Finest Dental: What to do when a clinic closes
A sense of loss
Being a registered patient means that you have no access problems when you have a dental problem; you are recognised by the receptionist and the dentist and nurse know you very well.
The dentist has maintained your oral health, patched up or maintained your lifelong teeth.
Even when a new dentist arrives, you are comfortable in the knowledge that the dental record will tell all.
Much like your prized car, your dental health was looked after with great care.
It is rare for a clinic to close down, and when it does you feel abandoned.
Please do speak with anyone if you feel alone and lost, even a family member may have wise and comforting words for you.
You can contact us by email if you need advice.
You and 2000+ other patients may need to register with another dentist. Some patients may just abandon dental care completely.
Many clinics are already fully booked and it may take you a while for you to register with another dentist.
Trying to carry on
You may have paid in full or by instalments and are in the middle of treatment. Where can you go to get the remainder fo your treatment done?
It can be difficult for a dentist to pick up treatment midway, they may have another opinion or a different dental treatment plan in mind.
Usually the dentist is compassionate and understands your situation. He/she may just want to charge for what treatment was left to do.
Sometimes you have paid for crowns or veneers to be fitted and are in temporaries. It can be difficult for you because you cannot just turn up at Accident and Emergency.
Many patients would have already paid for these once and do not want to pay again.
The problem is that temporaries are a short term solution and you must get permanents fitted soon.
Dental implants once placed can be left indefinitely until a crown is placed.
Many patients may have already paid in full however for the implant and crown.
If you have paid by a credit card then the bank may be able to get your money back.
If you have taken finance, contact the finance company for advice. They may advise stopping the payments for now.
The finance company will be able to trigger their insurance policy for monetary loss and help reimburse you.
Under the consumer credit act if a service is not provided then the finance company may have to investigate but ultimately reimburse you.
Trying to get a refund from a closed down clinic may be difficult because the clinic probably closed down because of financial problems.
In current treatment
If you are in pain, have had recent surgery or need stitches out then please contact another dental surgery and let them help. Sitting on a dental problem will only make it worse.
It may be difficult to get crowns fitted without having new impressions taken. Maintain a good diet, be careful with temporaries and have a soft diet.
Invisalign patients should try to stay on the current aligner if they needed teeth spacings or attachments bonded. If they are just changing aligners then please change to the next one if the old aligner was a good fit. If the delay is long then contact Invisalign and see about transferring the treatment to another Invisalign provider.
If you feel that the aligner is getting tired then just wear it at night as a retainer until you can resume treatment. You may change to the next one if the old one is beyond tired.
You should not progress through the aligners as you may have required spaces to be made.
We will be happy to help patients in the middle of Invisalign treatment and we can liase with Invisalign on your behalf.
Patients in the middle of treatment or require implants etc. but are not in any pain should maintain good oral hygiene. Implants do not need immediate attention as there is a waiting time for the bone and soft tissues to mature. You may be desperate to get the crown fitted but hopefully you are wearing a temporary denture or crown. An antiseptic mouthwash helps keep the mouth clean.
Do seek immediate help if you are worried, have a swelling or are in pain. Sometimes all you need is a reassuring word.
If the finance company allows it then you may be able to transfer to Forma as an ongoing treatment case.
All is not lost. If you have lost a lot of money try to see if your household insurance has a legal department who can try to get your money back, either from the clinic or the finance company.
Citizens Advice I feel are limited in knowledge in these situations, but they are worth a phone call.
If we have not covered your situation and need help, please do email us directly.