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frequently asked questions

Q: Do you treat or see new patients on the NHS?

A: The vast majority of our patients are treated under the NHS. Occasionally we run out of NHS treatment capacity and we then offer patients a relatively low cost independent fee scale. We also offer all patients private treatment options where they may be appropriate or beneficial. Further information can be found below and by clicking on the relevant buttons on the home page.

Q: What private treatment do we offer?

A: The vast majority of our patients are seen on the NHS or independently. However, we offer a range of treatments as options to NHS treatments or that are not available on the NHS. Some treatments involve more complicated and expensive techniques such as certain types of root treatment or involve more cosmetic or expensive materials or laboratories as with certain types of dentures. Some materials and techniques are chosen primarily for cosmetic reasons and as such will only be offered privately. Such treatments may include white fillings in back teeth, veneers, white crowns on back teeth and cosmetic scaling. An idea of some of the treatments and costs can be found on the home page under private.

Q: I see the practice opens until 8.00pm three nights a week. Does that mean I can see my dentist any of those late nights?

A:When we acquired some additional contract for NHS work in 2010 we agreed to open longer hours in order to accommodate more people; however, to enable dentists and staff to work a normal number of hours in a week, each dentist works one late night a week. As each dentist works the same late night each week you can see your dentist on the same night each week.

Q: I understand that you provide some form of sedation at your practice. Exactly what does that involve?

A: The type of sedation we offer is called 'relative analgesia' (RA) or inhalation sedation, commonly known as 'happy gas'. This consists of breathing a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen through a mask that sits over your nose. The same gases are used in a fixed proportion to help mothers in childbirth and is sometimes called 'entonox'and also in general anaesthetics in a more concentrated proportion to keep people asleep during operations. We use a variable mixture which can never be strong enough to put someone to sleep, but generally makes a person relaxed, 'floaty' and happy. There may be tingling in the hands and feet and a general feeling of numbness. There are no after effects from the treatment, although we ask you to stay around for a few minutes to make sure all the gas has been breathed out and that you are alright.

Another form of sedation is also undertaken in dental practice called 'iv sedation'. This is popular because of it's amnesic properties. People forget the treatment they have had once the sedation has worn off. The technique involves injecting a form of valium into the veins, which creates the sedative effect. The technique carries a higher risk and requires more trained personnel to be present. Afterwards the active agent remains in the system for several hours and it is important not to operate any kind of machinery for so long after the treatment.

We favour 'happy gas' because of the degree of safety built in to the technique and lack of after effects. Also, because patients remember the experience, frequently they manage at a later date without any form of sedation.

Occasionally patients ask for a general anaesthetic in dentistry. This was quite popular a number of years ago, but because of the inherently higher risks there is now virtually no availability in general dental practice, and though there is some provision in a hospital setting the availability is extremely limited.

The number of sedations that we can do on the NHS is relatively small and we normally exceed our contracted 'quota' each year. So we may ask you to pay a separate charge for this service, similarly if the treatment alongside it doesn't involve NHS treatment. The charge can be found on the independent section of the home page.

Q: Do you provide any kind of orthodontic treatment?

A: Mr Peirson has had some training in orthodontics, though he is not a specialist in the field. There is a small contract with the NHS for just three cases a year. Otherwise treatment can be considered on a case by case basis and a private fee assessed for the case. An indication of charges can be found by clicking the private button on the home page. Most children are taken care of by specialists in the area. A referral is required from the practice to get into the system. The local provision is generally very good at present.

Q: Increasing numbers of patients that don't speak very much English attend the practice now do you provide any kind of translation service?

A: We prefer it if patients can attend with a friend or relative that can speak good English and can translate for you. However, there is a telephone service provided by InTran that can be called on if necessary. It is better to arrange this in advance as it tends to be a time consuming process. It is vital that there is good communication between us since we must be sure that you understand the treatment that we are offering and you can give proper informed consent. If we feel that we cannot achieve adequate communication we will not be able to progress your treatment.

Q: I am on benefits do I need to pay the charges?

A: A number of patients are exempt from paying NHS treatment charges. These include children under 18 and 18 when in full time education, pregnant and nursing mothers, patients on income support or income based job seekers allowance and some people on certain types of tax or pension credit.

Many patients who are exempt from charges carry a card stating that they are. If you believe that you are than you are expected to show the dentist your proof of exemption before treatment commences. The dentist can treat you as exempt if you tell him the category of exemption which you believe you fit in if you have no proof, though it is illegal to claim falsely that you are exempt and you could face a fine for this.

If you think you may be exempt, but aren't sure or are on a low income the safest thing to do is fill out a means tested form. If you get an exemption certificate back you can claim back any charges you have paid for the treatment.

Q: What happens if I miss an appointment?

A: We accept that most people will occasionally miss an appointment and occasionally we make a mistake when booking the appointments. However, a number of patients regularly miss appointments and this can become very inconvenient, particularly when a significant amount of treatment is required. As much as half a day can be wasted in this way. So we will not book another appointment if two or more treatment appointments are broken. You can still be seen at the practice if you are willing to go on a cancellation list and be called in at short notice when there is a cancellation.

Q: Do you have disabled access?

A: From the middle of 2011 there will be a ramp at the front of the building, a disabled toilet and easier access on the ground floor.

Q: At what age should I bring my children?

A: We believe it is important to start well from when a child is born. Many factors such as breast feeding, fluorides and sugar consumption have significant impacts on the way a child's mouth and teeth develop straight away. We try to educate pregnant mums in their baby's tooth care before he/she is born and then we recommend six monthly visits for most children from birth. If there is a significant risk of decay in the teeth we recommend more frequent visits and regular fluoride applications from a trained dental nurse.

Q: Do I have to pay for prescriptions?

A: If you normally pay the NHS prescription charge then you would normally pay the charge for an NHS prescription given to you by a dentist as with a doctor. If you are seen as a private patient and are given a private prescription you will be expected to pay the full cost of the drug prescribed. These charges are in addition to any charges you are asked to pay for the dental visit.

Q: Do you give any smoking cessation advice?

A: Two of our nurses are trained to give smoking cessation advice and to help smokers quit. There are good reasons to give up smoking for the health of your teeth and gums as well as for your general health. So if you are thinking of quitting why not give our nurses a try? There is no charge for the service other than for any prescription or charge for products that the chemist may supply.


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Opening hours

8am - 8pm
8am - 8pm
8am - 5pm
8am - 8pm
8am - 1pm


Emergency appointments are available and we try to see each patient on the same day.
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