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Dentist - is that a rip-off?

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Friday 13 May 2005 1.59pm
I did not have a good experience with Charles Ng either. I changed to Mr Annobil on Tower Bridge Rd. He has done a lot of work for me (crowns, bridges & veneers) and I have been really happy with him - I think his prices are pretty reasonable too and have never felt ripped off.

(I have no association with this dental practice etc etc.)
Friday 27 May 2005 5.15pm
Unfortunately, I think those prices are pretty typical of dentists in the UK. They don't reflect the prices of the materials anymore than an electrician that charges 50 to change a lightbulb or a locksmith that charges 200 to change a lock.

Only certain people are entitled to free NHS dental treatment (for example, under 18s or pregnant or receiving certain benefits). For everyone else, NHS treatment means that you have to pay around 80% of the total cost, up to a maximum of just under 300 I think. However, the treatments that are offered under the NHS are more limited than private treatment. For example, dental implants are not generally offered by the NHS, nor is cosmetic treatment.

Labour costs form the biggest proportion of the total cost and dentists, like many other professionals, seemingly charge whatever they can get away with. For example, a dental implant typically costs around 200 from the manufacturer, yet the dentist will charge 1500-2000 for a single tooth implant.

This is why an increasing number of people from western Europe are going to eastern Europe and Asia to get expensive courses of treatment. They can save thousands and have a holiday at the same time.



Edited 2 times. Last edit at 27 May 2005 5.25pm by tomc.
Friday 27 May 2005 10.29pm
I have just been shopping around for a crown since my dentist kindly informed me that he charges 1500 (no typing mistake) for a crown. As you can imagine I wondered whether this dentist actually wanted to keep me as his patient. He needs to pay his expensive rent in Harley Street ofcourse, but I decided meanwhile to do some market research. I found out that the lab charges the dentist around 100 for a crown!
There are ofcourse good dentists and bad dentists and one should be willing to pay for quality, but 1500 seems a bit over the top.
Monday 30 May 2005 11.07am
Maurits,
That sounds like a lot. However I assume London rents need to be factored in, and the gadgets that good private dentists have must cost a fair amount.

I too had a problem with a crown going to an NHS dentist in Kennington which I think is also owned by Charles Ng. Given the summer of pain I am reconciled to paying for something better. I also decided that whist the kids teeth were growing I wanted them to have good treatment. This has paid off in that my daughter has a real problem which could have meant the early loss of her first adult molars, but which instead will be treated promptly. A staggering number of local kids have rotten teeth, and I know several who have had to have teeth, both baby and adult, removed as a result. If I'm paying for treatment I have a pretty good incentive to keep sweets to a minimum and make them brush their teeth!

Though my dentist is in central Oxford I understand a fair proportion of his clients come down from London. Not quite Africa, but there is a price difference, and he has a very good hygenist.

Sarah

Thursday 2 June 2005 12.05pm
Hi, I recently became a patient at an nhs dentist(not in london) and had to have a tooth extraction. He then extracted the tooth but informed me that I will need a bridge as the tooth is at the rear near my wisdom teeth.He states my teeth will start to move due to the gap and obviously the tooth above has nothing to bite on. He said something about grinding my other teeth down to fit the bridge!He states this is 600 and the tooth will be porcelain.Is this an nhs price as if it is it seems a bit extortionate?If it is an nhs price then I read somewhere there was an upper limit on charges, I think about 378? Anyway all seems a bit pricey, any advice would be appreciated.
Thanks
Thursday 2 June 2005 1.14pm
This is what happened to me about eight years back. My tooth developed a hairline fracture at the root and the whole thing had to be taken out, together with a lot of bone.

I was warned that I needed a bridge - luckily before the extraction - or I would lose lots of teeth top and botttom. And that this work would not be paid for on the NHS. In my case too much bone had been lost, or I could have had an implant, which would have meant no work on the adjoining teeth. If it had been possible there were ways to encourage bone growth at the time of extraction, to make an implant more likely to take.

My NHS dentist also warned me that I was much better off going to a dentist who did a lot of private work and so had had more practice. Doing mostly NHS stuff he did not feel confident to do something complicated. The whole thing took ages, including one four hour appoinment, (ugh) and a special visit to the technician making the bridge, and cost 3,000. But eight years later and it is still in and the teeth around it are fine. It is expensive, and it was a big decision to spend that much - effectively our summer holiday. But I would have hated to start losing teeth at that stage.

You seem to have been quoted something a lot more reasonable, presumably because it is is more straightforward. But even at that cost I would get a second opinion. I once read an articlce which asked different dentists to examine someone's teeth and they all came up with different answers. I was lucky in that my NHS dentist had told me what was needed, and therefore I was semi-prepared for the shock.

I was also shocked at the time that the NHS would not pay for something that a dentist felt was absolutely necessary. But it doesn't.

Tuesday 7 June 2005 5.13pm
As I understand it NHS treatment covers teeth at the front of the mouth for crowns, bridges, white fillings etc but not at the back. 600 seems fairly reasonable in my experience (last time I had something similar about 2 years ago it was 850). Most dentists will let you pay for expensive work over a period of time.
Wednesday 8 June 2005 12.21am
Can't believe I read all that string - but everyone's horror story is fascinating.

I've used a dentist in Battersea for years - initially because of living nearby but now I'm happy to go the extra 'four miles' as he's always been honest and his work seems to last. Prices are probably on the high side (just had check up and clean and it was 75 quid). However when it comes to crowns and ROOT CANALS - this is where I'm happy to share my Cost vs. Experience knowledge.

If you EVER are unlucky enough to have serious root canal work, have a local anaesthetic - it is brilliant, you'll remember nothing of the grinding and grinding........and grinding........and you wake up and feel really happy - like you never watched Marathon Man (it is woth the extra cost).

You then need a crown which I think was 300'ish for a molar but seems good work and has lasted to date ( no idea whether crown was made in a sweat shop in China or not?!).

He also has the good manners to remember you and yours and ask about your job/house/spouse/garden when your mouth is full.

Open wide!
Friday 7 October 2005 4.15pm
Any tips/links on how/where to do this?


tomc Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> This is why an increasing number of people from
> western Europe are going to eastern Europe and
> Asia to get expensive courses of treatment. They
> can save thousands and have a holiday at the same
> time.



Tuesday 8 November 2005 6.08pm
http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4011043,00.html
im a dentist, and in my opinion a majority of dentists out there have lost all their skill. if every cowboy was struck off there would be less than 10% of the dentists in the uk left.
i lost my skill working in the nhs, nearly lost my sanity etc. i left to get retrained and would have nothing to do with it now. paying for proper care isnt a gaurantee of good care but it certainly helps. i think the average filling done in the uk lasts a few years whereas it should last 10, the average crown has a .5mm gap or greater. a cowboy system encouraged by human nature to get everything for free. good luck with your teeth especially if you have anything wrong with them or a lot of work done or needing to be done. odds are on that you will need it....
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