New study finds that over 400000 people visit their GP every year with dental problems.
Dentists don’t study for 5 years and practice for years upon years for patients to phone a GP when their teeth and gums get sore. More and more Brits are making a beeline for their GP when they encounter problems with their teeth instead of calling a dentist, but why? Today on the blog, we look at why people are choosing to do this. We’re also looking at how it negatively impacts our healthcare services.
GP’s can’t help you.
It’s really that simple. Dentists are the only ones who can take a proper look at your teeth and gums to see what the problem is. All a GP will do for you is make a recommendation that you see a dentist. At most, they might prescribe some pain medicine if you feel like you need it.
Going to your GP should be avoided in a dental emergency. While doctors are able to treat for multiple illnesses, they are unable to treat problems with your teeth and gums. So if you call a doctor when it should really be a dentist, you are taking valuable appointment time away from someone who might be genuinely ill, who needs medical treatment from a GP. GPs already see over one million patients in the UK every day. There is an increasing number of patients waiting more than a week to see a GP. Going to the doctors with dental problems isn’t the best use of GP’s time.
On top of that, if you go to your GP in hope of a pain medication prescription, this is an additional, unnecessary cost to the NHS. Over the counter pain relief is available from most supermarkets, convenience stores and pharmacies for as little as 16p! If you can avoid relying on a prescription for pain medicine, we encourage you to do so.
Finding an NHS dentist is becoming more challenging.
We understand that some people feel like they have no option but to call a GP. It is becoming harder and harder to register with NHS dentists. Many people are being forced to travel as far as 70 miles to see a dentist. This is a result of continued cuts to the NHS, which unfortunately seems like it will only worsen over the next few years. As a result, Brits are avoiding seeing the dentist all together and therefore have nowhere to go if they do encounter a dental emergency.
Combatting the problem.
Doctor’s surgeries are being urged to avoid booking in patients with dental ailments. Anyone who does try to book an appointment for a dental problem at a will most likely be referred to an appropriate alternative, such as a local dental hospital or NHS 24.
If you are in a dental emergency, you can find information on what to do by clicking here. Alternatively, you can receive out of hours dental information by calling 111 from the UK.
To find a dentist (NHS OR Private) near you for a check up or treatment, please visit our
website www.defactodentists.com or click the banner below!