mate you don't want those, suck it up and get implants" (though one of them is a fairly aggressive guy called tooth something who obviously has some interest in pushing the expensive options)

TrenterPercenter

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Re: Dentistry (goodbye savings)
« Reply #22 on: October 10, 2021, 09:54:12 PM »
Don't know about dentures but I think the over zealousness about implants are because they are best option by someway just very  expensive.

canadagoose

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Re: Dentistry (goodbye savings)
« Reply #23 on: October 10, 2021, 10:01:41 PM »
Looks from comments on one of their pages like Lockerbie isn't accepting new NHS patients at the moment, but won't hurt to call.
Aww no, that's a bugger. Maybe they can point you in the direction of other practices? I'd hope so anyway.

Cloud

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Re: Dentistry (goodbye savings)
« Reply #24 on: October 10, 2021, 10:02:09 PM »
The other thing I can do is stay the fuck away from the dentist and hope it goes away (it doesn't hurt). Or wait until it's an emergency and get to the NHS that way.   But the warnings about ignoring an abscess are.. pretty scary (they include the notion of the infection spreading up the sinus into the brain, which for those middle front teeth sounds worryingly possible)

Tony Tony Tony

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Re: Dentistry (goodbye savings)
« Reply #25 on: October 10, 2021, 10:08:19 PM »
I get insurance through work, though I only picked the 'bronze' level which means realistically only basic work is covered. Anything complex (for that read expensive) I have to shell out for and get a small percentage back.

Just before the pandemic hit it was discovered I have gum disease that my dentist said required periodontal expertise and offered to refer me to i) the NHS warning it would take ages or ii) his mate up the road who would do it sharpish. I chose option ii) in the first instance as my dentist had scared the shit out of me with tales of how I would wake up to find my teeth smiling back at me from my pillow one morning whilst left with a mouth full of gums.

After one treatment at the private place, where his mate poked and prodded and did an initial 'deep clean' of my mouth and even deeper clean of my wallet, the cockdown hit so I didn't see him again, on account of not going near my office in months.

In the meantime my NHS referral has hit and I have had a couple of treatments at Guys and St Thomas's Dental Hospital in that London. Not only do I get super views over the Thames whilst waiting (the treatments are done on floor 21 of a building next to the Shard) but I am receiving free care from a fifth year dental student who deffo knows her way round a set of choppers.

My advice would be try and hold out as long as you can for NHS treatment. Shop around as there are still dentists out there taking on NHS patients. Unless your gnashers really feel in danger of imminently falling out hang in there.     
   

TrenterPercenter

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Re: Dentistry (goodbye savings)
« Reply #26 on: October 10, 2021, 10:10:02 PM »
The other thing I can do is stay the fuck away from the dentist and hope it goes away (it doesn't hurt). Or wait until it's an emergency and get to the NHS that way.   But the warnings about ignoring an abscess are.. pretty scary

It's a really shitty situation Cloud but yeah abscesses can be lethal in some rare cases; the most likely thing is complications.  Getting it pulled is the best from a health perspective and then perhaps decide what to do then.

Pavlov`s Dog`s Dad`s Dead

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Re: Dentistry (goodbye savings)
« Reply #27 on: October 10, 2021, 10:11:10 PM »
The other thing I can do is stay the fuck away from the dentist and hope it goes away (it doesn't hurt). Or wait until it's an emergency and get to the NHS that way.   But the warnings about ignoring an abscess are.. pretty scary
Get onto your emergency dental number - I think swelling and blood/discharge were two of the things they asked me about when I finally got to speak to someone.

Thing is, now I think more about it, I only got the extraction for free because our household income was below the threshold at the time. I'm now in work (as an ESOL lecturer, so, yeah, I am very self-conscious about the visibly missing tooth), and we'll be over the limit for free treatment, even for emergencies. I obviously don't need to know your circumstances, but this might offer you more clarity. But NHS charges, although steep, will be cheaper than private, obviously, and the sooner you're seen, the less work is likely to be needed.

Cloud

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Re: Dentistry (goodbye savings)
« Reply #28 on: October 10, 2021, 10:33:50 PM »
If I manage to get an emergency NHS appointment (on grounds of bleeding/discharge) is that the "we'll jus yank it out then it's your problem" route? (On a very visible front tooth)

Part of what I'm scared of is doing that and being shooed out with a gap, then ending up private anyways.  But I suppose that at least reduces the initial consultation

Re: Dentistry (goodbye savings)
« Reply #29 on: October 10, 2021, 10:45:38 PM »
Yeah, the fix to the emergency is just to pull the tooth. Any reconstruction work is not deemed necessary for health and therefore you'll need to pay. Implants are expensive but do work and practically it's the only way to go if you don't want a permanent gap, which is an option too.

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