I have been to the dentist today for the first time since I was a child...I now know why I havn't been in so long!
I had a check-up, x-rays, scaling/polishing at a cost of £75.
My dentist informs me that I need 3 fillings which is going to cost another £150. I also had to get special mouthwash, flouride toothpaste and dental floss!
The scaling was so painful and has left my teeth and gums really sensative and painful! And I am shoked at the fillings- my teeth have only the tiniest black specks, they are not soft and are not painful. So let this be a lesson to you all to get checked at your dentist every six months!
Ahhhh....health care such as going to the doctors or hospital tests etc. is free, but you have to pay for prescriptions if your not on benefits/under 19/pregnent etc.
You can get other services such as podiatry and physiotherapy on the nhs with a referal from your doctor, but be prepared to wait for it. Dentistry can also be free on the NHS but due to a lack of dentisit often you cannot get a place with an NHS dentist. So you always end up going private and paying.
Not sure how it works for a non-british citizen though...
You pretty much have to pay for glasses. If you're on a low income then you can get a contribution towards them, but generally you have to pay.
You also have to be registered with a dentist in order to get NHS treatment, and if the dentist has already got enough patients on their books, you have to go elsewhere - usually private. But even NHS dentistry, for those who can get it, is not cheap. It is particularly difficult to find an NHS dentist in cities, although most cities with a University that teaches dentistry will offer a free emergency dental service at the Dental Hospital.
The easiest way to think of it is - it is free to see a doctor (but not an optician or dentist, unless in emergency). If it is an emergency you can also get free treatment from a doctor (medicine etc), but if you are given a prescription rather than direct treatment you have to pay for this.
Prescription drugs are only free if it is a long term condition (say diabetes) or contraception.
I may as well send 10% of my salary to my dentist: had two root canals last year, and now the teeth need capping (or so he says) to prevent them becoming loose. Two hundred a go!
Mind you I don't really want to whinge cos the first time I had a root canal surgery, I had been in so much pain from toothache that I would have paid anything to stop it. And my nice dentist stayed late to fix it on the day rather than making me wait three weeks (as the receptionist told me I had to). Toothache must be one of the worst pains: so stay friends with the dentist, I say
I agree with Juno- i have been religiously brushing my teeth as directed- morning, evening and mouthwash after lunch! Am so scared I will do more damage to my por teeth- but at least my gums seem a lot more healthy now!
juno - i had root canals, and some time later, (incidentially on the evening before my 30th birthday) one tooth actually broke off. (that really made me feel old). had it fixed up the cheap way, about a year later it broke off again. since then have been living with a broken tooth (luckily not visible). cause fixing it up the proper way would cost, umm, they said something in the area of between one and two thirds of my very generous 12-months-scholarship.
so my advice is: do get the thing done now, to prevent the breaking off. it would cost you much more later, if it needs to be fixed.
swantje, being a citizen or not does not really matter (i'm a citizen who has been living abroad too). my british mum kept telling me i should get free NHS glasses once i got here. but things aren't like that anymore. my local optician has a range of cheap glasses, but they are only cheap because they are actually cheap. the cheapest i could get for my eyes would cost me about 50£ total. however, if i want to avoid walking around with glasses as thick as bottle-bottoms, the absolutely cheapest i could get would be around 200£. so i would suggest you get glasses from fielmann while you can! (there's no fielmann in this country). oh, and even a simple sight-test, that would be free many places in switzerland, will cost you (i had quotes between 15£ and 40£). but you need a prescription - else you cannot buy glasses nor contact lenses.
and yes, you can get reductions if you are a low-income person. i've looked at the forms. it's quite hard to qualify. you can't have a partner (married or not) who earns even a meagre income. you have to explain why your parents etc. can't help you. your ESRC studentship might already be too much for you to qualify.
urgh! i hate changing medical systems!
i'm just having my dentist fix me up optimally before i come in september. i pay 135 euros/month for medical insurance which also covers most dentist bills - all of the basic stuff i need doing anyway. i'm having my teeth cleaned up, polished, holes filled, old fillings replaced etc.
i'm also trying to get my insurance to pay for a new pair of glasses (at fielmann's) before then too. they pay up to 350 euros/pair, the rest is on me (i have weird eyes so i have to get expensive glasses). i have found a place here that does glasses at 80 euros/pair all inclusive but they don't test your eyes, so i'll maybe get that done somewhere else and then bring them the details. you don't need a prescription, so that's an option for next year or so too when i'm not insured here anymore. i've been googling for nhs info, but it's very confusing!
i'm also organising tetanus and diphtheria shots too... i am trying to think of anything else i can wheedle out of my medical insurance till then while it's still "free". any ideas?
hmmm...i already have an electric toothbrush that i have been using for a while now. Still got filings though, there is definatly an art to using them!
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