More and more reports are circulating about the public heading to their GP for dental problems.
Research suggests that 600,000 patients a year see their GPs with dental problems, instead of a dental professional. The British Dental Association (BDA) believes that this number is due to the charges at the dentist. Therefore, people meaning to avoid the cost of dental treatment (NHS or otherwise) are heading to their local GP for advice.
Around 50% of the UK population isn’t regularly attending their dentist.
So it’s no surprise that dental issues arise, as there isn’t the opportunity for dentists to identify the issue early. Leading to people contacting their GP for dental problems, which the BDA insist isn’t within a GP’s skill set.
GPs have an ethical responsibility to offer help in an emergency, which could include providing medical treatment, for example where the patient requires urgent treatment for pain or sepsis, even where the underlying cause might be a dental problem. However, the likelihood is that a patient will be referred to their dentist or the issue won’t get fully resolved.
Anyone practicing dentistry must be registered to do so, therefore, it would be inappropriate for a doctor to attempt to manage a condition requiring dental skills. It would be inappropriate for a dentist to do the job of a GP as well. For example, a patient could come to a GP complaining about symptoms linked to dental issues. The GP could identify what is was, but would be likely to encourage the patient to contact their dentist for treatment. Legally your GP cannot fully treat any medical problems that would come under a dental umbrella.
You could be taking up valuable appointments.
The main issue with people going to the GP for dental problems is taking up appointment space. Getting an appointment with your GP can be very difficult considering how busy they are. Which means, if the figures are correct and GPs are dealing with an influx of patients looking for dental treatment. These patients are also clogging up the waiting room. This means, potential patients with illnesses are missing out on appointments due to those going to their GP for dental problems.
Another reason patients don’t automatically head to their dentist when they think something is wrong is dental anxiety. Anxiety around dentists and dental appointments is fairly common and, for some, very limiting. You can read our blog on what constitutes as dental anxiety. However hard it may seem to face that fear, there are clinics out there that deal with patients who find dental visits particularly hard. They will use various methods to regain your trust during dental visits and increase your likelihood to return. Whether that is through communication, hypnosis or sedation. There’s a method out there for everyone. You can find some of these clinics on our listing site.
While it may seem easier to go to your GP for dental problems, it’s not the best solution.
Whether you suffer from dental anxiety, have monetary issues or just feel like you’ll be seen faster, you’re always going to end up in the same place. The dentist. As we explained dental anxiety can be tackled within the clinic. If you feel like dentistry is too expensive for you, unfortunately leaving an issue longer can become even more expensive when it comes around to getting it fixed. However, some practices will offer payment plans to make good treatment more affordable for you. Have a look around and maybe you’ll find your perfect dentist…
Who are we?
Do you find yourself searching: “dentist near me” or “dentist in my area”? Then we have a solution for you. We are DefactoDentists.com and we are the solution to your dental search. Simply visit our website, type in your location and we’ll find the perfect dentist in your area! You can even visit the site to keep up to date with health news through our blogs! If you’re a dentist, get in touch and get your practice listed today!