Tuesday, 23 October 2012

What will your dental treatment cost?

Increasingly, dentists are including price lists on their websites but do these really tell you how much your treatment will cost and enable you to compare prices from different providers?

NHS prices are straightfoward - three standard price bands which you either pay, or if you are exempt, you don't.  However, private dental prices are set by individual practices and can vary widely.  It's even possible for different prices for the same treatment to be quoted by two dentists working in the same practice.

To further complicate matters, many practices use the word 'from' in their price lists - e.g. "fillings from £49.95".  What this usually represents is the lowest price they would charge for a small, straightforward filling on the biting surface of the tooth; it is not an indication that you will be able to say to the dentist "I want one of your £49.95 fillings" and receive one every time - if yours is more extensive involving two or more of the tooth surfaces, the price may be much higher.

Then there are x-rays.  These are normally taken if the dentist spots signs of decay or if the patient complains of pain and are often charged extra - typically £5-£10 for a small x-ray or £25 or more for a panoramic x-ray.  Additionally, for some treatments such as root canal treatments, they are also taken at various stages of the treatment which can add to the total bill.

So what can you do?  One way of knowing for certain what your treatment will cost is to attend for an examination and ask for a written quotation.  Obviously if you wish to compare a number of dentists' prices, you will need to attend an examination at each one which will add to the expense.  Alternatively, look for a dentist who either quotes fixed prices or quotes both lower and upper limits for the treatment; the latter won't of course, give you an exact price but should, at least, give you a worst case scenario.

At AllClear, we believe in total clarity in our prices so all of our prices are fixed, include, where necessary x-rays and are available on our website, displayed in our window and available as a printed summary from our reception.  There are no hidden charges and the word 'from' is banned from our price list meaning that the price you see is the price you pay.  For more information or to book an examination, call in, phone 020 8688 3869 or see our website.

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