Dental charges in the UK
have come into 'seered.co.uk' looking for information on dental charges, there are some
useful links here.
However, this 'public interest' website is about far more than dental charges. There are quite a few pages you could get your teeth into if you are concerned by erosion of privacy, government snooping and how bureaucrats waste your money.
So hang around for a while (at least until the anaesthetic wears off.....). The index page lists the 20 most popular pages.
Adapted from a birthday card sent to the author several years ago. Original illustration by rainbowcards.
Being (over)charged for simple dental work was one of the reasons why the 'consumer protection' section of this website is being developed. Overcharging is widespread. If you have an example you might like to share, please email me. Information on charges is not often readily available to people moving into an area. Locally based websites might be one way of addressing this and similar problems. The topic is discussed on the top page.
A true story from many years ago. I once went to the Lyndhurst Surgery in Honiton (a town near to my home in Devon) for some minor treatment. They charged me £92 for two tiny fillings that took 23 minutes start to finish. This was about twice what I would have expected to pay in the 'up-market hi-tech' practice I used when I lived near London.
Another true story, this time from Febuary 2004. A fellow folkie was fuming over having been charged £45 for an examination that took a few minutes and then £80 for a small filling. Where was this? At the Lyndhurst Surgery in Honiton! The building has since been taken over by other businesses - I don't know where the dental practice is now located, maybe trading under a different name.
The Lyndhurst dental practice (as was) in High Street, Honiton.
I am quite happy to identify this dental practice. Correspondence will be loaded soon and will include comments to the effect that they were (still are?) poorly equipped compared to other practices I have known. Any letters from their lawyers will also be published. Lyndhurst seem to have a marketing strategy of attracting people with dental 'phobias' and almost encouraging their patients to be afraid in order to offer them more reassurance! The dentist who treated me seemed most upset when I said she could go ahead with the fillings with no anaesthetic injection, and that I was not the least concerned by the pain. Maybe they just didn't want the type of customer who just wanted a good job at a reasonable price. There is a website for dental phobia which some people might find useful.
The Consumers' Association (publishers of Which? magazine http://www.which.co.uk) recently did a study of dental costs. There was a huge range. Data should be made available on the Internet - as a start you can have a free 30 day trial of the Which site.
Simple dental fillings should cost around £2 per minute. I was charged close to £4. Surely, if people move into a new area, they should be able to look up 'dentists' on a local Internet site, find people's comments, and thereby be able to make an informed choice about where to register? After all, the Internet is all about sharing information. I was recently charged £23 for two small fillings that again took 20 minutes, at an NHS dentist in Seaton, East Devon. Cheap at twice the price! Rip-off seems too weak a term for the Lyndhurst practice in Honiton. More recently, four small fillings cost me £40 for over 30 minutes work, again on the NHS in Seaton.
|At the other end of the scale are practices operated by James Hull. These specialise in cosmetic work and with patients who spend up to £100,000. He is quoted as saying "we are not a drill and fill operation". People in the UK apparently spend less on their teeth than in other countries - 0.3 of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) in the UK, 0.7% in the USA and 0.9% in Germany. Hull justifies his charges by citing the specialist nature of treatment, and the range of hi-tech equipment utilised. The UK market for dentistry is worth £3.6 billion (£3600 million) per year or an average of £60 per person. Typing "james hull +dentist" into google will tell you all you need to know about making money - Mr Hull started as a NHS dentist in Wales in the mid 1980's and is now quoted as being worth around £58 million. He is also quoted as number 60 on the 'midland rich list'.|
Useful links to stories about dental charges in the UK include the following:
http://www.observer.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,6903,915187,00.html which is a story on the Guardian website dated 16 March 2003 and centred upon Consumers' Association concerns about overcharging and lack of transparency. An article the following week gave more details: http://politics.guardian.co.uk/publicservices/story/0,11032,920241,00.html.
A link to the OFT report of January 2002 is at http://www.oft.gov.uk (you need to search the site for it). There are numerous additional reports on Google and other search engines - but apparently no scheme whereby you can move to an area, look up a local 'consumer action' webpage and see posted comments from local people saying what they think (and can defend) about some local companies. This might be more useful for industries and professions that are (in effect) unregulated.
A useful website centred around the dental profession is based in Dorset (UK). It does not aim to give help with dental health queries but does include a list of web addresses for dentists in UK and Ireland - a 'guide to the dental internet', so say the authors. Another 'dental' site listed by some public libraries and also on reputable medical websites includes links to a range of adult movies - you have been warned! Click here if you must..... and then click on 'useful links'. The site does have some genuine 'campaigning' links - but nothing on dentistry!
There is also a section on dentists in a useful general medical website published in the UK, with links to the British Dental Association's site.
A list of dental websites is maintained at http://www.patient.co.uk/showdoc.asp?doc=9.
back to top of section
back to home page