Dental Options: Private vs NHS
There are many private dentist in Nottingham that will serve both private and NHS patients and the quality of care between the two is often blurred, due in part to these mixed practices.
Private and NHS dentists have to adhere to the same regulatory standards and have the same spot checks by the Quality Care Commission. Dentistry in the UK has always been a mix of private and public health services.
Cost of private dental care
It is true that the upfront care of private dental care is usually greater than the NHS cost, this hides a lost layer of value in Private Healthcare services. For one thing, no registration is required in order to obtain an emergency appointment with a private dental practitioner, whereas there can be a waiting list for registering as an NHS patient, making it impossible to call in for a dental emergency and receive one without being listed.
The philosophy of the care that comes along with the National Health Service is one of prescribed treatments or guidelines related to commonly occurring conditions. For instance, this means that the treatment of the missing tooth is a dental bridge or partial denture as standard, restricting the options available to the patient. Being with a private practice offers a wider range of treatments to be available, including the dental bridge or partial dentures but also implantation and silicone dentures. Due to the cost of investing in new technology and the funding structures within the NHS, private dental surgeries usually implement new equipment more regularly and newer dental techniques which the NHS has yet to invest in.
Therefore, the subsidised upfront cost that you have with NHS treatment comes with these strings. Many private dental surgeries have wanted to implement payment schemes and access to zero interest credit which results in having a very similar, or even less of an upfront cost than NHS treatment subject to a credit evaluation.
High risk groups
NHS Treatment is entirely free to some patients; this includes those under the age of 18, those who are currently pregnant or have given birth within 12 months or are claiming tax credits.
Treatments which are provided entirely free at point of use are heavily restricted to those only with direct health consequences, with a low priority on cosmetic concerns usually involving filling crowns and dentures and braces in younger patients.
The range of care options in private dentistry is far wider with a much larger emphasis on cosmetics and customer service. Private surgeries also typically have a limited focus on catchment areas in the same way that NHS practices do, meaning you can shop further afield for the treatment you want.
Mixed Dental Care
It is not uncommon to have mixed care procedures. You could leave the single session with an NHS procedure which is resolving an underlying medical issue. After this resolution, further treatment focused on anaesthetic goal can be carried out in a private practice. It is unwise to engage in cosmetic treatment whilst an underlying medical issue is unresolved, so this mixed method of using dental services can be highly effective in such cases.