“If you have used up all your NHS units you have to be absolutely transparent and tell the patient that NHS treatment is available elsewhere,” he says.When Catriona threatened to complain, her dentist reluctantly agreed to do two crowns on the NHS, staggered over a period of two months.“The pursuit of money has been prioritised and resulted in manipulation of the system to maximise the dentist’s income.This is minor fraud on a massive scale.” One problem is the shambolic payment system introduced under the current contract, brought in by the Labour government in April 2006.He confirmed I had advanced gum disease – and grounds for legal action.Dr Druian referred me to a private periodontist (gum specialist), with whom I had successful dental surgery last month.In 2005 Ian’s NHS dentist told him he’d have to have a decaying tooth extracted.
Despite my regular appointments with an NHS dentist, the disease had got worse over the years.
But he refused to do the third, which she eventually paid him the £400 to do privately.
“It would have been helpful if he’d referred me to a colleague who could have done it on the NHS instead of treating me like an annoyance,” she says.
Salaried on a complex system of “units of dental activity,” dentists are allocated a certain number of units annually by NHS England.
If a dentist has used up all their units, they are no longer guaranteed payment for carrying out NHS treatment.