Posted by: anglopole | December 1, 2008

I’ve finally been seen by a dentist! Yippee!

Well, no, it’s not that I have been avoiding dentists here in England. On the contrary, actually, it’s taken me over 3 years of queuing to find a dental clinic where me and my family have finally been registered as patients. Of course, we are talking about an NHS clinic. To see a dentist privately will cost you a fortune in the UK and so, I was using my brief visits to Poland to see a dentist until last month a miracle happened!


So, in November we got our first appointment which took place last week and I must say I am quite impressed with this particular clinic and the doctor that we had our appointments with. We had our teeth professionally cleaned and a few dental problems were dealt with. I was even offered a local anaesthetic for the doctor to fill a small cavity he’d found earlier. All this for free, can you imagine?! :-O As they say, all good things come to those who wait right?

It’s all good and dandy, BUT why this mega long wait to find a dentist, huh? Not everyone here has an option of going to Poland every now and then to get their teeth fixed. Surely, the well-off simply pay for dental treatement and do not worry about it. Yet, thousands of people here, who are on lower income simply have to do without seeing a dentist for years… It is a common knowledge here that numbers seeing NHS dentist continues to fall . In the nearest future what we see graphically illustrated in the \’Big Book of British Smiles\’ which appeared in one episode of The Simpsons, is going to be hard not to notice in the streets of Great Britain….


Soon many people will have no teeth to grit while waiting for the mercy of the almighty NHS! 😉

A queue for an NHS dentist!

A queue for an NHS dentist!

Anyway, I had never imagined in the past I would be so thrilled at the prospect of visiting a dentist! I will probably start feeling special as I’ve been accepted in the club of the privileged few who know what an NHS dentist looks like! 😉


  1. I think it’s because of a fairly recent deregulation which enabled dentists to become private affairs and not be obliged to accept ‘NHS’ patients. Obviously this was much more profitable for them, so the majority have switched over. As you say, those who can afford it pay, whilst those who can’t wait, but if you have an emergency I think you can still be seen rapidly at the hospital. I guess there are also insurance schemes available.


  2. You’re right, Adam, it is very much to do with the whole issue of privatisation of dental practices. I would never blame the dentists themeselves as it is only natural for them to go for what’s more profitable for them. Yet, the government cannot on one hand be using the tax payers money to bail out banks that are about to go bust, and on the other refuse to finance NHS dental services… It’s the government and politics that is yet again to be blamed.


  3. What a queue! I used to think that only here you could find queues like that!
    I have lots of friends who live abroad and come to Peru each Christmas season and visit every doctor they need. Just as you used to do every time you visited Poland.
    So it seems this is a global issue.


  4. The thing I admire about the Brits is that they actually like queuing and seem to be very patient while waiting 🙂

    Interestingly, I have just watched a programme on BBC1 Dom’s on the Case: Dentists! In the show, Dom, a popular tv presenter here, was looking for an NHS dentist that would have spaces for people in one town… He had to make over 100 phone calls to dental clinics in the town and the area around it before finding one that was actually going to have some spaces for NHS primary trust patients… In the programme, they also presented some statistics of how many people could survive mouth cancer had they had a chance to visit a dentist regularly. They showed a lucky man who was seen by a dentist just in time to have a huge mouth tumor found and removed successfully…
    How come, NHS like organisations don’t invest more in the prevention of serious illnesses rather than treatment of advanced medical problems?! :-O


  5. yeah what a queue. strange one.


  6. Hmm, Mumbai. Yes that’s tempting at the moment!

    You can blame the government Anglopole, but ultimately its the citizens of the UK who need to take responsibility. They have said nothing whilst these services slip into the private sector as they have always been more than happy to keep taxes low. Ultimately, these are services that you pay for either directly or by taxes or insurance schemes, but as you have pointed out, by organising things this way, it’s the poor and needy who lose out.


  7. I agree with you, Adam. I can see that people do speak out more and more often against the poor availability of NHS dental services, so, perhaps, at some point sth will be done.

    As for going to Mumbai to have ones teeth treated… well, I’d say NO THANKS! I’m happy without any explosive adventures….


  8. British teeth they are very bad. I am thinking their dentists are not well educated. They are lacking the talent of the citizens of the glorious polish people’s republic. They will be eating the dust – and soon this will happen. I am sure.


  9. Hairyquim, what makes you say the British dentists are not well educated? Are you an expert in this area? Have you tested the knowledge and skills of the dentists in the UK? I don’t think you understood what I wrote in this entry of mine… 😦 The problem I am stressing is the inaccessibility of NHS dentists for those, especially, who are on low incomes. The question IS NOT about the skills of the dentists here…


  10. So no I am not expert but I see the British teeth. But everyone know that British people not educated so dentists also not I think. On BBC are many stories. I know in Poland we are having the paedophiles but in Britain they are making sex with own children. There are many examples. Britain bad country. Polish people should be coming home. Mr Tusk is not wrong in this matter.


  11. Well, ‘dear’ Hairyquim (btw. you must have an inferiority complex to use a vulgar word as a nick...) , you live in Poland and it appears you love the country and its politicians. Good for you. You should, perhaps, read blogs about Poland, like: Why bother and read mine since you dislike Britain? As for education, you admitted you’re not an expert, I absolutely agree – you’re not. When you become one, you’ll have the qualifications to judge the education of others! 🙂


  12. Yes I am loving our politicians. Mostly I am loving the Kaczynski boys. I am liking your blog because I want to know more and more about this country where everyone is going. I have been there too. Wantage. It was okay except for the child sex. I dont like that. My qualifications? They are ok – not so bad. I like Lech Poznan.


  13. To answer a question I keep receiving from an internet stalker of mine, I can say I have the same rights to use all services available in the UK as the UK citizents do. It does look like you, my loyal reader, are not acquainted with the EU regulations about free movement and rights of EU citizens in all EU states and this is not really the place for me to explain it. 🙂 However, to put your concerned heart at rest, I can say that my family and I are permanent residents in the UK and soon will hold British passports.
    Moreover, let me repeat what I wrote in my post, just like multitudes of people here, we have been queueing for a few years to get a place in a dental clinic…

    I hope that answers your question.

    (btw. all comments from notorious spammers or rude readers automatically end up in my spam box)


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