To gain access to NHS dental care the majority of our patients will make a contribution to their treatment. There is a common misconception that private dental treatment is inhibitability expensive. This, however, isn’t necessarily true. Yes, there is a modest difference between the treatment costs as delivered by the NHS and private practices, but the range of services provided by a private dental practice is also vastly diverse. A long-standing debate about the quality of dental treatments has been made between these two dental sectors.
The differences between the NHS and private practices may not always be clear-cut, but there are some key differences that may persuade you to prefer one over the other.
Private Dentists offer a variety of treatment options
The NHS offers a range of core dental treatment options such as fillings and crowns, to bridges and dentures. All treatments provided by the NHS dental care system operates under three price brackets. However, the dentists working under the NHS are restricted by NHS regulations to provide only certain dental treatments to the patients. One of the dental treatments that a dentist is limited by when working within the NHS is providing fillings.
Under the NHS, fillings used for restorative purposes may only be available in a silver material unless the filling is in a front tooth. The only exceptions to this are in pregnant patients, under 19 year olds and when a white filling is essential to provide normal function. This may often be a conflict of interest for the patient because those who would like a white filling may need to pay extra to have them placed or perhaps decide not to get them. Private practices operate with great care to respect the patient’s wishes and this includes their desired aesthetics. White fillings are readily available to the patients as part of their treatment options which are discussed at their consultation or examination.
More choice for cosmetic dentistry
The NHS functions with stringent regard for the functional aspect of dental restorations. Any dental treatment that is considered to be purely aesthetic will not be covered by the NHS. This includes white fillings and crowns which do not qualify under the inclusion criteria set by the NHS guidelines. NHS dental treatments do not cater to the importance of aesthetics and are purely functional-based. Due to this reason, you may only be offered a silver or amalgam filling within your NHS treatment even considering your preference for a tooth coloured filling.
Dental practices working within the private sector make sure that not only your functional needs but also your aesthetic wishes are considered. You will be able to receive tooth-coloured white fillings, also known as composite fillings, that are cosmetically superior to amalgam fillings as they look more natural. A shade guide will be used to help achieve the colour of the restorative filling or crown that is closest to your original teeth. This incorporation of aesthetics into dental treatment ensures that every treatment plan is tailored to your individual needs. Vitality Dental Care understands that the cosmetic proportions of a tooth are just as important as the functional abilities and we make sure to deliver the best aesthetic and functional results for our patients.
Equipment, materials, and technology
The way the UDA system works is controvertial. Dentists under the NHS get paid the same amount for a simple single filling as if they were performing multiple fillings. The NHS budget is tight, which means that they make use of better value dental materials, such as silver fillings instead of white fillings and have less access to advanced technologies and equipment to complete their job. The NHS will maintain your dental health and restore function but providing the most aesthetic or cosmetically pleasing result is not a priority or a requirement.
Private dentists are able to offer the latest in dental technology and use the most advanced dental materials. White fillings, which cost a little more, also support a beautiful, natural-looking smile. Vitality Dental Care strives to offer the best dental treatments with the best dental materials and giving our dentists the time to do their best work. Our dental materials are always of premium quality that give brilliant results.
Focus on preventive care
During your appointments at Vitality Dental Care your dentist will have more time to spend discussing how to prevent any problems. We strongly believe in prevention rather than cure, so any advice we can give you regarding how your cleaning or diet, for example, could improve your dental health, will be given and explained.
Private dentistry does cost a little more, but also helps ensure that you get the best treatment possible. Vitality Dental Care assures you that you get what you have paid for! More time, access to advanced fillings, hightened consideration for aesthetics, and slots for priority appointments, we guarantee you a brilliant tooth filling and a healthier mouth!
Losing a tooth is never nice whatever age you are. The older you get the more likely you are to be missing a tooth or two, if so statistics suggest that you may be a part of a majority of people in the UK. Almost three-quarters of Brits are without their full set of natural teeth, and 6% have none left at all. We have come to know that a significant number of the people living with missing teeth, wear dentures. Although dentures are an affordable way to replace lost teeth, they can be difficult to wear. Although some people get on really well with dentures, some patients find even the most accurate dentures at best a chore to wear, or at worst it can have really negative effects on their self-esteem and confidence. This can be due to aesthetic compromises, the fit of the dentures or in some cases, both.
In recent years dental implants have become increasingly popular as they make tooth replacement more predictable. Whether you are currently missing a tooth or contemplating getting your dentures relined for the nth time this year, you may want to try dental implants as a fixed and reliable solution to tooth loss.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are titanium posts that are surgically placed into your jaw essentially replacing the natural tooth root you lost. A dental crown is then secured onto this implant- this helps create a beautiful aesthetic and very natural functionality. This is not always the case with conventional dentures.
The NHS describes dental implants as a fixed alternative to removable dentures which may be the only option if the loss of teeth has caused the mouth to shrink so it can no longer support dentures.
Types of dental implants
Endosteal (in the bone)
These are the most commonly used dental implants wherein various types of implants may be surgically placed into the jawbone. Each of the implant placed may hold one or more prosthetic teeth. This type of implant is generally used as an alternative for patients with bridges or removable dentures.
Subperiosteal (on the bone)
These implants are placed on top of the jaw with the metal framework’s posts protruding through the gum to hold the prosthesis (teeth). These types of dental implants are used when the patient does not have adequate healthy bone left (minimal bone height) and are unable to wear conventional dentures.
Who can get dental implants?
Since dental implants interact closely with the other oral structures, it is important that a thorough assessment of the oral cavity is done prior to the placement of dental implants. The ideal candidate for dental implants is a patient with:
● Healthy gums (free of periodontal (gum) disease)
● Adequate bone volume in order to support the implant (in the absence of adequate bone support, you may have to receive an additional bone grafting procedure)
● Excellent oral hygiene habits and regular dental and, if deemed necessary by your dentist, hygiene visits.
Smoking negatively impacts the success of dental implants, this will be reflected in the prognosis an implant dentist will provide you at your consultation, or they may feel implants are not in your best interest. If a patient who smokes would like implants and would like to quit smoking your dentist can help signpost you to healthcare professionals who can provide advice and support to help you quit..
People suffering from uncontrolled chronic disorders such as diabetes or heart disease or patients who have had radiation therapy to the head and neck region in the recent past need to be evaluated by an implant dentist prior to getting a dental implant.
What is involved in the Implant procedure?
The procedure begins with a consultation with a dentist with a special interest in implants. Depending on your specific condition and the type of implant chosen, your dentist will create a treatment plan that meets your unique dental needs.
Dental implant surgery is done in stages with an intermittent healing period after the initial implantation of the titanium post.
● The dentist evaluates the health of the bone and overall status of the mouth to fabricate the treatment plan that best suits the patient’s needs. A patient x-ray and/or CT scan is required to determine if adequate bone support is present. The scan can be done in-house at both Vitality sites in Stokesley and Northallerton with our Digital CT scanner.
● If a tooth is grossly decayed or is broken, the tooth will be extracted after which a dental implant plan will be put into place. Depending on the condition of this tooth specifically the presence of any infection a period of healing may be required before an implant can be placed. Your implant dentist will advise you of your individual needs.
● The bone will be prepped for surgery and may require bone grafting if there is insufficient bone to support the implant.
● The titanium post is placed into the jaw bone and buried under the gum to heal for at least three months. During this time the bone fuses to the implant.
● Once healed, the dentist will begin the process of fabricating the teeth that will fix onto the implants.
The average treatment time for the whole procedure is 6 months to a year depending on the implant treatment plan.
Benefits of dental implants
Dental implants have been around for more than 30 years enjoying a success rate of as high as 98%. With implant treatment being this well-established, patients can be confident that the following can be reliably delivered with implants:
● Aesthetics: Unlike dentures and dental bridges, dental implants are aesthetically superior and can closely replicate the look of a natural tooth. With a wide range of crown shades, they create teeth that look and feel like your very own.
● Oral function preservation: Not only do dental implants look like natural teeth, but they also function like real teeth! Since these implants are made custom-fit to your mouth, they make life easier by allowing complete functions like eating and talking like normal!
● Long-lasting: Dental implants have a long-life expectancy if taken care of properly. As with natural teeth, their life span depends on a number of factors including good oral hygiene routine and attending regular maintenance visits.
● Tooth preservation compared to:
○ Partial Dentures – Even the best partial dentures will retain plaque, this increases the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. If you follow your dentists oral hygiene advice implants will be no different to normal teeth so will have less long term impact on your remaining dentition
○ Bridges – In most cases some level of damage will need to occur to adjacent teeth when providing a dental bridge. This can significantly reduce the long term prognosis of an adjacent tooth, or adjacent teeth depending on the design of the bridge. Implants negate the need to rely on adjacent teeth so will increrase the time you have with your remaining teeth.
How much do dental implants cost?
Vitality Dental Care offers dental implants starting from a modest price of £2200. This includes the implant, connecting component, and the crown. This price may vary depending on the complexity of the case. You will be made aware of all costs, finance options and individual implications for any treament recommended for you following your free consultation with our implant dentists.
Missing teeth can make you feel self-conscious when smiling and dentures can affect your confidence when eating if they wobble or drop when talking. You will not have to go through these nuisances with dental implants. With dental implants, not only are you investing in your present but also securing your future with a full set of beautiful teeth. Connect with Vitality Dental Care Northallerton to find out more about dental implants!
Book a free video consultation to find out more.
Riverdale Healthcare, which incorporates Vitality Dental Care, have announced that they will be first UK dental group to have the revolutionary Radic8, VirusKiller clean air technology installed.
It is now clear that the entire landscape of dentistry will change at least during the transmission phase of COVID-19, forcing the dental profession as a whole to revisit its entire infection control method and policy, bringing about significant policy changes in the wake of the crisis.
Riverdale Director, Ian Gordon explains, “Dentistry has always had excellent standards of cross infection with single use instruments where possible, autoclaving of other instruments and disinfection of hard surfaces. One of the biggest challenges in infection control within healthcare settings is in dealing with the air and whilst there is no real evidence of transmission in a dental practice via this route it has remained an area of some concern.
Therefore, despite the small and theoretical risk of transmission in this way, to make sure our patients receive the best treatment and service, we are the first dental group in the UK to have partnered up with Radic8, who are leading the global fight against airborne viruses and have installed their clean air technology “Viruskillers” in our dental practices.”
The units, which will arrive this week, have a 99.9999% kill rate on all respiratory viruses, including Coronavirus, in a single air pass. The unit aims to completely and constantly recycle the air inside a standard size surgery both during and between patient appointments. While the patient is in the surgery, the unit creates an airflow that drags contaminated air away from the patient and the dentist and releases sterilized air back, creating a continuous cycle.
Ian added “This is a technology not just for now but for the future. Nobody who has lived and worked through this period will forget the impact of Covid 19 – we are confident this additional measure will reassure and protect our patients and staff from what admittedly is already an extremely low risk”.
We are looking forward to the day when we can see our patients again and are busy preparing.
To ensure we are safe for everyone, we wanted to share with you some of the changes you will see next time you visit.
The safety of our patients and our teams is of paramount importance to us. In the interests of all, we are following the advice from the Chief Dental Officer and stopping any face to face consultations or treatment. This means that any appointments already booked in the next three weeks are cancelled and we will contact you to re-arrange.
Although we have had to close our doors, Riverdale Healthcare will continue to give telephone advice when you need us. Please just telephone your practice in the normal way for details of this service.
Stay at home. Protect the NHS. Save lives.
We will now see EMERGENCY PATIENTS ONLY
PLEASE DO NOT ATTEND THE PRACTICE IF YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19. If you do you will be asked to leave immediately.
Further to the Prime Minister’s statement on Monday evening, the definition of a dental emergency will need to be much more restrictive. It would be unsafe to provide certain treatments unless we are given access to the appropriate equipment.
Postponing routine appointments
All routine appointments have been suspended in keeping with the current policy from our Professional Body (the BDA) and to respect social distancing in line with Government Policy. This is for the safety of both our patients and our colleagues.
If you have a routine appointment booked you can expect to hear from us again shortly to postpone your appointment to a later date.
Please don’t worry, you will not miss out on any dental care that you need in the longer term.
Once we are able to get back to our normal operation we will be extending our opening hours to catch-up on postponed appointments although your treatment needs may require reassessment with a new examination, depending on the delay in resuming limited or normal services.
Please do contact the practice by phone if:
1. You require emergency treatment
2. You need advice or reassurance
3. You need a treatment completing such as a crown or denture fit – your original appointment will be cancelled – there may be circumstances where this treatment is provided IF we consider it would prevent a problem or the denture is essential for function.
4. Separate arrangements are being made on a case by case basis for Orthodontic patients and you will be contacted directly by the practice.
In hours emergencies
Please rest assured that whilst we are operating on reduced staffing levels, we are still available to provide emergency dental care. If you experience a problem, please call the practice and we will aim to see you for treatment on the same day if appropriate.
The treatment we are able to provide is governed by regulatory guidance and may be more limited than usual.
Out of hours emergencies
If you have a dental emergency and are unable to wait until our practice is open, please call NHS 111. This service is overstretched so please do so on an extreme emergency basis only.
Thank you for your patience and understanding. Please remember to check our website and social media pages for further updates.
Do stay safe and my very best wishes to you and your family in these difficult times.
Ian A Gordon BDS MFGDP
Managing Director Alpha Vitality Group