Finding dental care in London, or any city for that matter can be a tedious business. With the hundreds of practices that may be available to you, finding a good dentist in London seems a straightforward process. It’s unfortunate that in today’s market, fraudulent practice and overpricing are common and rife, especially in city environments, but there are a few things you can do to help avoid getting a bad deal. We’ve looked into some of the top tips for finding good and reliable dentists in London.
Remember that you’re not bound by catchment area
Unlike with your GP, you don’t have to register with your nearest dentist. You’re not bound by catchment area, and so you have the freedom to choose where you want to do. Whether it’s closer to your home or work will be up to you. If you know of a dentist outside of your usual home catchment area, you can go there. There’s nothing stopping you from going to whichever dentist you are willing to travel to if you here good things or know that they are reliable and comfortable for you. Dentists will take on new patients no matter where they’re from, so find a dentist convenient and comfortable for you, and simply call to see if they have any appointments.
This is perhaps the easiest way to find a good dentist in London. Asking for recommendations from colleagues or family will always direct you to the best that they know of. After all, the people that care about you aren’t likely to send you to a bad dentist. Word of mouth is the most realistic and truthful way to find out what a dentist is like and how good or bad of an experience it is. If a relative went through a bad experience with a dentist, they are more likely to tell you details that definitely wouldn’t be advertised on the dentist’s website.
If you’re an anxious patient or have a genuine phobia of going to the dentist, finding the right dentist can be a difficult task. There is more to think about than cost or cleanliness of the facility. You have to click with your dentist, and feel at ease in a dentist’s chair that you’ve never sat in before. Reviews and word-of-mouth can tell you which dentists gave the most pleasant and relaxing experiences, or if you’re willing to pay that bit extra, there are often specific surgeries dedicated to patients who are scared or anxious about their trip to the dentist.
NHS or Private?
Unfortunately, dental care isn’t completely covered by the NHS. While it does cut the price considerably and ensure a standard cost for treatments across all surgeries, you still have to pay out for your dental care. However, it begs the question: If you’re paying anyway, could it be worth paying a little extra? This will differ from practice to practice, and how much work you need or want done. It’s also important to be careful when choosing a dentist, as some may not openly advertise whether they are an NHS or private clinic, or whether they have both costs available.
If a dentist asks you for a deposit before your treatment, make sure to remember that you do not need to pay this, and that there is no legal basis whatsoever for you to pay a deposit. In fact, charges ahead of your treatment are not at all permitted, and any charges for missed NHS appointments are also not permitted in any way. This can be a sign of a fraudulent appointment or simply a dental practice acting illegally. If you come across this kind of surgery, make sure to catch up on what it is that you do need to pay, and where you can report this.