An Open Letter To My NHS Dentist

To all the regular readers I apologise for the following.  It is no relation to e-commerce, but it is me venting my frustration I experienced over the weekend.  Normal service will resume next week.  Regardless I hope you still find the following at least entertaining if not informative.  Thanks.

“Dear Dr Cretin

If I charged one of my clients for a service which they then found out they were not receiving two things could happen.  I would potentially get sued.  I would also never get the chance to do work for them again.  That is a given.  So I would like to ask you a question.  On Friday 15th February I came to you for a normal 6 month checkup at 9:00am.  By 09:02am I was walking back to my car with the only instructions being “See you in six months”…I can inform you that is most certainly not going to happen, I fear for my own health far too much for that…but more about that later.

Later that same day I started to get a niggling tooth ache in the lower part of my right jaw.  At first I thought it was maybe because you had scraped between my teeth so hard you thought you might find oil…I then remembered you charge £17.50 for 2 minutes work, Oil for you would be a step backwards in the finance stakes.  I had to take painkillers just so the pain would subside enough so I could sleep that night.  Sadly 3 hours later once my pain killing time was up I was awoken by untouchable pain back in the bottom right side of my mouth…

Unable to sleep I lay there as long as I could before I was driven to get up, find more painkillers and hope that there would be some sort of help line on your voicemail.  After listening to the voicemail twice due to the arguing Dalek in the background making it very hard to decipher what on earth was being said, I managed to decode a number.  With a glimmer of hope I rang the number.  The glimmer was short-lived.

The lady on the phone couldn’t understand why I was ringing her as I did not fall under her ‘jurisdiction’ as I do not live in Heywood or Middleton.  Terrific.  Luckily I managed to convince her to find out who I should ring.  Thankfully she was able to complete this simple request.

Now on my merry way I ring the new number.  The lady is a little more helpful and is actually now asking me about my toothache and after assuring her I wasn’t pregnant she confirmed that a clinical nurse would ring me back in an hour.

True to her word 40 minutes later I received a call back.  I told my story again and after giving her my ‘pain rating’ out of 10…I gave a rather honest an a bit on the soft side score of 8.  She said that as I had had a checkup the day before that my dentist i.e yourself may have caught part of my gum when scraping and polishing…(she must know you well) and that the gum may have become slightly inflamed.  She then advised I take painkillers all weekend and if it still hurts then to give you a call on Monday.  As you can imagine, this was not the response I was hoping for.

Out of desperation I rang my mothers dentist.  She has been a private patient at a dental surgery for a long time and very luckily managed to pull a few strings to get me seen that morning.

I hope you are still paying attention as this is the bit which you should find interesting.  As far as me being one of your patients this is where the final nail in the coffin comes from.  All through this next part please keep in the fore front of your mind, that this Dentist has no obligation to see me, no obligation to offer me any advice let alone treatment.

I go in to see him and after thanking him profusely for even seeing me I explain to him the pain I am having.  As soon as he looks in my mouth he immediately announces he doesn’t like the look of my tooth at the back.  He pokes it with his metal stick (im sure it has a name) and I flinch.  He immediately sets up for me to have an X Ray to look closer at the tooth.  What the X-Ray shows is quite alarming.  I have since alerted Professors Brian Cox and Stephen Hawking that I have found the super massive black hole at the centre of our galaxy.  It was hiding in my wisdom tooth the whole time.

black hole

In all seriousness, this was not a small hole, so much so, the X-ray showed that the nerve was exposed.  This is what caused the pain.  The tooth now needs to be removed which suits me fine.  The dentist I went to see Saturday morning, X-ray’d my mouth, numbed it with an injection and then proceeded to treat it to stop the pain.  I was in his chair longer than I have been in your’s for the past 7 years.

The thing that bothers me most is, he knew just by looking at that tooth that there was a problem, yet just 24 hours earlier, you had completely missed it.  I have checked with a scientist and am reliably informed that despite appearances the hole was not a ‘black hole’ and hadn’t spontaneously appeared but is something that has occurred over a long period of time.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this.  I mean I am really seriously contemplating sending this formally to the NHS as I do wonder what on Earth is going unnoticed to your other patients.  I would argue that someone on football wages should be providing a service better than what I have received from yourself over the years.

So in conclusion you have lost a client.  Yes it will cost me more in the long run to move to a private dentist, but if that means any problems are prevented before they get to the stage I am at now, then that is a price I am willing to pay.  Thanks for the memories over the years, not fond ones granted but memories none the less.

I won’t see you in six months


2 replies
    • DaveF
      DaveF says:

      Ouch, that sounds nasty, my nerve was just exposed and it hurt like hell, luckily the new guy numbed my whole right side of my face before he started fixing it. Temporary though as it needs to come out…How the original dentist didnt notice the problem though is just baffling. Makes you wonder how often these dentists are checked on etc


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *