FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why do I have to complete a Medical History Form every time I come for an exam/check-up, and why do you need this?

The medication/conditions listed in the Medical History may rule out some treatment options for you: for example, a pacemaker would rule out the use of an ultrasonic scaler, whereas patients who take Warfarin tend to bleed excessively and this may contraindicate an extraction.

Am I exempt from paying NHS fees?

The NHS Business Services Authority advises all NHS dental practice personnel not to assume or offer advice other than providing patients with this information: it is the patient’s responsibility to check their entitlement status.

If you think that you might be entitled to free NHS dental treatment because you or your partner are receiving a benefit, please check your entitlement first.  Making an incorrect claim could result in you paying a penalty charge of up to £100.00 in addition to the cost of your NHS dental treatment.  Therefore any changes to your status should be advised to the Reception Team at every visit, as anything you have declared in the past remains on your record until you declare otherwise.

You have to pay for your treatment even if you get contribution-based Jobseekers Allowance paid on its own, contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance paid on its own, Pension Credit (Savings Credit) paid on its own, or any other benefit paid on its own (such as Disability Living Allowance, Incapacity Benefit, Council Tax Benefit etc).

How do I check my exemption status?

If you’re unsure exactly which benefit you receive, you should complete and sign the dental claim form as a paying patient, pay for your treatment and ask for a receipt.  Then, check your entitlement letter or benefit award notice.  If the beneft you get is listed below, you can claim a refund, as your treatment will be free if, when starting your treatment, or when you are asked to pay you:

  • get or are included in an award of someone getting Income Support, Income based Jobseekers Allowance paid on its own or with contribution based allowance, Income related Employment and Support Allowance paid on its own or with contribution based Employment and Support Allowance, Pension Credit (Guarantee Credit) paid on its own or with Pension Credit (Savings Credit), Universal Credit
  • are entitled to, or are named on, a valid NHS Tax Credit Exemption Certificate;
  • are named on a valid HC2 or HC2W certificate (an NHS Low Income Scheme Certificate)

What should I do if I suspect someone of defrauding the NHS (by claiming free or reduced cost NHS dental treatment)?

If you suspect that someone is fraudulently claiming free or reduced cost NHS dental treatment (other treatment or prescriptions) you can call the freephone NHS Fraud and Corruption Reporting Line on 0800 028 4060.

Why am I charged £20.60 (an NHS Band 1 fee) for my appointment when I’m only in the surgery for a few minutes?

Charges are unrelated to treatment times.  The Government sets the fees that we are obliged to charge NHS patients for different types of appointments; these fees do not vary on the length of the appointment, or the treatment provided.

Why is there a charge for today’s emergency appointment (HT) when the dentist “hasn’t really done anything” / “only had a quick look” / “only given me a prescription”?

Charges are unrelated to treatment times.  The Government sets the fees that we are obliged to charge NHS patients for different types of appointments; these fees do not vary on the length of the appointment, or the treatment provided.

Why is there a charge when I have only had a temporary filling?

Charges are unrelated to treatment times.  The Government sets the fees that we are obliged to charge NHS patients for different types of appointments; if a temporary filling is completed at an emergency appointment it is a band 1 charge.  A Band 2 is charged if it is a permanent option at a routine (non-urgent) appointment.

Why do I have to be on time for my appointment when the dentist runs behind and keeps me waiting?

Dental surgeries run behind for two main reasons 1) some patients arrive late for their appointments, 2) emergency treatment has been provided to a patient in pain, or with swelling/trauma who cannot wait to be seen.

Why can’t you see me when I have a cold sore?

Cold sores can cause blindness in dental practice personnel due to “aerosols”.  As the water spray used in surgery hits the cold sore it creates a cloud of detritus or “aerosol” which can – in the most serious cases – cause blindness.

Why have I not been sent for when I’m overdue a check-up (due to Dental Pilot)?

Due to the Dental Pilot (that we are participating on behalf of the Department of Health) we currently have a back-log of exams, which are now more extensive and time consuming than previously.  Recall letters are only issued to patients when we have the capacity in our appointment book to see these patients.

My dentist said I can have a bridge but it will be private; I’ve had alook in the internet and it says I can have a bridge on the NHS?

Bridges on the NHS are only available in certain cases, and strict criteria apply.  A private option will be offered to you alongside the NHS options in the cases were this strict criteria is not met.

Why have I been referred to your Specialist Endodontist when an RCT can be done on the NHS?

Currently, there are two NHS options for patients 1) their own treating dentist can undertake routine RCT’s, or 2) complex cases can be referred to Manchester Dental Hospital.  Patients are also offered Specialist private treatment if they do not wish to wait for an NHS Hospital referral or travel to Manchester, and prefer to be seen at this Practice by an in-house (non-NHS) Specialist.

Why am I seeing the hygienist for my ICM appointment instead of my Dentist?

ICM appointments are “Interim Care Management” appointments and not exams/check-ups, therefore they are not required to be completed by a Dentist.  Dependent upon the patients needs at this appointment, it is often better for the patient to be seen by a Dental Therapist/Hygienist.

Why have I been charged to replace my child’s removable brace / retainer (appliance) when their NHS orthodontic treatment is free?

Under NHS Dental Services Regulation 11 guidance if you need a replacement for a lost or broken NHS dental appliance (including orthodontic appliances such as retainers) NHS dental practices will charge you 30% of a Band 3 charge (in 2014/15 that is £73.20).  You will have to pay even if you normally qualify for free or reduced cost NHS dental services, but you can claim a refund, if:

  • Paying the charge caused you undue finanical hardship, or
  • You took reasonable care of the appliance (and the breakage was as a result of a fault or due to wear and tear).
  • To claim a refund, please complete form FP17R11 (available from the Practice or on the internet) and send it, along with your receipts to the following address (please make sure that you complete Part E with details of how the appliance was lost or broken):Reg 11
    NHS Dental Services
    1 St Anne’s road
    Eastbourne BN21 3UN

Why have I been declined an appointment if im late?

We would have to reschedule an appointment if you are late because we cannot always provide you with the service that you had booked if we only have a portion of that appointment time remaining, if we tried to carried out the entire appointment in the remaining appointment time it would be unfair to the patients booked in after you to be kept waiting. We ask late patients to reschedule to allow clinics to run on time for the benefit of other booked patients and the Practice Team.

17 October 2016