Learn more about Dental Treatment

Direct Access

With effect from 1 May 2013, Dental Hygienists and Dental Therapists are permitted to treat patients without a prior examination by a dentist.

This means that we can now welcome patients requesting to the services of the Dental Hygienist/Therapist without having to be examined by a dentist prior to the appointment.

For new patients to the practice who just want to see the Dental hygienist, the patient will be required to fill in an up to date medical history and a consent form for treatment. The patient will have a regular hygienist appointment and the standard fee will be payable at the end of the appointment.

For patients who regularly see our dentists it is no longer necessary to have a prescription from the dentist before having a hygienist appointment.

Please be aware of the following important notes regarding direct access to the Dental Hygienist:
.


  • Whether or not to accept direct access patients is up to the hygienist/therapist. Not all hygienists may wish to do this and, if they would prefer to continue to work under the direction of a dentist, they have every right to do so
  • They must work within the extent of their training and must not undertake duties for which they have not been trained
  • If a hygienist identifies an issue whilst performing their duties, they may recommend a referral to a dentist. You should bear in mind that hygienists and therapists don not have the same training as dentists and a trip to the hygienist does not remove the need for periodic examinations by a dentist
.

There are certain duties, that even if they have been trained to perform, hygienists and therapists are still not allowed to undertake through direct access. These include:

  • Teeth whitening as the law requires a dentist to perform the first application of gel)
  • Prescribing of x-rays, they may be allowed to take x-rays but only under the prescription of a dentist
  • Injection of botox
  • The application of topical fluoride – this can be completed under the prescription of a dentist
FAQ


What can you expect from us?

  • We will listen to your dental problems and try to give you an explanation and solution to those needs. This may include a referral to another Dentist.
  • We will follow the latest cross-infection guidelines. Your safety is our primary concern.
  • We will keep you informed of the latest techniques and use the best materials available.
  • We will give you a written estimate detailing any treatment costs.
  • We will do all we can to keep to time because we know everyone hates to be kept waiting.


What do we expect from you?

  • To attend your appointments promptly, and if you are unable to do this to let us know as soon as possible (at least 24 hours before your appointment).
  • To pay for treatment at the end of each visit as requested.
  • To look after the work that we provide for you with the techniques that we will teach you.
  • If you are happy with our visits then please recommend us to anyone you feel would like the services we offer. Our practice grows by recommendations.


How do I book an appointment?

Simply telephone us on 02476466793, or call in to see us.

Are you taking on new patients?

Yes – we are always happy to see new patients. Many of our new patients are referred to us by our existing ones – if you have been referred by one of our patients, please do let us know so we can thank them.

Can we register at the practice on the NHS?

There is no longer any registration on the NHS. We do see NHS patients for courses of treatment. Please note there maybe a waiting list for NHS patients. Alternatively, you may wish to register on a private basis, or opt for private treatment options.

What should I do in an emergency?

Please telephone the practice as early as possible in the working day*. If it is out of hours, please telephone 111. If the practice is closed, there will be a message on our answer machine telling you who to contact during normal working hours.
*For our regular patients (i.e. those who have been attending our practice regularly as recommended by the Dentist over the last 24 months) we will endeavour to see you within 24 hours for your emergency appointment. For irregular attenders or new patients to the practice, unfortunately you maybe required to wait longer for the next available appointment for your emergency.

How do I cancel my appointment?

If you are not able to keep your appointment we require at least 24 hours notice for cancellations. Should you fail to attend or cancel with less than 24 hours notice on more than one occasion we reserve the right to refuse further treatment at the practice.

Can I park at the practice?

There is on-street parking available on Mayors Croft. For a local map see our contact us page.

Why do treatment plans sometimes vary from one dentist to another?

Variations in prescribing patterns between dentists do occur and are quite common. When examining teeth, dentists go through three steps. They consider first ‘is there anything wrong with the tooth?’- if so ‘does it need treatment?’ and finally, if it does, ‘what treatment is necessary?’. They will then discuss the treatment options with the patient.

There is little disagreement among dentists as to whether there is anything wrong with a tooth. Dental decay is a very slowly progressive disease, and therefore the question of whether a problem requires treatment could reasonably be ‘yes’, ‘no’ or ‘not yet’. If a patient is a regular attender and has seen the same dentist within the previous year, it may well be in the patient’s interests to keep a minor problem under observation. On the other hand it might be better for a patient who attends occasionally, or who is attending for the first time, to have all the problems dealt with.

If treatment is needed, there are a wide range of options. The most appropriate treatment is a matter of judgement by the dentist and may depend on the patient’s attention to oral hygiene and the likely cost to the patient. Some dentists adopt a more cautious approach and only recommend a complex treatment if a more simple procedure has failed. In making these decisions, dentists are influenced by the wishes of the patient.

A dentist’s advice about treatment will depend on a number of factors – whether the patient has been seen before, the dentist’s understanding of a particular problem that the patient might have (for example, a cavity which has been present for some time but is not progressing), the patient’s oral hygiene (which might make certain advanced forms of treatment less feasible), the patient’s timescale (a patient might be looking for a major overhaul or for simple maintenance) and so on.

For every dental problem there is a decision to be made about whether to treat or not, and if treatment is decided on, the type of treatment to be given. The decision must always be the patient’s, however. All treatment must have the patient’s informed consent. If you are concerned about a dentist’s treatment proposal, ask questions – ask to be shown the problem in a mirror, or with a diagram. The dentist does not have to carry out any procedures they deem are not appropriate for you.

We strive to deliver the highest quality of treatment and care to all our patients. If you feel we have not achieved this, please do not hesitate to contact Dr Malhi at the above practice contact details.To view our complaints procedure, please click here.