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Cosmetic Dental Treatments

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Verified (?) Visited Jan 2014

I purchased a voucher for an AirFlow Sparkle clean and full dental check-up through Wahanda. I then telephoned the clinic to make the appointment (which should last half an hour). It took several attempts to get through to someone but eventually I was able to make the appointment and also booked for a scale and polish immediately beforehand. I was told that the price of scale and polish ranged from £45 for 15 minutes to £65 for half an hour and that the dentist would let me know how long I needed on the day.
When I arrived at 9am for my appointment the shutters were down and I had to wait outside in the freezing December weather for 10 minutes before the clinic opened. I checked in at the desk, gave the receptionist my voucher and was shown through to the procedure room after a few minutes. Once I was seated in the chair the dentist took a look and said I would need a £65 (half an hour) scale and polish. She then asked if I wanted to have my teeth checked as well. I said yes (as it was included in the Wahanda voucher cost) and she said that that would cost more. After I pointed out that I had already paid for it she quickly checked my teeth (there were no problems) before beginning the scale. The receptionist was assisting her with this procedure but she did not seem very experienced. The dentist had to keep repositioning the vacuum she was holding and it was a comfortable or pleasant experience for me. I did not feel that that they behaved entirely professionally either as the receptionist continued to answer the clinic’s cordless phone she had in her pocket and the dentist spoke in a very sharp and exasperated tone to her on a few occasions when she was holding the vacuum in the wrong way (not a good learning environment). After the scale was finished the dentist used the AirFlow system to clean my teeth and gave my teeth a brief polish with the sparkle paste.
After we were finished she told me that I had severe gum disease that could lead to tooth loss and that I would need to come back in 3 months for another scale and polish session. This was obviously very distressing thing to be told so I asked what I could do to reverse the damage to my gums. She said to come back every 3 months for scale and polish treatments. I asked if I should use a mouthwash like Corsodyl or if I needed antibiotics but she said no. This seemed very strange to me as if someone had such severe gum disease that their teeth were in danger then surely they should be given a prescription for antibiotics or at the very least be given advice on how to take better care of their teeth? I suspected at that stage that she was simply trying to drum up more business for herself. (Having completed a course of Corsodyll I visited another dentist a few weeks later to get a second opinion. He said I do not have any serious gum problems and do not require 3 monthly cleanings). I went to the reception desk to pay and asked the receptionist to complete my claim form for my private dental insurance. It was only after I left the clinic and was on the way to work that I realised that I had been in the procedure room for less than 40 minutes despite paying for 2 half hour sessions and that the dental insurance form had just been signed by the dentist but had not been stamped. I rang the clinic to ask the receptionist why she hadn’t completed the form properly and she said that she had never had to fill out a dental insurance form before so she didn’t know it needed stamping. I posted it to the clinic to be completed properly and had to wait 2 weeks for it to be returned to me. As for the results of the procedure, my teeth certainly felt cleaner after as they do after any scale and polish but they were not noticeably whiter as they had been when I previously had the same procedure done at the same clinic by a different dentist.
About a month after my appointment I received a phone call from Pure Smile. I thought it might be the receptionist checking to see if my form had arrived back to me alright. But no she was ringing because she said that I hadn’t given her the Wahanda voucher when I came in for my visit and that without the voucher number they couldn’t get paid for that visit. I said that I had definitely given her the voucher on the day but that if she needed the voucher number I would look it up on my email while she was on the phone. In the minute it took me open up my email she said “Oh wait I found it, I have it right here”

I had visited this dentist the previous year and had the same procedures done (a scale & polish followed by AirFlow Sparkle clean) and had been impressed with the staff, overall experience and the results. However, I was not satisfied with my recent visit; something has changed at the clinic and not for the better, and I will not be a return customer.

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