Frequently Asked Questions

New Patients

There are three ways in which you can register as a patient:  by visiting us in person, by making a request on our website form or by telephone.

Yes! We have increased the hours we work during the week and taken on another part-time associate to meet the increasing demand for treatment. We have  unlimited spaces for new Denplan and independent/private patients. We are limited as a practice as to how much NHS work we can perform. This is a contractual agreement with NHS England which is closely monitored and is not open to easy renegotiation. For this reason we monitor very carefully how much NHS work we are able to provide .

We have a waiting list should you wish to join the NHS however, both our Denplan and Independent lists are not subject to the same restrictions and are currently open. It is possible to have an exam in any of these plans within a week.

As previously stated, we have a contractual agreement for a precise amount of NHS work we are able to provide to the public. All primary dental services delivering NHS treatment operate this way in England and Wales. This was based on previous years of performance (10 years ago!) within the NHS when neither Mr Hickleton or Mr MacDougall had any control. Patients sometimes move away from the area so a slow stream of new patient intake is possible but there is no mechanism in place to account for an increasing population with a greater dental need.

Bring your toothbrush and a list of any dental products that you use on a regular basis. We ask that you use our knowledge to your advantage. We are a preventative practice and prevention starts with what you use every day, we are more than happy to advise as to the suitability of your products.

Bring a list of your current medication and if possible, the reasons why.  You could simply bring in your repeat prescription if you are not sure.

In certain circumstances, NHS treatment is exempt from payment. Evidence of exemption will be required. We are not here to police this payment plan, and if evidence is not provided, the NHS will check the validity of this claim. Fraudulent or even erroneous claims will be found and penalised. This sits firmly in the terms and conditions of the NHS.

Visiting Our Practice

We try our utmost to see everyone on time. Currently we have an average waiting time of just over six minutes.   Some people are often seen ahead of time. We do ask that patients arrive a few minutes in advance of their allotted time so that if we are running ahead of time we can see you early. If you are more than half the allotted surgery time late for an appointment, we may ask you to reappoint as otherwise we will overrun into the next patient’s appointment. If you are running late please  try to let us know as soon as possible as it may be possible to juggle appointments around so that you can be seen.

At a first examination, after your details have been entered into our database, we will run through your medical history for any dental implications. We will ask you for any reasons you may have for your attendance and then commence on a intra- and extra-oral examination. Where necessary , radiographic examination may be required to aid in any diagnosis. As we are digital, the results do not take long.

A brief discussion will be made to conclude the visit, indicating our opinion on how often you should attend and what if any, why and when you should have as treatment. Please ask us if you are unsure of anything we cover. We are here to help. Scale and polishes can also be done in this appointment as well as temporary treatment. We must point out that the “scale and polish“ is a minor treatment no more invasive than a thorough toothbrushing. It is given when you have “dropped the ball “ on your cleaning and puts you back on track. Anything that involves gingival pathology, is not a scale and polish and will require more extensive treatment.

For all our patients, we try our hardest for them to see the same dentist. This allows patients to develop a rapport with their dentist which we feel is important. The NHS does not stipulate that dentist and patient has this relationship. From time to time we may have to, and reserve the right to transfer a patient from one dentist’s care to another.

We realise that not everyone has the option of visiting their dentist during working hours. For this reason we offer late night appointments to both Denplan and Private patients on a Wednesday until 7 pm by appointment only.

Unfortunately, yes it does matter because a mask does not shield anyone from cold viruses or active cold sore viruses. Most colds are contagious for the first week and it is perfectly reasonable to cancel because of this. This will stop the passing on the virus to your dental team, potentially putting them off work and affecting treatment of others and the more dangerous possibility of passing your virus to the immunocompromised or aged who can can suffer more.  Give yourself a week or so and then see us.

Yes you can, and we would appreciate as much advance notice as possible so that we can offer your appointment to someone else.  Multiple cancellations less than twenty four hours may risk your status at the practice.

Privacy

In short, yes. It is a lawful obligation that requires any practitioner asked to examine the patient the right to this information. Without this information, a full diagnosis can not be achieved and is therefore not in the best interest of the patient. It is practice policy to refuse examinations with incomplete medical forms.

Certain medications can effect the mouth in different ways.  False conclusions can be made on limited knowledge of currents medications taken. Medications can also cross react with others commonly used in dental treatment.

NHS patients consent to external NHS examination bodies. Governing bodies such as the CQC have the power of attorney to also access dental notes taken for anyone. No information is given to insurance brokers.

We won’t comment or criticize and we don’t want to be seen as being nosey. Drinking and smoking and recreational drugs for that matter play a strong role in the health of an individual. History taking indicates risk factors for gum disease and oral cancers. Identifying such risk factors helps target a proper screening programme for the individual so that detection is made as soon as possible. Early detection really can save lives, so the more we know, the more accurate our future services can be.

Contact Us
18 Ilfracombe Gardens,
Whitley Bay,
NE26 3SL
0191 252 1155
Opening Hours
Monday 8.30am – 5.30pm
Tuesday 8.30am – 5.30pm
Wednesday 8.30am – 5.30pm
Thursday 8.30am – 5.30pm
Friday 8.30am – 4.00pm
Appointments
Quick and easy online booking form

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