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Dentistry & Oral Health - Toothpick
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What Dentistry can be done on the NHS?

My husband was told at his first examination by his new NHS Dentist today, that he couldn't have a bridge done on the NHS.

He is having a Crown done under a band 3 charge.

Should the Bridge be done as part of the same treatment plan as the Crown or would it be a seperate Band 3 job, and consequently charge, or is the Dentist correct that the NHS won't do Bridges at all?

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Hi sharon I do t understand this as I had bridge done 4 weeks ago on nhs band 3 unfortunately it fell out of my mouth 3 weeks later but was put back I'm hoping it doesn't fall out again gave me major stress when that happened as upper middle front tooth

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I meant to say I was a bit confused by what you ‘bridge’ actually is, when I replied the other day. How many teeth does the ‘metal bit’, as you call it, go over?

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I was talking about a fitting which is a false tooth attached to a crown either side. The good teeth either side of the gap have to be crowned and the false tooth replaces the one that was lost. The fitting looks like three teeth. There is no "metal bit".

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Hi I had a false tooth put in the middle of two other top teeth fixed in by a metal bit on end of a tooth n cemented in I was told it was a bridge it was done on nhs band 3

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When I say a metal bit it's a silver bit attached to the new false tooth n slots in between two of my good teeth n is cemented in

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Pushed up high into gum

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Had this done twice as first one fell straight out second time done last week dentist said he would put more filler in which is what he did

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Sounds more like a denture. Do you take it out for cleaning?

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No it's not meant to come out lasts 5 years or more I was told by my nhs dentist

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I had partial denture for a few months before this was fitted n cemented in that came out to clean as it fitted into the gap on a small plastic plate with one tooth on

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My partial denture came out which had one tooth on it fitted into gap n I had that for several months until the gap was ready to be filled by a bridge n that's what I was told

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Are there different types of bridges I wouldn't know I'm not a dentist I'm going by what my actual nhs dentist told me. My next check is in October

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Lol. Yes there are different types of bridges. Usually the two (good) teeth either side of the gap are ground down to form stumps, or preps, as we call them. On top are made two crowns and a crown in the middle to fill the gap. Or, and this maybe yours, the crown is made to fill the gap and there are two ‘wings’ coming out from it which is cemented to the back of the good teeth on the inside of them. It looks like a butterfly wings. By the way your description the only other thing is, you say ‘slots’ in your teeth. Could be, again, what we call, precision attachments. Which is unusual. whatever, let’s hope it stays in this time 😃

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It depends where the ‘bridge’ is. Is it spanning back teeth? In which case, probably not as just replacing one tooth would not be deemed necessary to make you ‘dentally fit’. Which is the criteria for nhs work. You are lucky the dentist did a crown on the nhs nowadays, as lots (try not to😉) don’t. But the best thing to do is if your husband is concerned about the gap (is it a recent loss?) is to ask the dentist about different treatment options.

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The missing tooth is a molar and the bridge would be fixed to a pre-molar and a molar. An Implant is too expensive and a denture not worthwhile for one tooth.

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Ah. Won’t get done then. It probably won’t cause a problem you see. And as you say, not worth having a denture for one tooth.

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Well, unless you pay privately of course. Or you could have a flexible, side plate, denture but that would be private too

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Depends on the tooth that is to be replaced by the bridge - is it a front tooth or a back tooth? how many teeth is your husband missing already?

Basically, NHS dentistry is to restore 'form and function' with a tiny bit of aesthetic (not cosmetic) work (e.g. if a front tooth is missing, we will replace it for obvious reasons).

So we have to justify spending NHS money (yes, your fee is subsidised) to carry out work.

Hence, if your husband has a mouth full of teeth and he is able to function perfectly well, then a bridge is not indicated despite a missing tooth - of course, he can have this replaced privately. Front teeth will be replaced for obvious reasons.

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Thank you for your reply. As you are "in the trade" so to speak do you mind answering another question for me?

My son has a tooth that his dentist said needs a root canal - it has been giving him trouble for months - but would only refer him to a private dentist saying that the NHS won't do it because it needs a "specialist".

Is this likely to be correct or is someone just out to make money?

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Could be that your sons tooth anatomy is just too complex for a normal dentist!

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