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Why is it beneficial to see a private dentist?

NHS dentistry is currently facing an ongoing crisis which has been deemed 'unacceptable in the 21st century' by the British Dental Association. Last year, 11 million people were unable to get an appointment with an NHS dentist. By the end of November 2022, 282,000 people were on the NHS oral surgery waiting list according to NHS England.

NHS waiting times are approximately 16 weeks which can lead to serious consequences for a patient’s oral health.

We understand that switching to private dental care may not be an option for everyone, however, there are several reasons and benefits of changing to a private dental practice.

Affordable Private Dental Plans

If you have been lucky enough to secure an NHS dental appointment, you will be aware that charges in England increased by 8.5% from April 24 2023.

For NHS Band 1 treatment, such as a dental examination, the price has increased from £23.80 to £25.80.

NHS Band 2 treatment such as a filling or an extraction increased from £65.20 to £70.70.

NHS Band 3 treatment, such as dentures or crowns has increased from £282.80 to £306.80.

The British Dental Association has warned that one in four patients are delaying their trip to the dentist or going without dental treatment due to rising costs.

The good news is that most private dental practices do offer affordable dental plans for routine dental care for a small monthly fee.

Our plans at hermitage dental practice start from £21.75 a month and include:

  • Complimentary emergency appointments, if you contact us at 8.30am in the morning you are guaranteed to receive an appointment with one of our clinicians on the same day

  • 10% discount off most treatments for our plan members

  • Emergency cover when on holiday worldwide

  • Hygiene and routine care appointments scheduled in advance - regular attendance to the practice reduces the risk of tooth decay, gum disease and identifies dental problems early to prevent pain, discomfort and inconvenience

  • Eligibility to request assistance from the Global Dental Scheme

  • Clinically necessary x-rays included

Joining our membership plan is the most cost effective way to be seen in the practice, saving you money compared to seeing you as a guest (pay-as-you-go fees) and gives you the peace of mind that your dental health is well cared for.

Shorter Waiting Times

In 2022, 2,000 dentists left the NHS, causing ‘dental deserts’ to emerge across England and leaving millions of people struggling to get an appointment.

This exodus has intensified a situation where people are struggling to get dental care because so few dental practices are accepting NHS patients.

The number of NHS dentists in England dropped from 23,733 at the end of 2020 to 21,544 at the end of January 22, resulting in the the NHS having the lowest number of dentists in a decade. In some parts of the UK, patients have been forced to wait three years for an appointment or travel further away from their homes to find an NHS dentist.

Registering with a private dentist allows you to organise an appointment on a convenient day and time for you. If you need to see a dentist urgently, its usually not a problem.

Patients booking their first dental assessment with Hermitage Dental Practice can expect the following:

  • A thorough examination, including dental and medical history

  • Assessment of the jaw, gums and teeth

  • Digital x-rays

  • 3d scan of the teeth and jaws

  • Intra-oral photographs

  • Oral cancer screening

  • Discussion of your smile goals

  • A comprehensive treatment plan discussion with one of our treatment co-ordinators

What if you have a dental emergency?

At Hermitage Dental Practice, we reserve time in our diary's for patients requiring urgent care. Wherever possible, we see emergencies on the same day. If you have a dental emergency, call Hermitage Dental Practice on 01530 510533 and we will be happy to arrange you an appointment.

Longer unrushed appointments

Dentists contracted to the NHS operate on a target-based system which sets incentives for the work they achieve. They get paid for each UDA (unit of dental activity). You have probably seen the reports in the news explaining that there is a flaw in the system, with relatively minor work still being rewarded at the same rate as more complex treatments that take hours. Unfortunately, this can lead to NHS dentists shortening patient treatment plans to hit their target number of UDAs rather than focusing on patient needs. Ultimately this means rushed appointments and sometimes, inadequate treatment.

In contrast, private dentists have no targets to meet and can instead focus on their patients care and quality of service. Routine private appointments are usually allocated more time than those on the NHS.

At Hermitage Dental Practice, we pride ourselves on our calm and relaxing atmosphere. We fully explain treatments to patients, so they know what to expect. This helps alleviate anxiety and allows plenty of time so no one feels rushed.

Why not join us?

Hopefully, the above information highlights some of the benefits of switching to private dental care. Thanks to our dental plans, maintaining a healthy smile may be more affordable than you initially thought.

If you’re struggling to get NHS dental care, we’d love to welcome you to Hermitage Dental Practice.

We are very proud that we have achieved over 100 5 star google reviews which can be reviewed on our website.

To book an appointment, please call Hermitage Dental Practice on 01530 510533 and our reception team will be happy to help.

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