Is NHS or Private Dental Care better?

The continuing debate about NHS and Private dentists and the treatment they offer

There has been a lot of debate over recent years about whether the NHS provides adequate dental care, or whether it is better to ‘go private’. As with many of these debates there are, of course, pros and cons to both sides. Many dentists have gone over to providing more private care and whilst some of this may have been for financial rewards, many have claimed that it also makes their work much more rewarding as they get to perform many procedures which they otherwise would not. As well as this, their patients can finally get the smile that they desire rather than simply a ‘repair’ job.

NHS Dentistry

NHS dentistry has been popular for a long time and has provided families with good quality dental care that most of their ancestors would not have had. Prior to the NHS coming into being, many people would simply have lost teeth that would now, quite easily be saved. Most of the procedures available on the NHS are designed to look after the health of a patient’s teeth and whilst this is the most important factor, it may well not be enough in this day and age. Perhaps people have started to take this for granted and want more than the NHS, with its limited budget, can offer them. Fillings, extractions, crowns and the like certainly fulfil many of the requirement to look after oral health, but, with access to the ins and outs of the lifestyles of those who can afford it, many people are now looking to private dental care to not only look after the health of their teeth, but also their appearance.

Private Dental Health Care

Although perceived as being more expensive, there is little doubt that private health providers are able to offer a wider range of dental procedures than can be offered on the NHS. These enable the dentist to ensure that the patient’s teeth can look as good as is possible, as well as maintaining their health. Whilst many of these procedures, such as teeth whitening, can be seen as being entirely ‘cosmetic’, many are also excellent from a medical perspective. A good example of this are dental implants which offer not only a good looking alternative for a lost tooth but are extremely strong and long lasting too. Amalgam fillings, those metallic grey teeth that we show when we smile, can also be a thing of the past and many private dentists now offer the option of tooth coloured fillings which mean that it is hard to detect when a filling is present. Many dentists have also ventured even further afield and provide cosmetic procedures such as Botox or offer solutions to problematic headaches which can be caused by dental problems rather than directly by stress or other factors. While the NHS should be applauded for the work it has done, over the years, to keep our country’s teeth in good shape, it is likely that more and more private dental practices will be seen on our high streets as people become more aware of the possibilities that are now available to make their teeth look great and not ‘just’ healthy.