Author Topic: Access at the Dentist?  (Read 1206 times)

RedAndBlue

  • Diamond member
  • ****
  • Posts: 358
    • I Once Was a 20-Something Journalism Student
Access at the Dentist?
« on: May 17, 2012, 11:54:39 AM »
Heylo! I have a bit of a pickle here.

I've been going to my dentist for two years and everytime I've seen him, he said he needed an xray. My conditon's pretty much rare and there's no information on the affects it has on dental health. It's a bone condition, it's part calcium deficiency, it's pretty much uncharted territory.

If there's some problem with my jaws and my mouth's bone structure, it could have a knock on affect to the health of my teeth, or how my wisdom teeth develop. If I need operations in the future for them, things like that.

The problem is, is that the disc xrays are too small and don't give enough details, so they need to do the helmet xray that swoops around your head in a semi circle, but my wheelchair has a headrest and it's in the way. So they can't do an xray.

The headrest is part of the backrest, which they can't remove because if I'm sitting down, I need the lower back support. I can't sit in a normal chair for the same reason - the shapes are always wrong.

I can't gaurantee I can stand up long enough on my crutchers for the whole setting up and then the xray, and to be honest, even if I could, it would probably mean being in pain for the rest of the day. Something I'm not to keen on....

Has anyone found this same problem? Have there been any solutions?

I just think back to all of the wheelchair bound people I've known over the years, who had headrests, who must have needed dental xrays at some point. Am I really meant to believe that none of them would have been able to have an xray, or would have to have chosen between function and comfort, and dental health?

I even suggested being referred to the hospital, but my dentist said they have the same equipment, so they'd have the same problem  >yikes<
A man got sick because of officiate.

seegee

  • Charter Member and Volunteer
  • Super Hero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 5166
Re: Access at the Dentist?
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2012, 01:44:21 PM »
Is it more likely that the hospital have different equipment in the general x-ray dept, though?  Or in the children's dept (there must be young people who can't sit upright but need dental/ whole-head x-rays from multiple angles)?

If so, could someone from the dental hospital go over to general x-ray with any specialist dental kit they need or equipment be temporarily loaned between departments? 

That would take some planning and negotiation between departments, so it's perfectly possible that both departments will start from, "but we don't do that" - so you might have to argue your right to the same access to treatment as everybody else and start talking about equality, duty of care, etc. - ask your MP to get onto it if you seem to be getting nowhere... :(

RedAndBlue

  • Diamond member
  • ****
  • Posts: 358
    • I Once Was a 20-Something Journalism Student
Re: Access at the Dentist?
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2012, 06:28:45 PM »
Hmm... I'm not sure. My dentist won't refer me to the hospital until it's "absolutely necessary" so I'm only going on what my dentist says, which is, all the equipment's the same even in the hospital.

So I guess I'll have to press the issue of her actually finding out for me, or possibly crossing the streams back to the children's department. I did say I can't be the only one with a headrest that can't be detached and can't stand up long enough, but the old dentist I had said I'm probably right and that he'd look into it... and now this dentist is kind of attached to the idea of me standing up that alternatives aren't really being looked into.

Which is why I'm trying to find out so that I can say "here, this is what they do, how about we try and do that instead, hey?".

Don't get me wrong, she seems like a brilliant dentist. I just might have to pull out the equality card if she insists I get an xray without any real wheelchair accessible solution. And it wouldn't be the first time I've had to resort to children's services despite leaving their care.

I like the MP suggestion. If all else fails, he should have some ideas!

Thanks!
A man got sick because of officiate.

helenpage

  • Gold Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 108
Re: Access at the Dentist?
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2012, 08:16:54 AM »
Have you tried speaking to PALS they might be able to point you in the direction of suitable services. Like you say you can't be the first person to have this problem. You might find as well that the dentist is reluctant to refer you as they won't get the money for doing the work. Do you not have a specialist dental service for people with disabilities? I'm sure we have that here.

Just as an aside i've had lots of access problems with regards to dentists. We have a central phoneline here that allocates dentists. First time they allocated us to a practice 2 inaccessible bus rides away and i didn't drive at the time - needless to say i didn't take the place. Second time we were allocated the nearest surgery but I got there and couldn't get my pushchair through the door which being a mum of twins with a disability isn't practical. I tried again and asked specifically for the health centre in the next town which is brand new, has wide doors and disabled parking. They also do emergency out of hours cover which for me who has a dental phobia would have been really reassuring. They allocated us the nearest surgery again. Tried again and once again I was allocated that surgery. All in all this has meant that my girls haven't been seen by a dentist in a considerable amount of time as each wait for allocation has been 4 months or more.

In the end I rang a dental surgery nearby directly (i'd been told they weren't accepting nhs patients by the dental access people) which has lots of free parking nearby (its by a supermarket) and we've managed to get registered there. My 6 year olds teeth are a right mess and i'm really angry that we were put in this position.She now needs fillings. Now my twins are older and we don't need the buggy at least getting that through the door isn't a problem and the surgery we've gone for has plenty of ground floor treatment rooms which makes things easier for me.

RedAndBlue

  • Diamond member
  • ****
  • Posts: 358
    • I Once Was a 20-Something Journalism Student
Re: Access at the Dentist?
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2012, 05:11:44 PM »
I always consider PALS to be the second to last resort, just because I feel guilty incase the doctor/dentist/ward manager thinks I think they're not doing a good enough job. Which is stupid, I know, any professional worth their weight shouldn't take such things personally, but it would upset me to think I've insulted and undermined someone's work when it genuinely is good.

I didn't think about the lack of payment side of things. And no, I don't think we do. It's something I've been banging my head against lately, because it's either children's social care and hospital services, or "adult" services which are for the elderly, rather than the moderate to severely disabled adults out there. I've recently found out about a clinic in one of the hospitals I go to that's for 19-26 year olds that deals with orthopaedic issues, and I'm trying to be referred to there, and from there I might be able to find out about a dentist I could go to but unless it's major dental issues or dangerous levels of calcium deficiency or blood defects, I can't even get referred to the dental hospital.

I'm seeing my dentist again tomorrow, actually, and I'm more confident about arguing my case this time. Because there Must be others out there, and I've got suggestions now that I can give her. I'm not too keen on trying to get this sorted independently, because I'm tired of that, but if that's what I need to do, I will.

And I've had similar experiences with the NHS dentist phone line. The problem is that hardly any of them take NHS patients around here, and they kept trying to sign me up to dentists in the next town over and there's just no way I'd be able to get there, unless we got accessible black cabs all the time which could amount to 25, each way. This health clinic is really the only place that would take me, and even then the first dentist I saw there didn't believe I'd had so much bad luck.

I said if he could find me a dentist in the area that would take me, I'd happily go. I'm not sure whether he tried or not, but he never brought it back up again haha!

That is awful what they put you through, though Helen! People never seem to realise how neglected dental health can get when you have a disability, just because there's not many places accessible enough to go to. And it's either the disabled people, or in this case your children, which ultimately become the victim of it.

They're always pressing the importance of having one set of adult teeth and needing to look after them and the mouth, but it's give and take. We can only look after them as much they can help us to.
A man got sick because of officiate.