Having used NHS dentists all my life, never having any serious issues, and still having my own teeth, I thought I was getting a good service. Around 4/5 years ago I attended an evening on implants, accompanying someone who was considering these. After listening to the staff I ‘took a chance’ on an offer of a 1 hour check/ x ray appointment. Basically it was the cost of a couple of meals out. If it turned out to be a waste of money, it was no big loss. What an eye opener it turned out to be.
Well before the end of the checkup session it was obvious that Shine were going to offer a far far better service. The only decision to make was ‘pay as you go’ or a membership scheme. I opted for membership with 6 monthly checks.
Several fillings were degrading – it was obvious from the Shine x rays and the NHS dentist had not taken any for years. There were some gum issues not dealt with by the NHS dentist.
An NHS check up is all too often the dentist counting 1 to 8, four times, with sometimes an accompanying word describing the tooth, then on your way after a couple of minutes. This is from experience of multiple dentists over the years. At Shine it is a good inspection of gums, glands, tongue, etc. before starting on teeth. Then it obviously a much more thorough inspection than the quick 1 to 8 count. New x rays are taken in areas of interest and importantly compared immediately with historic data. NHS take note – you did not do this! I am not critisising the NHS dentists – they are well trained competent people. But in a 10 minute appointment they cannot do more than just the ‘scratch the surface’.
The ‘fire extinguisher’ rather than prevention service provided on the NHS meant that I required several cerec tooth repairs and some replacement fillings. These were done over a year or two, as the work was deemed necessary. There was no attempt to maximise revenue early on. Mark (the dentist) always discussed the work proposed and the reasoning behind his recommendations. The work was never rushed. Now the check up visits tend to be pleasantly boring. No big issues showing. Attending to minor problems that crop up from time to time. Keeping an eye on known long term issues and offering advice, rather than fighting problems. Exactly what it should be.
From my NHS experiences I had concluded the hygenist was someone who had been given an hour or two training with a small grinder or drill, ice cold water spray and a Dyson vacuum. How wrong I was! My first Shine hygenist appointment actually ran to two sessions, each one hour. This was because of the amount of cleaning that the NHS dentists and hygenists had neglected to do at their 6 months appointments over many years. Lucy Milburn (and others when Lucy was on leave) demonstrated how there is no need for discomfort. Numbing gel followed by anaethsetic are discussed and used as required. Always giving the patient regular breathers rather than going full on with the tools to finish as soon as possible.
Of great importance is the ongoing advice on cleaning techniques, brush types, etc. Not a ‘buy our special expensive stuff on your way out’. Yes they do say you can buy the brushes from them, but also from Amazon. It is geniune advice from knowledgeable people.
In conclusion. Shine offer a really really good service. The monthly membership is, for me, money well spent.