"No light at the end of the tunnel"

About: University Of Bristol Dental Hospital

I attended the Dental Hospital referral appointment which my dentist had referred me to.

I did not insist the dentist do this, it was recommended solely by them and they felt I had a good chance of getting some corrective work granted given the amount of daily torment caused (biting my inner cheeks; bitten, sore and swollen tongue; soreness on inside of upper and lower lips; problems sleeping; problems concentrating at work and concentrating when I am driving; having to take medication for the pain and more).

I explained to the orthodontist why I was there and showed them the picture of my sore tongue (although the printed version was in black and white and grainy) and their first reaction was to make out that this was not due to the reasons described above (more specifically, the sharp edges on my badly de-aligned left canine and molar) but due to poor oral hygiene on my part (my dentist warned that he or she would try these sort of diversion tactics).

Knowing this not to be the case, I mentioned that my dentist has never once said my oral hygiene is the cause of my problems (on the contrary they say my oral hygiene is good), they then said they’d tell my dentist otherwise in their letter back to them!

The orthodontist then had a good look at and around my teeth.

There were a least 2 glaring bites on the inside of my left cheek from the evening before but they did not mention these at all even though I had said that the left side of my mouth was particularly sore that day.

Once they’d finished the examination the orthodontist just concluded that this was a case of “routine” orthodontics and that there was no funding for this.

I would like to know however, what the difference between “routine” orthodontics and “non-routine” orthodontics actually is.

Is there funding for “non-routine” orthodontics?

This was not clear. I would have thought “non-routine” orthodontics is when teeth are causing so many problems that orthodontics are necessary whereas “routine” orthodontics would be when someone has crooked teeth and simply wants them straightened for cosmetic purposes which is certainly not actually the case here.

The orthodontist even said I am doing it to myself in by developing bad habits! The orthodontist recommended I go to a private specialist orthodontist to get some work done and they said they were not being awkward but there is no funding for “routine “orthodontics for adults.

I said that my research showed this could cost up to £5000 and she said “No - £2000-£3000!” Is this not still a lot of money?

In fact the research I have done since the appointment even suggests up to £6750 for basic specialist orthodontial work! I was sent on my miserable way with all my hopes dashed.

However at least I have a referral to a hygienist which I suppose is better than nothing.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from University Of Bristol Dental Hospital

Hi there. thank you for leaving your feedback on NHS choices. We are sorry to hear that your recent visit to our dental hospital was less than satisfactory. Please contact our patient support and complaints team (0117 342 1050 / pals@uhbristol.nhs.uk) and they can look into this issue for you. Thank you again for your comments.

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