Unfortunately for us, dentists, there is a stigma attached to private dentistry that is very difficult to shed. People tend to dodge the dentist because of what problems an examination might reveal and the potential costs those problems might incur. That’s why it’s so important you know the dental options available to you.
In truth, private dental care in the UK can be expensive, but then so too is the technology and equipment needed to provide the best treatments. This fact is often overlooked.
However, there are evidently instances where patients are not told about all the dental options available to them. Which?, the consumer lobby group, revealed in 2015 that as many as one in four patients were unclear about dental costs because they hadn’t been explained properly.
Consequently, patients lose faith in dentists, quite rightly feeling uncertain about what they’ve been charged for after being hit with a bill that is higher than expected. This is obviously detrimental not only to the profession but to the patient’s long term oral health too, since patients may not return.
We owe it to you and to ourselves, to be completely open and honest about all costs and dental care options available.
You should know that all NHS treatments (which do not include cosmetic care) are capped and can therefore be cheaper than some private practices. However, the waiting list to be seen by an NHS dentist is very long, appointments are often much shorter and dentists are restricted by cheaper materials. Regardless, next time you visit your dentist, remember to ask to see a price list that compares private and NHS treatments.
In the meantime, there a few simple ways to keep your dental costs down without having to compromise on the quality of treatment or breaking the bank…
How to Keep Dental Costs Down
1. Regular Examinations
This may sound basic but it is by far the best way to save money on your dental costs. Early diagnosis means treatment is kept simple and therefore less expensive. The biggest mistake anyone can make when it comes to oral health is thinking that just because there is no pain, there is no need to visit the dentist. Quite often there can be serious problems in the mouth that don’t result in pain until the problem has progressed too far. This becomes expensive to fix and could result in long term damage that needs sustained care, pushing up the expense.
2. Taking Preventative Care
Adopting a preventative programme is essential for keeping your mouth healthy. Prevention includes the use of certain mouthwashes, interdental brushes, advice on diet and regular visits to the hygienist. These elements will vary based on individual needs and will be discussed with you at your dental examination and hygiene visits. Sticking to this advice is proven to maintain the health of your teeth and gums. It may require a small monthly cost but will definitely save you paying out big for complex treatments in the long term.
Read more about tips on preventative dental care.
3. Dental finance
If you do find yourself in a position where you need a considerable amount of treatment, you can always opt for a dental finance plan.
Dental finance is one of the cheapest finance schemes around for those needing extensive treatments. The cost of treatment can be spread over a year with no extra fees or interest, so it’s definitely much cheaper than using a credit card!
4. Staging Treatment
Contrary to what you might think, not all treatment needs to be carried out at once. Various treatments can be staged from urgent to non-urgent meaning the overall cost can be spread to suit your budget. In some cases treatment can be stabalised and then reviewed for further treatment six months down the line.
However, you should only consider this option if your dentist thinks it would be suitable. Sometimes patients have several dental problems that need to be treated as soon as possible to avoid further damage or decay.
5. Sign up for a Membership Plan
Membership plans allow treatment costs to be spread and also entitles members to considerable discounts. At Bright & White Dental we tailor-make the membership plans to suit individual needs. Our basic plan costs as little as £15.50 a month and includes 2 examinations, 2 yearly hygienist visits, 20% off General treatments and 10% off teeth straightening treatments. We also include complimentary mini teeth whitening home kit. Part of being a member also means you receive regular reminders to attend for examinations and hygienist visits so you’re always on top of your dental care.
Bright & White Dental Spa is an eco-friendly dental practice in South Woodford, London. We aim to create positive customer experiences in a relaxed, personal and friendly environment. If you’re a Londoner in need of a check-up, why not give us a call to arrange an appointment! We’d love to meet you 🙂