Display of Dentist Fees
A dentist must display fees prominently where they can be viewed easily by patients prior to having a consultation. This can be at the dental surgery entrance, reception or waiting area.
Displayed fees must be accurate, up to date, transparent and inclusive of all costs. There is a minimum list of treatments that must be displayed. Some treatments must have a single fee but others may have a range of fees with a minimum and maximum fee displayed. However for these treatments it is not permitted for a dentist to set a minimum price only for treatment.
To see the full list of treatment fees and infographic covered by the Dental Council Code of Practice for dentists read more here.
Choosing your Dentist
Choosing your dentist is a very important decision and the relationship formed is likely to last several years and sometimes much longer so it is important that you choose carefully. If you are new to an area, it is important to take advice from a range of colleagues, neighbours and friends that you can trust and don’t be rushed in your decision. Your preferences may differ from others, so it is important that you are comfortable that your expectation of high-quality dental care in a safe environment, using appropriate treatments, with readily available aftercare in a friendly trusting environment at reasonable cost will be met. The most important feature of the relationship should be regular visits to ensure continuity of care, and early intervention for conditions like tooth decay and gum disease. This reduces the need for complex and costly treatments in the future. Patients should always choose a dentist before emergencies occur as this is not an ideal introduction because of the urgency and stress accompanying these situations.
During your initial consult, observe the dental practice’s standards and ask any necessary questions to feel confident in your choice of dentist. Check the cleanliness of the reception area and staff appearance. Additionally, provide information about your general health, medical history, past illness, chronic conditions, prescribed medication, smoking habits and previous surgeries/anesthetics.
Registered dentists must adhere to comprehensive infection control guidelines in dental surgeries. Ensure that the dentist uses an autoclave to sterilise instruments and wears gloves during treatment. When discussing treatment options, inquire about costs, success rates and complications. Ask for references and before/after photos. Clarify procedures for unsuccessful treatment, complications and aftercare. Discuss payment details before starting treatment and if a lot of treatment is being proposed or if you have any doubts, do not be afraid to ask for a second opinion. You can arrange this yourself by contacting other dental practices and asking for a comprehensive examination and treatment plan. The additional cost incurred will be money well spent.
Going Abroad for Dental Treatment
When considering dental treatment abroad, understand the risks and benefits. Even though many clinics abroad practice dentistry to a very high standard you should still research the treatment, clinic and dentist. Seek advice from your dentist and inquire about costs, success rates and complications. Confirm if the country has a dental regulatory body and if the dentist has medical indemnity insurance in case of medical negligence. Language and cultural differences may pose communication challenges and follow-up care and financial matters should be clarified. For surgical procedures, consider postoperative rest and potential complications that might arise due to cabin pressure during flights or from holiday activities. Ensure safety by asking questions and verifying qualifications, aftercare, legal rights and record-keeping. Translation of information on receipts may be important if submitting claims to third party payers.
For full information and advice of the Dental Council about going abroad for dental treatment, click here to read more.
For information on the Dental Council’s Code of Practice relating to Professional Behaviour and Ethical Conduct, please click here.