We’re getting a lot of questions about ‘walk-in’ dentists, from users wanting a one off treatment, whether or not they have a regular dentist. Toothpick co-founder and dentist in residence Sandeep explains why this is false term and why the misconception that you have to be registered, which is affecting patient outcomes, namely long waiting times and paying too much for their dental care.
Since April 2006, the NHS dental contract has been based on providing treatment, rather than on going care. The process of patient registration was removed which means that once a course of treatment is completed (even its just 1 visit) there is no formal obligation for a dentist to offer another NHS dental appointment to that patient. This meant that when a dental practice has completed its NHS targets, they can switch to only offering private dental care.
Do I need to register?
No. This means you are free to see any dentist you wish. The records your dentist makes are stored for many years and on very rare occasions can be requested from the previous dentist. X rays in dentistry are very safe and so taking regular X rays is common in dentistry. This means when you see a new dentist they can carry out a clinical examination and take X rays when necessary to help with creating the right treatment for you.
Do I need to bring my records and X rays?
No. Your X rays and records are not required when you see a new dentist. If you see a specialist dentist for complex treatment then the dentist who referred you will be able to share the relevant information to help.
Can I see any dentist I want?
Yes. What is critical is that you find a dentist based on your own choice. Clearly making that decision is based on location and price factors but the age, gender and appointment availability of the dentist all help to make a good patient and dentist match, which is an important part of building a long term relationship with your new dentist.
Word of mouth is particularly common way for new patients to locate a new dentist and is recommended as a good place to start. If you are new to an area, simply looking for a new dentist or seeking cosmetic dental treatment then by using www.toothpick.com you are free to find a local dentist of your choice which also allows you to make an instant booking online.
Do I need to tell my previous dentist that I’m leaving?
No. As there is no formal contract between you and your dentist you are not expected to advise them you are not returning.
3 Top tips to finding a dentist
- Choose a dentist who has been recommended or can read online reviews for.
- Don’t be afraid to check the prices as they vary considerably in different parts of the country.
- You are not stuck with your dentist. Moving is super simple and finding a dentist you are happy with will encourage regular future visits.