View Full Version : DentAid - Dentists need our help!



Lazlo
13-10-05, 09:44 AM
People in the UK are giving more and more generously these days to all manner of charities. The Asian tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, African famine relief, the list goes on.

But there is one group who urgently needs our help. Yes, it's the dentists! Rates of poverty and hardship amongst these fine medical practitioners has skyrocketed in recent years. The facts speak for themselves:

Starting salary for a trainee in public dental health is £24,900.
The average net income for a dentist doing purely NHS work is £47,800.
A dentist in a mixed practice could expect to earn in the region of £62,000.
Link (http://www.learndirect-advice.co.uk/helpwithyourcareer/jobprofiles/profiles/profile426/)

Many denstists need to supplement their daily allowances by doing out-of-hours work.

Said one dentist in Kensington today:

"It's getting harder and harder to make ends meet. I went into my Porsche dealership the other day and asked about the new 911. When I said I was a dentist they just laughed at me."

Another dentist working the mean streets of Surbiton commented:

"Why oh why won't the government listen to us? We may have to go on strike if it goes on like this."

The BMA (doctors and dentists union) refused to comment. Their website says:

"The majority of respondents (84%) do not think that their current salary adequately reflects their skills and workload. Many respondents argue that they are doing the work of a consultant or covering for other colleagues, but are not being rewarded appropriately."
Link (http://www.bma.org.uk/ap.nsf/Content/sascdocden~salary)

An alternative view came from another dentist who did not want to be named for fear of reprisals:

"I studied medicine in order to help people. It would appear that I'm in the minority. I feel that I owe something back to the taxpayers that, after all, educated me for free. I will be continuing in the NHS for the forseeable future."


So, give generously folks! I myself was quoted £120 for an initial consultancy only yesterday and upwards of £123 for a simple filling! Money we should all be more than happy to pay.


After all, it's not as if we have any choice. Is it.

MATTBIN
13-10-05, 09:55 AM
LOL

My dentists have just changed their name from Whitecross (something or other) to The Dental Arts Studio FFS!!!

Also, I have a small investigation to be performed in Jan to see why my mouth looks a bit red and sore, they think its the material used in my fillings. Terrific, so not only do I have to suffer pain and agony, physical and financial, to have the holes filled I now have to resign myself to having sore gums and cheeks for the rest of my life.

Matt

BSH
13-10-05, 11:09 AM
So is the £62K before or after they have paid out assocciated costs of running the practice and paying additional staff ?

I have no problem with my dentist he is great, I used to hate the previous one didn't like him, would cancel at the slightest opportunity. Not with this one, earlier this year I broke a tooth, I phoned the next morning picked up a cancellation for within the hour and wa back at work in an hour and a half, cost me all of £10 I was expecting a bill of nearer £50.

jamesp
13-10-05, 11:13 AM
Whats a dentist?

(have not seen one since free treatment ended with sixth form college. now 36. Last NHS dentist died several years ago, no replacement available, all private now)

Lazlo
13-10-05, 11:16 AM
So is the £62K before or after they have paid out assocciated costs of running the practice and paying additional staff ?

I have no problem with my dentist he is great, I used to hate the previous one didn't like him, would cancel at the slightest opportunity. Not with this one, earlier this year I broke a tooth, I phoned the next morning picked up a cancellation for within the hour and wa back at work in an hour and a half, cost me all of £10 I was expecting a bill of nearer £50.

The phrase is "expect to earn" which I would interpret as a net income.

I think you're very lucky to have a reasonably priced dentist. I have toothache. I cannot get an appointment anywhere for 3 weeks. Some of these mercenaries require that I enter into a monthly plan so I'd be paying even when I didn't need any treatment! The plan would only cover the most basic of treatment. I've heard of NHS dentists who will only take on children if their parents agree to go private with them.

Naturally there will be all levels of profiteering going on. Some of it is reasonable, some definitely not. What makes me annoyed is the way this situation has been allowed to occur. When I was a lad, dental treatment was part of the NHS just like any other kind of ailment.

jamesp
13-10-05, 11:19 AM
The phrase is "expect to earn" which I would interpret as a net income.

I think you're very lucky to have a reasonably priced dentist. I have toothache. I cannot get an appointment anywhere for 3 weeks. Some of these mercenaries require that I enter into a monthly plan so I'd be paying even when I didn't need any treatment! The plan would only cover the most basic of treatment. I've heard of NHS dentists who will only take on children if their parents agree to go private with them.

Naturally there will be all levels of profiteering going on. Some of it is reasonable, some definitely not. What makes me annoyed is the way this situation has been allowed to occur. When I was a lad, dental treatment was part of the NHS just like any other kind of ailment.
Sounds like around here, denplan or bugger all. As for the profiteering, it now takes three visits for a filling. one to tell my father he needs the filing, one to drill the tooth and one to fill the tooth, over three weeks!

BSH
13-10-05, 11:28 AM
I cannot get an appointment anywhere for 3 weeks. When I started with this dentist they were not taking on NHS patients, so I asked to go private, I went private for two or three visits and then they took me on the NHS list, so I suppose I got in the back door. :teeth:

I hear people going on about not being able to get an NHS dentist and even heard reports of them travelling hundreds of miles for treatment if they have moved areas, I just don't understand why they don't pay for it, would be much cheaper in the long run.

We have a guy a work who hadn't been to the dentist for years in the end he has ended up having lots of treatment at the dental hospital and it has still cost him hundreds of pounds and I mean hundreds.

Oh and you think dentists are well paid, I made an appointment to see my Orthopedic surgeon yesterday and his bill will be £120 before anything else is done, that's £120 for about 5mins work. I know which I would rather be :D

Lazlo
13-10-05, 11:37 AM
Oh and you think dentists are well paid, I made an appointment to see my Orthopedic surgeon yesterday and his bill will be £120 before anything else is done, that's £120 for about 5mins work. I know which I would rather be :D

That's for another rant/thread I think. The bills that private doctors charge is a disgrace. But most people don't take notice because it goes through private medical insurance and the end user never sees the bills. We all end up paying in the end though through higher insurance generally.

[Weren't even GPs complaining about their pay a little while ago? I wouldn't mind £100k or so even if I did have to work a few nights.]

I had a private op done once - the surgeon was charging similar rates to what you mention above - including £60 for a 10 minute consultation (I timed it). On the other hand, the anaesthetist's rates were very fair, and so was the 'hotel' (sic) rates for the stay. It was just the surgeon's rates that wound me up.

Phoenix
13-10-05, 01:03 PM
Anyone who needs a major piece of dental work doing should consider having it done in Thailand, the standards in the major practices are very high, all along US lines and the costs are far more reasonable than here. I am sure that you could save money even after paying for flights/accom if you needed some major work done.

Ian

jamesp
13-10-05, 04:15 PM
Oh and you think dentists are well paid, I made an appointment to see my Orthopedic surgeon yesterday and his bill will be £120 before anything else is done, that's £120 for about 5mins work. I know which I would rather be :D
Not really a fair comparison. If you take a look at the training that it takes to reach the level of a consultant surgeon ie life outside work being almost non existent until after the age of 30, with the years in college and exams,remember this guy probably had longer in HIGHER education than most people do in school. I think it likely that they are not as over paid as some. Try main dealer service rates for your car! Bare in mind that most people would be prosecuted for making somone work the hours that junior doctors do, and that is with the new contracts, if they finally make it to consultant, they have earned the money!

malcolm smith
13-10-05, 07:09 PM
Hi Lazio,

The NHS dental service very much needs people like you. I know nothing of your personal circumstances, but you may consider retraining as a dentist?
If not, perhaps suggest it to your friends etc?

All you need are the appropriate A levels, easy these days I understand :-) Then five years at dental school, the student loan scheme/tuition fees etc are very reasonable, take another year for vocational training, then you're there.

Well almost, after several years experience, you may also wish to take on more considerable debt to buy an established dental business------they are businesses I fear, if you don't run it as such, you WILL go bankrupt.
The NHS will shed no tears for you.
Alternatively, you could start up a business from nothing, buy your premises, or rent, equip it all, staff it all, train them all, and off you go.

You can then offer NHS dental treatment to everyone in your area who wants it.

Dentists are in the top 4 of suicide jobs, reason??

After your bankrupcy has expired, is that the right term?-------you can try something else.

It is a tragedy that UK dentist 'commitment' to NHS dentistry is entirely in line with historical government commitment to properly funding it.

Perhaps that's changing now---------see what comes in the next 10years.

On a serious note, there are health authority capitalised access centres that provide emergency only treatment to non-registered patients, you could try them for a quick get out of pain fix.

Good luck, Malcolm.

StuartC
13-10-05, 08:13 PM
If you need dental treatment, or want to find an NHS dentist, contact your local Primary Care Trust - look it up here:

http://www.nhs.uk

They can advise you on any dentists with NHS lists open, or waiting lists.

They can also advise on treatment options if it's urgent/emergency.
Tales of people pulling their own teeth with pliers, because "they couldn't find a dentist" are unfortunately true, but if they'd bothered to ask the NHS they'd have been given some help.

Dentists are like GPs, they're contractors to the NHS. They are partners in their private practice business and get paid fees by the NHS to have a list, and provide medical services etc.

If they're good they can make a profit, and drive a big flash car, but if they're in the wrong area or not good at managing the business, then they go broke and suffer.

The NHS needs to offer salaried contract options if it wants to guarantee services, but the BMA (doctor's and dentist's union) also needs to recognise that some of their members are able to make very substantial profits from the new GMS contracts, and this is partly to blame for the financial state the NHS is in in some areas of the country.

Gavin Yates
13-10-05, 08:48 PM
I'm paid too much: a doctor writes
Mark Jopling
Monday 10th October 2005
By Mark Jopling

I am one of the least qualified, least skilled and lowliest paid doctors in my hospital. My days are spent searching for missing heaps of patient notes, running errands and chasing up blood test results. I am a "junior house officer", a useful but dispensable cog in a vast machine. Despite my humble position, I am paid a whopping £37,000 a year.

If I became a consultant, the taxpayer would be sending me home with about £90,000. Were I to prefer a nine-to-five job as a GP, I would be raking in a fat £100,000 - even more, if I played the system well. The overstretched NHS budget sets aside enough cash to ensure that the doctors' car park is packed with luxury motors, and that we can leave the chaotic communities which throng our hospital for big houses in the charming villages and estates out of town.

We are quick to justify our pay with a battery of compelling arguments: we work hard (I know that from experience); we have big responsibilities (I know that from watching my seniors); we are also well qualified and have to endure a protracted training, both at university and on the job. Teachers, social workers and other professionals in the public sector work long hours, too, however, some of these at home and unrecognised. While people's lives don't depend upon their decisions, life opportunities and security do. It is unfair that our salaries dwarf theirs.

In medicine there has been a long-standing acknowledgement that nurses work hard and are underpaid. A nurse starts on a relatively modest £16,000, and regularly works nights and weekends. It is usually nurses who give patients most support during their stressful stay in hospital. If a nurse reaches the very top and becomes a nurse consultant, he or she will just about earn what I do now. This pay inequality does nothing to ease our occasionally stormy relationship. The unseen, grey-clad auxiliary staff who work so hard to keep the wards clean receive piffling sums. Doctors have succeeded masterfully in condemning such meanness while never questioning the justice of their own salaries.

Amazingly, no one objects to our pay, but then we hide the numbers so well behind a tangle of pay bands and percentages that it is unlikely that anyone really knows the scale of the opulence. And who is going to criticise the pay of such awesome life-savers?

Writing this will certainly earn me a few enemies: doctors enjoy the money they earn and most feel that it is well deserved. They will not appreciate anyone suggesting that their salaries are on a scale that is unjustified, or that it reflects badly upon their motives for joining their profession. To our shame, there has not been so much as a whisper in the medical press questioning the generosity of salaries, only a clamouring for more money.

Could doctors' pay be redistributed to the more stingily paid members of the health professions and other public sector workers to reflect workload, training and responsibility, rather than assumed social standing? Bringing some pay equality into the public sector would thrill those who rightly feel underappreciated. Maybe money freed could go towards more drugs, machines or nurses. There are never enough. (Last week our ward closed due to a shortage of nurses. The doctors and beds sat idle.)

Alternatively, that extra money could be used to address the social deprivations that the medical profession knows are the cause of so much ill-health.

Some doctors would certainly rebel, throw down their scalpels, ditch their stethoscopes or fling their couches from the window. They would go private, go to Australia and go loudly. But when the dust settled, we would be left with the doctors whose motivation is caring for their patients, and there are many of those. The vacancies created would be filled from the queues of doctors who are on the dole and, later, by the hordes of clever sixth-formers desperate to enter medical school.

Doctors often compare their salaries to those for high-flyers in the private sector. This is irrelevant: we are state-funded service providers, and salaries that befitted this role would be more appropriate than the present excess. We do work hard for our patients, but we could serve them even better if we stepped off the golden pedestal where we have allowed ourselves to be placed.

Mark Jopling is on the staff of a hospital in Nottingham

StuartC
13-10-05, 08:58 PM
I'm paid too much: a doctor writes
Mark Jopling
Monday 10th October 2005
By Mark Jopling

[snip]
Could doctors' pay be redistributed to the more stingily paid members of the health professions and other public sector workers to reflect workload, training and responsibility, rather than assumed social standing? Bringing some pay equality into the public sector would thrill those who rightly feel underappreciated. [snip]


The NHS is undergoing a pay review called Agenda for Change, which is laudably intended to ensure staff are paid a comparative salary which is weighted towards the responsibilities, knowledge, experience etc that their job requires.

In principle this sounds great, but in practice it's having a potentially unsettling and demoralising impact upon the workforce.

Job matching panels are reviewing job descriptions and deciding if they match a national job profile, if it does, you slot onto the relevant pay band.
If you're currently earning less, then it's an instant pay rise, whoopee!

If you're earning more than what they match you to, then you're in trouble...
you can appeal, etc, but nobody has completed this process that I know of to judge how successful that route is.

If you don't appeal, or fail in your appeal, then you're pay is frozen until 2011, or until the national pay band catches you up. If you're not sorted by 2011 then you're in for a pay cut. In the intervening period, you won't even get inflationary uplifts, so you're effectively getting a pay cut each year.

How's that for motivating the NHS workforce!

Gavin Yates
13-10-05, 09:04 PM
Stu - merely posting a doctors views.

I did hear about the 4.5% pay claim that docs - via the BMA - are putting in this year.

In Scotland consultants got a 25% pay rise recently and now have put in for an double-inflation rise.

I'm always intersted in doctors views on these issues but other medical professionals as well.

StuartC
13-10-05, 09:11 PM
Stu - merely posting a doctors views.

I did hear about the 4.5% pay claim that docs - via the BMA - are putting in this year.

In Scotland consultants got a 25% pay rise recently and now have put in for an double-inflation rise.

I'm always intersted in doctors views on these issues but other medical professionals as well.

I work within an IT dept, and would be classed as a "Manager" in terms of how much the NHS is spending on managers and not on front-line medical staff....

I don't begrudge folk pushing for the best pay deal they can get, but it can be a bit demoralising when the rules of the game aren't the same for all!

pwood2457
13-10-05, 09:18 PM
[QUOTE=StuartC]The NHS is undergoing a pay review called Agenda for Change, which is laudably intended to ensure staff are paid a comparative salary which is weighted towards the responsibilities, knowledge, experience etc that their job requires.

Agenda for Change, You fail to mention the increase in hours without any extra pay so all our hours are in line (an extra 2 1/2 hours per week).

You fail to mention about the lower paid workers being shafted whilst the consultants get extra thatís your Agenda for Change,

You fail to mention SoR (Union) selling us out.

Sorry for moaning, Bad time to bring up Agenda for Change it stinks

DiveBuddy2
13-10-05, 10:21 PM
My last filling a bonded amalgam cost 123.00 it took approx 25 minutes. I work a whole night shift for that.........................enough said.

dry suit diver
14-10-05, 05:48 AM
[QUOTE=StuartC]The NHS is undergoing a pay review called Agenda for Change, which is laudably intended to ensure staff are paid a comparative salary which is weighted towards the responsibilities, knowledge, experience etc that their job requires.

Agenda for Change, You fail to mention the increase in hours without any extra pay so all our hours are in line (an extra 2 1/2 hours per week).

You fail to mention about the lower paid workers being shafted whilst the consultants get extra thatís your Agenda for Change,

You fail to mention SoR (Union) selling us out.

Sorry for moaning, Bad time to bring up Agenda for Change it stinks




This is also starting to happen in education, thats what a quasi-socialist government does for you.

Lazlo
14-10-05, 10:15 AM
Hi Lazio,

The NHS dental service very much needs people like you. I know nothing of your personal circumstances, but you may consider retraining as a dentist?
If not, perhaps suggest it to your friends etc?

All you need are the appropriate A levels, easy these days I understand :-) Then five years at dental school, the student loan scheme/tuition fees etc are very reasonable, take another year for vocational training, then you're there.

I did several A levels, a couple of 'S' levels (the ones that are HARDER than 'A' levels), got a degree, and since then have spent most of my life re-skilling. If I didn't constantly learn new skills I would be out of a job quicker than you could say "over the hill at 30". My job? I am a software engineer. I currently earn £27000. I have earned more in the past, but that's the nature of private business, there is NO job security.



Well almost, after several years experience, you may also wish to take on more considerable debt to buy an established dental business------they are businesses I fear, if you don't run it as such, you WILL go bankrupt.
The NHS will shed no tears for you.
Alternatively, you could start up a business from nothing, buy your premises, or rent, equip it all, staff it all, train them all, and off you go.

This is called business. Ordinary people do this every day. Unlike most businesses however, once settled, a dentist need never worry about job security ever again. Also I suspect that the vast majority of younger dentists don't start from nothing.



You can then offer NHS dental treatment to everyone in your area who wants it.

Which isn't actually true. NHS dentists have quotas just like other private dentists.



Dentists are in the top 4 of suicide jobs, reason??

No idea. Really.



It is a tragedy that UK dentist 'commitment' to NHS dentistry is entirely in line with historical government commitment to properly funding it.

Perhaps that's changing now---------see what comes in the next 10years.

Agree completely. The NHS in general has been chronically underfunded for many years. People seem to think they deserve something for nothing.



On a serious note, there are health authority capitalised access centres that provide emergency only treatment to non-registered patients, you could try them for a quick get out of pain fix.

Yes, tried that. Once I got through to the single phone line (which serves 175,000+ people) in the York area, I was informed that there were NO dentists available. They could put a dressing on for me, which presumably would have to stay there for 3 weeks.


Good luck, Malcolm.

Thanks :)


So, am I pissed off at dentists in general. Well, a few of them yes. Particularly the ones who charge silly money for simple procedures. £120 for an initial consultation is definitely taking the piss. But no, not all of them. I have since found much a more reasonably priced practice, and unlike many, I have no problem with paying reasonable money for a reasonable service. I don't think they are underpaid in general. If they want to go private, then they should get the same treatment as any other private business offering a service. If staying within the NHS, they deserve a lot more support. That should be the deal.

StuartC
14-10-05, 10:53 AM
The NHS is undergoing a pay review called Agenda for Change, which is laudably intended to ensure staff are paid a comparative salary which is weighted towards the responsibilities, knowledge, experience etc that their job requires.

Agenda for Change, You fail to mention the increase in hours without any extra pay so all our hours are in line (an extra 2 1/2 hours per week).

You fail to mention about the lower paid workers being shafted whilst the consultants get extra thatís your Agenda for Change,

You fail to mention SoR (Union) selling us out.

Sorry for moaning, Bad time to bring up Agenda for Change it stinks

I'm still waiting for my Job Matching outcome.

more than half of my dept that have been matched to a national profile have been put onto protected pay and are going to appeal. Needless to say, morale is not good, but we're still expected to continue striving to deliver on the National Programme for IT.

I fully expect I will end up in the same situation as many of my colleagues, and will have to go through the stress of justifying the minutiae of my job to those who know nothing about it, so that they can match me to a relevant national job profile.

This stinks, and from the "pilot" sites there was only expected to be about 5% of staff in that situation.

I also agree about the changes to working hours, new terms and conditions etc, and the impending review of pensions also has great concern too.

Adding 5 years onto your retirement age as part of a review to modernise the pensions system is taking the p##s too.

BSH
14-10-05, 11:18 AM
Particularly the ones who charge silly money for simple procedures. £120 for an initial consultation is definitely taking the piss.

I was taking about my Orthopedic consultant not the dentist.

Lazlo
14-10-05, 11:19 AM
I was taking about my Orthopedic consultant not the dentist.

I was talking about the quote I got from a dentist.

Either way...

malcolm smith
14-10-05, 05:36 PM
Lazio,

You are right when you say 'this is called business'
As such, a business will charge the market price for it's services.

Silly money?-------you have voted with your feet with the dentist you think is charging too much, that's the market in action.

If he's still in business in a few years, not everyone has made the same value judgement.

There is clearly a shortage of dentists at present, for reasons I understand very well.

There is an even greater shortage of dentists willing to invest their own money into a dental business, as will perhaps become clearer when the likes of me retire.

I am pleased you have found one you are happy with.

All the best, Malcolm.---------dentist since 1977.

schford
14-10-05, 06:40 PM
60k a year is all they earn after years of study - not to mention the stress of setting up and running a business, borrowing capital etc and being an employer in their area.

Damn does not seem a lot to me - would not catch me doing it for that pay. I am suprised they don't charge more.

Stuart

malcolm smith
14-10-05, 08:13 PM
Great post Schford, why then is there such a shortage of dentists!!

Think, what is it like extracting [ripping out in Aus.parlance] a tooth for a well nervous customer?

OK, better than having one ripped out, but still, would you want to make a career of it, plus all of the other less radical fiddly things we do.

If so, get qualified and do it, and enjoy!!

Plus, do it very cheap, and, very very fast!

I don't generally get drawn on diving issues, but boy, I'm fair game on this one :-)

Cheers, Malcolm.

ahar
14-10-05, 09:14 PM
If you need dental treatment, or want to find an NHS dentist, contact your local Primary Care Trust - look it up here:

http://www.nhs.uk

They can advise you on any dentists with NHS lists open, or waiting lists.

They can also advise on treatment options if it's urgent/emergency.
Tales of people pulling their own teeth with pliers, because "they couldn't find a dentist" are unfortunately true, but if they'd bothered to ask the NHS they'd have been given some help.

I rang them up a few times to try and find a dentist. I was told they don't have any NHS dentists available..... and living in London I was a little surpirsed at that answer so checked a few more times before just giving up :(. I haven't managed to get on a list as a regular patient for 5 years and counting ......

Same thing happened for my doctors. Finally managed to get on to a doctors list and was promptly kicked off for moving 5 minutes down the road and 'out of their area'. Despite numerous attempts to get on a doctors list, I have been without an NHS GP for over 2 years. If I can't get on an NHS Dentist or GP list in London, I can't imagine where I might be able to.

NHS? You can stuff it. I've gone private.

ChrisP
15-10-05, 12:11 AM
Despite numerous attempts to get on a doctors list, I have been without a GP for over 2 years.
Your local PCT has an absolute duty to find you a NHS GP. Go back to them and ask and if they really can not find you one, which I doubt, go to your local MP and complain.

ahar
15-10-05, 08:39 AM
Your local PCT has an absolute duty to find you a NHS GP. Go back to them and ask and if they really can not find you one, which I doubt, go to your local MP and complain.

No, I've given up. I use the pay for GP services in London now. I can book in advance (rather than the ridiculous 'ring us in the morning' lark), their opening hours are better than 10am to 4pm with a 2 hour lunch break and they understand people have day jobs and can't just drop everything if you have a minor medical matter. It's worth every penny.