Most people that grew up in the UK will be familiar with the dental treatment available for a reduced charge on the National Health Service, but not everyone will know about the other services on offer if you would like to improve the appearance of your teeth, not just their health. Although all dentists will have the basic skillset to help with various different regular treatments, such as extractions and fillings, not every surgeon will be trained to provide services like veneer fitting and use of dental implants. Let’s take a look at some of the different professionals that work within the world of dentistry.
Cosmetic dentists – This is probably the most expensive type of dental treatment you can receive, it is not usually available on the NHS and costs thousands of pounds for things like veneers and implants. A slightly cheaper cosmetic procedure is teeth whitening, which should be available for three or four hundred pounds, but that still won’t be paid for by National Health. It takes a lot of skill to become a cosmetic dentist and provide high quality restorations for patients, which is why it costs a lot of money to acquire.
Emergency dentists – If you have never experienced dental trauma and you don’t have any on-going problems that required regular attention, then you may not realise that there are twenty-four hour clinics available to help in case you injure your teeth. It’s not always easy to tell the difference between a dental emergency and something that needs to be treated by a doctor; so many surgeries operate a phone line to run alongside the clinic, to make sure all patients have access to help and support if they need it. It is not strictly necessary to be registered with a certain surgery or even to let them know you are on your way if you have an accident, but it can help if all your personal information is already in the system, otherwise you will have to provide this upon arrival.
General dentists – Your regular dentist will have a wide range of skills at their disposal because they have to be prepared for whatever complaints come through the door. If the patient is in a more difficult condition they may have to be referred to a specialist, but minor surgical procedures and general cleaning can be carried out as part of a scheduled appointment. This is the type of dentistry that most people will probably be familiar with because it is free of charge to people under the age of eighteen and available at a reduced cost to those older.
Periodontists – This comes from the Greek word meaning ‘around the teeth’ and it refers to a dentist that works specifically with the tissue and bone that surrounds the teeth, most commonly treating things like gum disease or infection. When gum disease reaches its more difficult stages it is known as periodontitis and it needs to be treated by a specialist in order to get the bacteria under control – even though your regular dentist may be able to help with minor cases of infection, it is best to refer extreme cases to a periodontist before it starts to take its toll on oral health. Gum disease can lead to significant tooth loss and even more serious health problems so it needs to be treated at an early stage, while the germs are fewer in number.
Orthodontists – Dentists who work with braces to help align their patients teeth are known as orthodontists; this means they use various appliances, such as aligners or metal brackets and wires, to bring the teeth into a better position – for improved oral health and aesthetics. This type of treatment is free on the NHS if you are under the age of eighteen, but beyond that you will have to pay for it and it can be quite expensive. A lot of people who would like to improve their teeth in this way turn to dental loan companies to arrange payment; this means they can break down the lump sum into a more affordable amount – sometimes as little as a pound a day for the very latest orthodontic devices.
Endodontists – This is another Greek word that means ‘inside the tooth’; dentists that specialise in this area will work to combat conditions affecting the central pulp chamber, where the blood vessels and nerve endings are stored to keep the tooth sensitive. If infection penetrates this area somehow – usually through decay or trauma – then a root canal filling needs to be performed to stop the bacteria from spreading below the gum line. Although normal dentists will be trained in this area, it will need to be referred to an endodontist if the condition is very serious and the bacteria are out of control. Endodontists can also perform apicectomies, which are slightly more surgical than root canals and can be more complicated to carry out.
That really depends on the type of dental treatment you are thinking about; cosmetic treatments tend to be much more expensive because they are typically carried out by privately run clinics and they require a lot of training to be done properly, whereas a simple check-up or filling with an NHS facility will be relatively cheap because of the pricing structure they work around. There are dental loans available if you would like some sort of cosmetic treatment but you can’t afford it and you would need to speak to your dentist about this before you begin to arrange surgery.
To learn more about the loan plans available or the treatments on offer in the Kingston area of London, call the Pearl Dental Clinic on 0208 547 9997 and speak to a member of the team; our surgery has a great reputation for supplying the very best dental treatment at reasonable prices, contact us today to see if you could benefit from their services. We also offers twenty-four hour emergency appointments to both registered and unregistered patients and general maintenance for registered patients.