Are You Skipping a Visit to the Dentist?

May 11th, 2011
Are You Skipping a Visit to the Dentist?

Are you finding it too costly at the moment to visit your dentist? If you are, then you are not alone.

A recent survey by Simplyhealth has found that as many as 40% of adults in England are putting off going to see their NHS dentist because of rising costs. In Wales however the picture is different as the Welsh Government has frozen charges. In fact, the charges have been frozen to 2006 levels, while patients visiting a dentist in Scotland pay 80% of the cost of treatment.

Speaking with the Independent newspaper, James Glover of Simplyhealth said: “With the rising cost of living and with NHS dental charges in England on the increase, it’s important that people be financially prepared for the costs associated with looking after their oral health.”

With major changes taking place in Britain now, people are rightly worried about having to pay too much for something that is important. But is there a choice?

Essentially the only choice really is to take out some form of dental insurance. If this concerns you, then don’t be. Dental plans, also known as capitation plans are actually relatively cheap, particularly if you have been looking after your teeth and gums. Costs vary, but on average you can pay as little as £15 per month, which will cover the cost of future treatments. Obviously, if you have poorer oral health, insurance costs will be higher.

Treatment covered also varies, but in general, the cost will cover a range of things from basic checkups to gum treatment and X-Rays; what is covered will depend on the plan taken out.

Dr Nigel Carter, the chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation (DHF) said: “Capitation plans will cover things such as crown and bridgework, so long as they are clinically necessary, but only for the cost of the dentist’s time, so you will have to pay the laboratory bill.”

Cosmetic dentistry is not generally covered by such plans.

Another type of plan you might also want to consider has been around for some time. These pay most or all of any upfront payment made for treatment. Often, the organisations that offer this sort of service will be the same as those that cover opticians’ costs. Monthly fees however are generally very low.

So, if you are worried about rising costs of dental treatment, then there are options. But it is probably wise to shop around.

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