We try our best to manage our fixed budget throughout the year in an attempt to avoid running out of funds in each financial period. This results in NHS waiting times which vary from practice to practice, and between individual dentists within each practice.
If you do not wish to wait for an appointment with the dentist of your choice under the NHS, then you may book a private appointment with your dentist, or alternatively see another dentist within the practice for the treatment required, if available sooner. Once a course of treatment has commenced, treatment must be completed by the same practitioner unless offered to change by the treating dentist.
The new NHS contract was introduced in April 2006. The Local Health Board (LHB) now allocates each dental practice a limited number of ‘units of dental activity (UDAs). Each check up is one unit, which also includes a scale and polish if necessary. There are two additional units for all fillings, root fillings, extractions etc, per course of treatment. Under this new system the patient charge is the same whether they need one or more fillings. Crowns and dentures carry twelve units.
Once the UDAs are completed we will no longer be able to offer NHS dentistry of any kind until the next round of allocations in the next financial year. We have attempted to provide treatment under the NHS throughout the year by making available an equal quota of UDAs each month. This is proving difficult to manage due to excess demand. As a result waiting times vary. Please contact reception for the latest availability.
In the event of there being a shortfall in UDAs, the LHB has indicated that it will be unable to fund additional units as every dental practice is in a similar position.
Nationally, Denplan have received a large increase in applications to join their monthly payment plans, as a direct result of the new NHS contract leaving patients concerned over lack of registration and emergency cover.
We will endeavour to keep our patients informed of any further changes.
If you do not wish to wait for an NHS appointment for an examination or treatment, you may elect to carry out the whole or part of the treatment privately, and return to NHS Dentistry at a later date.