Dental services. in Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire

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1 Dental services in Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire

2 Contents Finding an NHS dentist 1 What can I do to avoid dental disease? 2 Information about sugar 2 Dental health for smokers 3 What NHS dental services are available? 4 General Dental Practitioners 4 Urgent pain relief 5 Dental Out of Hours Emergency Service 6 Primary Dental Care Unit 7 Avon Special Care Dental Service 8 Will I be charged? 9 Simpler charging 10 NHS or private care? 11 When might I no longer be able to see my dentist? 12 How do I complain about my dental treatment? 12 Can I see copies of referral letters? 13 CHOICE 13

3 Finding an NHS dentist Most people go to a family dentist (also called a General Dental Practitioner) for their dental care. If you have difficulty finding a family dentist who can accept you for NHS treatment, please contact the: NHS Dental Helpline or you can search for a dentist on the NHS Choices website: to locate a dentist who is accepting NHS patients. Everyone is entitled to visit an NHS dentist. You may have to travel to visit your NHS dentist and you will have to pay, unless you are exempt from charges. More information about charges is available on pages 9 to 11. You do not have to live within your dentist s local area to be a patient. You can also contact NHS Direct for information and advice: 1

4 What can I do to avoid dental disease? There are a number of simple things you can do to avoid dental disease: Get your mouth checked regularly. Your dentist will see something is wrong before you do and will be able to advise you about how to put it right. Brush your teeth and gums twice a day, in the morning and last thing at night. This stops bacteria build up, which can lead to gum disease. Use a pea sized blob of fluoride toothpaste when you brush. This will help you to avoid tooth decay. Avoid drinking acidic and fizzy drinks. They soften the enamel, which will then wear away. The only way to stop this happening is to choose water or milk nstead. Use floss or interdental brushes daily. Information about sugar Sugars found naturally in fresh, whole fruit are safe for teeth. All forms of refined sugars, including honey, will enable bacterial acids to weaken tooth enamel. This effect can be reduced by using a pea sized blob of fluoride toothpaste twice daily. Food and drink labelled 'no added sugar' or 'reduced sugar' still contain enough sugar to enable bacteria to produce acid. Only consume them at meal times. If you want more advice about keeping your mouth healthy contact the Primary Care Dental Service - oral health promotion team on

5 Dental health for smokers Tobacco is a major cause of premature death and disease including oral diseases. It is specifically linked with oral cancer and is a contributory factor in periodontal (gum) disease leading to tooth loss. It also stains teeth and restorations, e.g. dentures, and can cause bad breath. NHS Stop Smoking Services help smokers who want to stop smoking. For more information on NHS Stop Smoking Services in your area please ring: for Bristol for South Gloucestershire for Bath and North East Somerset for North Somerset Alternatively you could search for your local NHS Stop Smoking Service on the NHS Choices website - 3

6 What NHS dental services are available? General Dental Practitioners These are local dentists who may provide NHS and private dental care. NHS or private charges will apply to all courses of treatment, unless you are exempt from payment. Your dentist should: Undertake a thorough examination of your mouth, teeth and gums. Explain your treatment options and let you know what can be provided on the NHS or privately. Make sure you know how much your NHS and/or private treatment will cost. Provide you with a written treatment plan (including costs) if you are receiving a mix of NHS and private care. Display a poster about NHS charges in the waiting room. Discuss with you how often you need to attend - if you have good oral health it is unlikely you will need a check up every six months. Provide a leaflet with information about the practice and the services available. It is the dentist's responsibility to provide dental pain relief not your doctor. 4

7 Your dentist will not: Charge you for missed appointments - but if you continue to miss appointments they may decide not to offer you treatment. Accept children as NHS patients only on condition that their parent, parents or guardian agree to sign up for private treatment. Ask you for a non refundable deposit. They may ask you for payment for your treatment up front once your treatment plan has been established. Urgent pain relief Urgent pain relief appointments are available for patients who are not currently seeing an NHS dentist and are in pain. You will be charged if you are not exempt and a statement of treatment costs will be available following a full examination. For details of urgent pain relief services call the NHS Dental Helpline on

8 Dental Out of Hours Emergency Service Telephone: The service provides the following to all patients, whether you are NHS, private, do not have a dentist or are visiting the area: Call handling and dental assessment (triage) from 6pm to 9pm Monday to Friday and 8am - 5pm Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays. After these times you will be directed to NHS Direct for information. Experienced, qualified primary care dental nurses supported by dentists will carry out your dental assessment over the phone. Depending on the outcome of your dental assessment you will be advised of the most appropriate options for your treatment. The following are the possible options you will be offered: Advice on self medication Attendance at A&E (for specific problems) Treatment within a dental access centre Treatment with a general dental practitioner Treatment in the primary dental care unit at Bristol Dental Hospital Treatment within a dedicated out of hours treatment centre. 6

9 Primary Dental Care Unit Bristol Dental Hospital Telephone: /5/6 Monday to Friday 9.00am am (doors open at 8.00am) The unit's main objective is to teach undergraduate dental students. They attempt to see all patients who attend but this is not always possible. Children in pain and those with serious dental problems will be given priority. Patients who are accepted may receive treatment from a student. Students undertaking patient care are supervised by fully trained staff. The unit provides emergency dental care for patients who do not have an NHS dentist. The patients are advised to attend as early as possible as the service operates on a first come first served basis. 7

10 Avon Special Care Dental Service Telephone: The Avon Special Care Dental Service provides dental care to people who cannot access care from a General Dental Practitioner due to their special needs. These may be severe mobility problems, medical complications or learning difficulties. The service also provides a domiciliary service for people who are housebound. Patients are normally referred to the service by a health professional, i.e. doctor or district nurse, but can accept appropriate self referrals. 8

11 Will I be charged? Yes, unless you can get free NHS dental treatment under the following circumstances: when the treatment starts you are: Aged under 18 Aged and in full-time education Pregnant, or have had a baby in the 12 months before treatment starts. you or your partner are getting: Income Support Income-based Jobseeker s Allowance (Incapacity Benefit or Disability Living Allowance do not count as they are not income-related) Pension Credit Guarantee Credit (your pension book will be marked 'Pension Credit'). You are entitled to, or named on, a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate You are named on a valid NHS certificate for full help with health costs (HC2). Your dentist may ask you to produce proof of the above. If you are named on a valid Limited Help certificate (HC3), you may get help with charges. There is a telephone advice line for 'Help with Health Costs', call They will be able to advise you about exemptions and charges for treatments. Please note that exemptions and help with payment do not apply to private treatments. 9

12 Simple charging If you normally pay for NHS dental treatment, there will be three standard charges. The amount you pay will depend on the treatment you need to keep your teeth and gums healthy. The treatment will fall into one of the following bands. Band 1 - the charge for this band will include an examination, diagnosis and preventive care. If necessary, this will include X-rays, scale and polish, and planning for further treatment. Band 2 - this charge includes all necessary treatment covered by Band 1 charge PLUS additional treatment such as fillings, root canal treatment or extractions. Band 3 - for this band the charge includes all necessary treatment covered by Band 1 and Band 2 charges PLUS more complex procedures such as crowns, dentures or bridges. Up-to-date charges are displayed in your dentist s waiting room or reception. Alternatively you can contact the NHS Dental Helpline or NHS Direct Urgent and out-of-hours care will be the same as a Band 1 treatment. You will pay one charge even if you need to visit more than once to complete a course of treatment, unless your visit was for urgent treatment. 10

13 If you are referred to another dentist, you will still pay one charge (to the dentist who refers you). If you need more treatment at the same charge level (e.g. an additional filling) within two months of seeing your dentist, this will be free of charge. There will be no charge for writing a prescription or for removing stitches. Usual presription charges apply when getting a prescription dispensed. Repairs to dentures will remain free of charge. NHS or private care? At the outset your dentist will agree with you whether your treatment will be under the NHS, or private, or a mixture of both. If you are not sure at any time, please ask your dentist or receptionist. NHS treatment can meet all your clinical needs - that means the treatment which is necessary to secure and maintain your oral health. You may want, and your dentist may suggest, private treatment which goes beyond that - white fillings in back teeth, for example. Either way your dentist should make sure that you are aware whether you are receiving care under the NHS or privately. If you are receiving NHS treatment, your dentist should give you a form to sign if you agree to private treatment. It is a dentist's responsibility to secure and maintain oral health for their patient. If the dentist wishes to provide private treatment for their patient, it must be discussed and agreed with the patient. 11

14 When might I no longer be able to see my NHS dentist? As of 1 April 2006 patients are no longer registered with a dentist, but instead your dentist will provide courses of treatment. Your dentist does not have to complete your treatment if: You have been asked to pay a charge and have not done so. There has, in the reasonable opinion of your dentist, been an irrevocable breakdown in your relationship and notice of the breakdown has been given to you. If you have behaved violently and the incident has been reported to the police. If this happens all dentists in the area may be notified of the incident. How do I complain about my dental treatment? If you wish to make a complaint about the care or service provided by your dentist or dental practice, contact your practice and ask for the person responsible for the practice complaints procedure. You may make the complaint verbally or in writing and you should receive a response from the practice within ten working days. Your dentist will try to resolve your complaint at this stage. If the complaint is not resolved to your satisfaction, you should direct complaints to your local Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) at the Primary Care Trust. To find details of your local PALS department see the back of this leaflet. 12

15 Can I see copies of referral letters? As of August 2004, patients have the right to see a copy of any letter written about their care. The initiative is part of the Government's policy to increase patients' involvement in their care and treatment, and to keep patients informed at each stage. If you are being referred to another practice or hospital, you may ask to see a copy of the letter. CHOICE CHOICE is an important part of current NHS health policy with an aim of creating a health service around you and offering you a choice of provider when you are referred for specialist treatment: Your dentist should offer you a minimum of four providers when requiring a referral for orthodontics. Your dentist should agree the choice of provider with you. Appointments will follow current appointment processes. Referrals will continue to be made to hospitals for more complex cases. 13

16 For 24 Hour NHS help, advice and details of your local Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) contact NHS Direct on or go to the NHS Direct website : or the local PALS website: If you would like this leaflet in another format such as Braille, large print or other languages, please contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on

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