Dentistry & Oral Health - Toothpick
745 members160 posts

Advice on NHS dental treatment


I am looking for advice on my recent NHS dental treatment.

In early July I visited my NHS dentist due to a mild tooth ache. My dentist diagnosed a cracked filling. During the replacement of the filling the dentist noticed that the actual tooth was cracked but completed the filling as normal, the glands on that side of my face were also swollen. I was informed the filling should settle down within a couple of weeks and the gland swelling subside.

The swelling of the gland did not subside and the tooth didn't feel right. I returned to the dentist and an x-ray was taken but he could not see a problem with the tooth, I asked about the swollen gland and he refered me to a local hospital as he beleived the issue was not related to my teeth. I was informed to contact him if I had't received a hospital appointment in 4 weeks.

I didn't receive an appointment notification and contacted the dental surgery on a couple of occasions and I was informed I just had to wait until the hospital contacted me. After 8 weeks of no hospital appointment I returned to the dentisit as my gum had a slight swelling and I was sure there was something wrong with the tooth as my glands were still swollen. The dentist did a tap test and I was informed the tooth was dead and I would need root canal treatment. He wasn't keen on completing the procedure and wanted to refer me to a specialist but he did agree to do the work.

The root canal procedure was completed yesterday and after 1 hour in the chair and the roots being drilled an x-ray was taken. I was then informed that root canal treatment would not work as the bone holding the tooth had decayed. The tooth was then extracted. I have received my hospital appointment for 2 weeks time and the dentist advised me to still attend although he beleives the swallon gland was due to the cracked tooth after all.

I am concerned that I have had to have a tooth extraction that could have been prevented if the dentist had picked up the problem after the initial filling did not work. Does the treatment I have received seem satisfactory or should I make a complaint. The x-ray taken n July did not show the damage to the bone so I can only presume the damage has been caused by the infection within the tooth over the subsequent weeks.

Thanks for any advice

5 Replies

I forgot to add, I was given antibiotics on my second visit but these had no affect on the swollen glands.

1 like

I would definitely complain. My daughter had the same thing happen. She complained, an investigation was completed and outcome was that she lost a tooth due to negligence.

I would find a new dentist!!!

1 like

What was the outcome of the complaint being upheld. I am now in a situation of having bridge work completed by the same dentist on the NHS or paying privately for a dental implant which is very expensive.


davephi338 First of all the Dentist should of

Xrayed the cracked tooth and filling to see if any infection at tbe very fist visit.

You can complain to the practice manager in email or writting

to move forward.

I personally would go to a new dentist check the local ones in your area Quality care commision will state when the dentists were last inspected for

good procedure and hygiene.

Go to and search

Private v NHS as there is not a lot in it anymore but bridges would be more expensive .Check the General Dental Council Register

which you can searvh dentist by name and qualifications you can also search for specialist too.

Good luck with your teeth.

Always try to get second opinion if you

can whenever unfortunately NHS dentist will always do the bare minimum.

Where as private will make time

with the patient.

Hope you get better results from

now on.


When on the first visit the dentist told you the tooth was cracked, did they explain the consequences of this?

Cracked teeth are impossible to treat, not with a filling or a crown or root canal, so the fact you lost the tooth was inevitable. However, this should have been explained to you and sounds like your dentist didn't communicate your diagnosis to you properly.


You may also like...