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NHS dentist complaints


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Apologies if this is not the correct forum for this but would appreciate the CAGGERS' responses to the complaint that I wish to make about the dentist I have been seeing. The complaint letter would (I hope) explain all.

 

Dear Sir/Madam

 

I wish to lodge a complaint against the dentist supplying my dental treatment. I first saw (name withheld) at the end of May 2013 when she examined and took x-rays at which time I paid the initial fee of £18. She explained to me that I would need all my teeth removed and have dentures supplied. She also explained that it would need a number of visits as I am on warfarin and there would be a risk of excessive bleeding. The number of visits would be approximately 8 – 10. This I agreed to as she suggested that I make a series of 3 bookings at a time which would shorten the waiting period between visits. I made a series of bookings over a month which took care of 5 bookings and so expected only 3 further visits to complete the treatment.

 

On the 3rd June she removed some teeth and I paid a further £39 to cover the extractions. On 24 June she removed a further 3 teeth leaving me with only 3 teeth left at which stage she told me that she would leave the last 3 teeth and have impressions made so that I would have some teeth until I could have the intermediate dentures which would be approximately 2 – 3 weeks after impressions. At that time I paid the final £165 to cover all the treatment at Band 3.

 

The following appointment on 1 July was cancelled by the surgery due to (name withheld) ill health. Unfortunately I was unable to make the following appointment on 8 July due to my own ill health.

 

When I attended for the next appointment on 24 July I was advised by (name withheld) that although she could take impressions on that day, it was unlikely that I could get another appointment until November and she suggested that I go to a general practice dentist to complete the treatment. This would, in effect, cost me more as I would have to pay the full Band 3 cost again. There is also no guarantee that a dentist in general practice would accept me as a patient with my medical condition which would mean further delays.

 

Due to complications over many procedures for heart by-pass surgery, TIA’s and finally cancer surgery I have been having problems with losing teeth and therefore trouble eating for some 2 years and had to wait until my INR was in an acceptable range to attempt dental surgery and even then had to be referred by my GP to the (name withheld) and waiting some time for an appointment.

 

I am unable to go out and socialise without teeth and also find it extremely difficult to chew and have to be on a soft food diet. I do not find it acceptable to have to wait a total of almost 9 months to have treatment.

 

 

 

I was also advised that I could not get a refund of any money without going through a lot of red tape by filling in forms, submitting them to another department and waiting (for what I consider) quite some time for a refund to my bank account. The payments were made by credit card.

 

Should I not receive a timely and suitable resolution I will have no alternative but to escalate my complaint to the relevant authorities.

 

 

I would be grateful for your early response.

Edited by TPar
Do not wish to name names
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Having read through the forum about recovering payments for non-delivery of service, would I be able to do a charge back from the bank for the money I have already paid to the dental practice as I will now have to pay a new dentist the full amount?

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Thanks for replying assisted blond. The dentist said she couldn't take impressions immediately as there were two loose teeeth and she was afraid they would come out in the impression.

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The dental practice should give you a refund on the difference between band 2 and 3 if they incurred no lab fees. Write to their practice manager and ask for a refund.

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The dental practice should give you a refund on the difference between band 2 and 3 if they incurred no lab fees. Write to their practice manager and ask for a refund.

 

Thanks for your reply dent. However, I am still out of pocket by £50 due to having to find and pay a general practice dentist the full amount also having to endure a long delay and the embarrassment of not having teeth.

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Whilst I agree with what you are saying - many of the problems are lie with the system which does not really work for patients or dentists. It works for the government as it fixes the amount of money it puts into dental treatment. The dentist has removed 6 teeth so has done the work for the band 2 fee. She has had to break the treatment up into multiple appointments due to you medical history and probably had to allow more time to ensure you stop bleeding etc. You say you have to find a general practice dentist - was this a community dental clinic or another general dental practice?

 

It can be better to leave time for the areas where you have removed teeth to have time to heal and the bone to settle before making dentures. In that situation it is likely the treatment would be broken up different courses of treatment incurring multiple fees - but that should have been discussed at the outset. It is an upsetting situation to be in and the system is far from ideal.

Edited by dent
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Whilst I agree with what you are saying - many of the problems are lie with the system which does not really work for patients or dentists. It works for the government as it fixes the amount of money it puts into dental treatment. The dentist has removed 6 teeth so has done the work for the band 2 fee. She has had to break the treatment up into multiple appointments due to you medical history and probably had to allow more time to ensure you stop bleeding etc. You say you have to find a general practice dentist - was this a community dental clinic or another general dental practice?

 

It can be better to leave time for the areas where you have removed teeth to have time to heal and the bone to settle before making dentures. In that situation it is likely the treatment would be broken up different courses of treatment incurring multiple fees - but that should have been discussed at the outset. It is an upsetting situation to be in and the system is far from ideal.

 

Thanks again dent. I presume it was a community dental clinic but not at all sure.

 

I realise and agree with most of what you are saying however the band 2 treatment was supposed to cover all examinations, xrays and etractions which were not completed in a timely fashion by the dentist and while it is reasonable to wait for some time for the gums to heal and the bone to settle I still believe that 4 months between appointments is extreme.

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I have sent a letter of complaint to the Practice Manager last week. According to the Code of Practice an acknowledgement of the letter should be received within 2 working days and a full response within 10 working days. So far I have received no acknowledgement whatsoever and doubt whether I will receive a a response based on this.

 

Do you think I have recourse to the Ombudsman? Not for financial gain but to ensure that practices are put in place to ensure that this type of treatment does not impact on other vulnerable people?

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It canbe sensible to wait 6 months after having the teeth out as most bone remodelling takes place in the first 6 months. If you have a set of dentures made quickly after extractions they tend to become looser more quickly and you would need another set 12 months later or possibly a reline. I would phone the practice and see if the pratice manager is there to have opened the letter. Quite often they can be running more than one clinic.

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