"NHS Dental care "

About: Southmead Hospital / Trauma and orthopaedics Whiteladies Dental Care

(as the patient),

I was being treated at a Dental Care Service in, Bristol. I had to go to the dental hospital in order for them to find out if I had a problem with a wisdom tooth or a jaw problem. The dentist charged me (1 month before my hospital appointment) for the tooth to be taken out, not by the dentist itself but by the dental hospital. When I had the dental hospital appointment, they found I had arthritis in my jaw and I didn't have to have a tooth taken out. While talking to the consultant I mentioned that the dentist had charged me already for a tooth extraction. He was surprised and said there should be no charge as if I had needed the tooth out it would be free and the dentist should not have charged for this. When I returned home I called the dentist and told them I wanted my money back, they said they would have to wait to speak to the hospital and confirm that I hadn't had the tooth extracted. I told them that the consultant had said there should have been no charge even if the tooth had been taken out, but they said they always work that way. It took me a couple more days before they refunded my money, but the dentist himself wouldn't see me to talk about it. If I did have the tooth out at the time, I would have thought it was normal practice for the dentist to charge for NHS hospital dental treatment, so it really made me angry that they were ripping off the NHS. I tried to complain about the dentist through the hospital and then tried to find an organisation that deals with complaints about dentist, but had no joy. I stopped going to this dentist, but am concerned that some dentists seem to be money grabbing at the expense of the NHS.

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