Dental FAQ’s

Where are we located ?

Our practice address is Windermere Dental Surgery, 54 Main Road Windermere LA23 1DX. The telephone number is 015394 46135.

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When are we open?

Our opening hours are Monday to Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm.

How do you make an appointment?

You can make an appointment by phoning 015394 46135 and speaking to a member of our Reception team

Is there parking nearby?

There is on street parking available in village or the Broad Street Car Park is very close.

What if I am in pain?

If you are in pain or have a swelling or any other problem you need immediate help with, please do not hesitate to contact us on 015394 46135. We have emergency slots built into our timetable on a daily basis between 12:15 and 1:00, and if you phone early in the day we will do all we can to see you on that day.

What do I do if I am in pain and the surgery is closed?

Ring the practice on 015394 46135. There is an out of hours on call rota available and all the details will be on the answerphone. Please be aware that this service operates between several practices and it may not be our weekend “on call”, in which case you will be seen at the practice of whoever is on call.

Do you have disabled access?

Unfortunately there is a raised platform and three steps to negotiate, which make it difficult for wheelchair users to access the practice. However if these can be overcome, all patient facilities are on the ground floor with no further steps.

How long do I have to wait to be seen?

As a new patient we usually aim to see you for an initial examination within a week. If the situation is an emergency we aim to see patients on the same day, if you phone before 10:00am.

Will I have treatment on my first visit?

Normally, the first appointment is designed to formulate a treatment plan and go through the options and prices with the patient. Any subsequent treatment, except emergency treatment, will be carried out at further appointments.

Will the dentist still see me if I arrive late?

The receptionist will check with the dentist to see if you can be seen. It is often easier with shorter appointments but with long appointments it is often impossible to squeeze a patient in without any inconvience to the next patient. The dentist needs the full time allocated to do complicated work such as root canal treatment or preparing laboratory work. We may sometimes give you the option of waiting to see if the next patient arrives, just in case time becomes available. We do understand that public transport, the roads and life in general are unreliable and are sympathetic, but if we have no time please understand that we may not be able to see you and will have to reschedule your appointment.

What happens if the dentist is late?

The roads and life in general also have their effect on us and sometimes we are running late. If we are running late the receptionist will give you an indication of how long you may have to wait and discuss remaking the appointment if necessary. However we really do prefer to run to time and only run late if unavoidable.

What happens if I cancel/miss and appointment?

The practice requires 24 hours’ notice, longer if possible to cancel an appointment.

What age should children start attending the dentist?

It would benefit children if you could start bringing them along with you on your dental check-ups to familiarise them to the environment, then to book them an appointment at the age of approximately two years old.

Do you provide cosmetic treatment?

Please talk to us about any concerns you may have about the appearance of your teeth.

Are electric toothbrushes more effective than manuals ones?

As a dentist I could not differentiate a patient with a well used manual brush compared to a patient with an electric brush. However it is easier to do a better job with an electric brush and therefore as a general rule I would recommend one. I do not think they need to be too expensive or have lots of gimmicks. A standard brush will be adequate, however if you do want to treat yourself, sonic tooth brushes are slightly better but much more expensive.

Should I clean between my teeth?

Any method of cleaning between the teeth if done well will be effective, but personally I don’t think floss is particularly easy to use well.  I use a water irrigator (link) but it does need a power supply, although a shaving socket means the irrigator can be kept close at hand in the bathroom. My nurse prefers interproximal brushes and some patients prefer rubber tooth picks, others do use floss and use it really well. How we clean this very important area is down to individual choice.

What toothpaste should I use?

As a general rule, I would say any providing it has fluoride. There are exceptions however, if people have a very high decay rate we may suggest toothpastes with a very high fluoride content. If patients have sensitive teeth we recommend a desensitising tooth paste.

Are mouthwashes useful?

Personally, and as a general rule I do not like mouthwashes. Most mouthwashes seem to stain the teeth and if you are cleaning your teeth well, I do not think they are needed. I can see the need to refresh your mouth at various times of the day. Now is the time for a “flick and swish”; put the toothpaste on a brush and give a little “flick” to froth up the paste and “swish” the toothpaste around your mouth. This should give a fresh feeling of the toothpaste, a dose of fluoride to protect the teeth, and most importantly no extra wear from excessive brushing and no stain from a mouthwash.

However, there are exceptions, mouthwashes can be useful as a fluoride rinse for children who have high rates of decay, or in specific situations where we may temporarily suggest a mouthwash for short term use.

Can I choose my dentist?

You can choose from any one of our dental practitioners.

Do you have a hygienist?

Our hygienist Fiona comes into the practice on a Friday.

How do I make a complaint?

If a complaint or concern arises about the service received from the dentist or any of the staff working in the practice, it is important to let us know.

We hope that most problems can be sorted out easily and quickly, often at the time they arise and with the person concerned. If the problem cannot be resolved in this way and it is necessary to make a complaint, please inform us as soon as possible, preferably within days or at the most, a few weeks. This will help us to establish what happened soon after the event.

What we aim do

We aim to acknowledge all complaints within three working days and aim to investigate the complaint within ten working days from the date received.
We shall then be in a position to offer an explanation, or a meeting with those involved. In investigating a complaint, we shall aim to:

  •     Keep proper and comprehensive records of any complaint received.
  •     Find out what happened and what went wrong
  •     Arrange for discussion of the problem with those concerned if preferred
  •     Rectify the situation for the satisfaction of both parties
  •     Identify a means to ensure the situation does not happen again

If we are unable to investigate the complaint within ten working days we will notify the patient, outlining the reasons for such a delay and a likely period within which the investigation will be completed.

Complaining on behalf of someone else

Complaints involving third parties cannot be entered into without written and signed consent of the injured party. This situation would only occur in extreme situations where an individual is unable to communicate because of physical or mental illness.

Not satisfied with the outcome

By all means write to us with details why you are not satisfied with the outcome but failing that further complaint may be made to The Dental Complaints Service. They act to mediate between patient and dentist, offering a free impartial service to all patients receiving private dental care.

Useful telephone numbers and addresses

The Dental Complaints Service:

The Lansdowne Building, 2 Lansdowne Road, Croydon, Greater London CR9 2ER (Telephone: 08456 120 540).

The General Dental Council (GDC):

37 Wimpole Street, London, W1M 8DQ (Telephone: 0845 222 4141), the dentists’ regulatory body for complaints about professional misconduct The GDC also offers a ‘typetalk’ facility for customers with impaired hearing. This can be accessed by calling 18001 0845 222 4141 on your typetalk/minicom handset.

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman:

Millbank Tower, Millbank London SW1P 4QP, telephone: 0345 015 4033

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015394 46135