Home Health No wonder you can’t get an NHS dentist appointment! Outrage as taxpayer-funded medics are doling out Botox and lip fillers for up to £400 a pop

No wonder you can’t get an NHS dentist appointment! Outrage as taxpayer-funded medics are doling out Botox and lip fillers for up to £400 a pop

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A different type of filling. NHS clinics offer cosmetic procedures such as Botox and dermal fillers, while scores of patients struggle to access basic dental care in what unions warn is a growing trend of dentists needing to offer such treatments for

NHS dentists face backlash for selling Botox and lip fillers for up to £400.

MailOnline found practices across the country flogging cosmetic treatments, including one offering a “facial slimming treatment”.

It comes amid an increasingly worsening dental appointment crisis in the NHS.

Desperate patients have endured gigantic queues until 4 in the morning in search of care.

Some have flown to war-torn Ukraine in search of cheaper private dentistry, while others have turned to household tools for do-it-yourself treatments.

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John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance think tank, said: “When patients struggle to get a spot available for basic dentistry, they may wonder how there are so many spots available for cosmetic treatments.

‘As long as taxpayers are provided with the basics, clinics should be able to look for additional sources of income.

“But the first priority is to ensure good quality dentistry is available to adults and children in every corner of the UK.”

But dentists and patient advocacy groups say dentists are not to blame.

How much will NHS dentistry cost now?

There are 3 bands of NHS charges with the new prices coming in from April 1st:

Band 1: £26.80

It covers an examination, diagnosis and advice. If necessary, it also includes x-rays, scaling and polishing, and subsequent treatment planning.

Band 2: £73.50

It covers all treatments included in Band 1, plus additional treatments such as fillings, root canals and tooth removal (extractions).

Band 3: £319.10

It covers all treatments included in Bands 1 and 2, as well as more complex procedures such as crowns, dentures and bridges.

Instead, they argue that offering these types of cosmetic treatments is one of the only ways underfunded NHS dental services can “keep the lights on”.

Twyford Dental Care, in Berkshire, has “some funding” for NHS patients after “core” services.

but pPatients there can get a lip filler for £400, and even a “facial slimming treatment” using a muscle inhibitor for £1,000.

All Smiles Dental Care in Essex is another NHS provider that offers some cosmetic treatments such as dermal fillers for £250 each.

Meanwhile, West Kensington NHS Dental Care offers Botox and dermal fillers for up to £350 each, alongside its health services treatments.

Some clinics that boasted about accepting new NHS patients, such as Wandsworth Dental Centre, are selling Botox for as little as £150.

MailOnline also found other centers accepting NHS patients, such as Dental Beauty Islington and Morden Dental Practice, which offer cosmetic treatments, although they did not list their prices.

The Toothless campaign group in England, which advocates for “an NHS dentist for everyone”, said the situation was “unfortunate but inevitable”.

A lack of funding for NHS dentistry has forced some to expand into the lucrative aesthetics sector, according to Mark Jones, its campaign coordinator.

He told MailOnline: ‘Patients who desperately need dental treatment will rightly feel aggrieved to see local services withdrawn in favor of cosmetic procedures.

‘Despite all the empirical evidence showing that providing good oral health care is cost-effective for the NHS, successive governments have failed patients, dentists and the NHS by failing to ensure that adequate financial reward is included in the current dental contract (GDS).

‘Dental practices can’t be blamed for exploring markets where offering new services makes financial sense.

“One of the aims of the Toothless in England campaign is to see radical reforms to the GDS contract so that NHS dental surgeries become more common again in our communities.”

Liberal Democrat health and social care spokesperson Daisy Cooper MP said examples uncovered on this website showed the NHS dental care system was “completely broken”.

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“Something has gone horribly wrong if it is easier to get an appointment for cosmetic dental treatment than a check-up at your local NHS dental surgery,” he said.

‘People are clamoring for more NHS dental appointments and our hard-working dentists want to treat more NHS patients.

‘But this Conservative government’s broken dental contract is letting both patients and dentists down by failing to fix this mess. It is time for them to act.”

Preet Kaur Gill, shadow minister for primary care and public health, also criticized the situation as an example of “conservative mismanagement” of NHS dentistry.

“For 14 years, the Government has promised to reform the obsolete contract and has not fulfilled it,” he said.

“As a result, dentists are leaving the NHS in droves.”

Shawn Charlwood, chair of the British Dental Association (BDA) general dental practice committee, said practices had provided a mix of private and NHS work since 1948.

However, he added that years of underfunding of NHS dentistry meant that more and more dentists were turning to private work to “keep the lights on”.

“Private work is increasing because this Government has not offered this service a credible rescue plan,” he said.

‘Practices dedicated to providing care for the NHS have been left at a loss, relying on private income to keep the lights on and the rent paid.

‘This is not the 19th century. “Ministers should not expect any health professional to act like a charity.”

Figures show 24,151 dentists worked in the NHS in England in 2022-23, down from 24,272 in the previous financial year, a fall of 121 year-on-year.

No wonder you cant get an NHS dentist appointment Outrage

A different type of filling. NHS clinics offer cosmetic procedures such as Botox and dermal fillers, while scores of patients struggle to access basic dental care in what unions warn is a growing trend that dentists need to offer such treatments to “maintain light on”.

The total is also around 500 fewer than the number of dentists who carried out health services work in 2019-20, the last year before the Covid pandemic broke out.

The BDA fears that the numbers could fall further, to below 24,000, a figure that has not been recorded since 2014-15.

NHS dentist attendance figures for both adults and children plummeted during the Covid pandemic as practices closed as part of lockdown rules and stopped offering treatments.

But it has not managed to recover even though the darkest days of the pandemic are now in the past.

Industry experts suggest this is because offering NHS treatment is not as lucrative as going private.

The old NHS contracts for dentists paid them for batches of work carried out rather than for individual treatments, regardless of how complicated a particular case might be.

In practice, this meant that NHS dentists were paid the same for treating a patient who needed 10 fillings as a patient who needed just one.

This resulted in dentists sometimes losing money when treating NHS patients, as remuneration did not cover the costs of the procedure.

While this contact has now been reformed, the BDA estimates that thousands of NHS dentists left or greatly reduced their work in the NHS after the pandemic.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We have worked closely with the British Dental Association and others to reform the dental contract in 2022, including paying dentists more for treating more complex patients.”

‘As a result, we have seen improvements: 1.7 million more adults and 800,000 more children visited the dentist last year compared to 2022.

“We continue this work with the industry to develop new reforms that appropriately reflect the different care needs of patients, fairly remunerate practices and expand and support the NHS dental workforce.”

The spokesperson also highlighted the Government’s recently announced £200m dental recovery plan.

This will offer dentists cash incentives to take on new NHS patients and provide £20,000 of golden handshakes for dentists to work in so-called ‘dental deserts’ in a bid to secure an extra 2.5 million appointments over the next anus.

The outline plan, unveiled 10 months after it was promised, was criticized by dental bosses and politicians for not going far enough.

The BDA has said this would amount to “rearranging the sun loungers” and will not bring the desired and much-needed change.

Named dental practices were also contacted for comment.

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