Private dentistry offers a variety of services which are not available on the NHS, for example cosmetic procedures. It also provides access to a wider range of materials and techniques.
The types of treatment and prices vary from one clinic to another so it is important to research this carefully. The fees are based on several factors such as the reputation and experience of the dentist, the location of the clinic and the types of materials used. The type of treatment and duration is another factor as is the overall running costs of the clinic.
FINDING A PRIVATE DENTIST
There are various ways of finding a private dentist which include:
- Word of mouth recommendation: ask family and/or friends
- Websites such as the British Dental Association
- Your GP
Visit several clinics in your area to see what services they offer and their costs. Everyone is different in regard to their requirements so find a private dentist who suits yours. This is particularly important if you have children.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
Here are a few issues to consider when choosing a private dentist:Do they offer out of hours appointments?Do they offer weekend appointments?Do they offer sedation dentistry?Is the dentist trained to deal with dental fear/phobia?What treatments do they offer?Do they treat children?Do they keep up to date with the latest techniques and materials?Do they provide a breakdown of treatment costs?Do they charge a registration fee?Do they take part in any quality assurance programmes?Do they have a formal complaints procedure?Do they provide a written treatment plan which shows a breakdown of costs?Do they offer the same procedure on the NHS?Is the clinic registered with the General Dental Council?
PAYING FOR PRIVATE DENTISTRY
Choosing a private dentist means paying more for treatment as compared to NHS dentistry.
There are various options to do so which include monthly dental payment plans, e.g. Denplan; direct debit; dental insurance and personal means, e.g. savings, loans etc.
Many clinics offer a range of finance plans which help patients spread the cost of treatment.
Examples of private dentistry costs can be found in the dental costs UK section.
Another option is to travel abroad for treatment but there are advantages and disadvantages when doing so. In particular, think about language/cultural issues and the aftercare. Check that the clinic is reputable and registered with a professional organisation which is similar to the General Dental Council (GDC). This also applies to the dentist and their staff.
Find out more about going abroad for treatment in the dental costs overseas section.