A perspective on dental fees
A number of factors need to be taken into account when considering dental fees associated with treatment needed to resolve a dental problem – whether they are related to dental disease, damaging function or poor aesthetics.
The bottom line for patients
- Why does it cost what it does?
The dentist will have invested at least five years of University study – and possibly a further two or three if he/she has also specialized. Look around a modern dental surgery. It’s packed with expensive high tech equipment; there’s a mass of materials and instruments; good quality staff and often a pretty expensive location. All these make Dentistry a very expensive business to run! Good dentists use good dental technicians and we expect to pay highly for good quality technicians!
- What are reasonable dental fees?
Why does one dentist a charge £X and his/her colleague charges £Y for what ‘seems’ to be the same treatment? It comes down to the ‘value’ of a number of elements. Experience, expertise, attention to detail, taking time to get it right (so no cutting corners), being accurate and above all taking the time to select the right treatment, explain it, carry it out and finish it properly will differentiate between mediocrity and excellence.
Why are dental fees so expensive?
It always has: but in today’s harsh economic climate, it feels even more so! More and more dentistry today is elective and so you as a patient have more ‘choice’ than ever before. This relates both to which treatment to have and who you wish to provide it? These factors will determine the fees you invest.
People select the professionals who suit them and will often pay accordingly. Purchasing dental care is not like buying a ‘manufactured product’. It is about buying expertise and time and it should be about buying responsibility and longevity.
What you should expect from your dentist
You have the right to expect the appropriate value for the fees you spend. You want the dentist to take time and care in diagnosing well, prioritizing appropriately, presenting options and their fees and carrying out the treatment to the highest standards.
Dentistry at this level will result not only in having the healthiest teeth, but also the most comfortable and attractive teeth – for the longest period of time. In the long run this may be your least costly option, minimizing more extensive and more costly treatment in the future.
What to watch out for
Be cautious when offered ‘special deals’ or ‘free first appointments’. There’s often a reason for these tactics – and you may rather wish your dentist was truly objective. It’s your health at stake. Once the payment issues have been settled, the quality of dental care should never be compromised. No true professional in dentistry can provide two ‘levels’ of service, such as ‘good’ and ‘best’.