Hungary taking bite out of dentistry

by HELEN KREFT , | 2010-01-19

A DENTAL patient from Alrewas has appeared on television to explain why she travelled to Hungary for surgery.

News - Dentist - stock imageJulia Vorley featured on last night's BBC Inside Out West Midlands programme, which spotlighted the growing number of people travelling abroad for health care unavailable in the UK under current NHS payment rules.

The 40-year-old account executive told the programme she decided to travel to Budapest, Hungary's capital, after an experience with British NHS dentists left her without nerves in her teeth.

She said: "I had an infection which started up in one tooth.

"I went to the dentist and he actually cut the nerve out the tooth, so the tooth effectively died, and that infection then spread from tooth to tooth and the dentists just kept taking the nerves out.

"So I ended up with my upper jaw all along the front not having any nerves in my teeth at all." Mrs Vorley is just one of a growing number of people seeking treatment abroad since a change in the way NHS dentists are paid.

They are now paid for the amount they work — known as 'units of dental activity' — and not for the skill involved; so a dentist could be out of pocket when providing complex treatment.

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