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Drilling and filling of the Dental kind.

Crazy dental charges

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Bryan Cedar 103/12/2021 15:15:20
98 forum posts
4 photos

I have just been shocked by my dentist to be charged £70 for a ten minute assessment for a lost filling and part broken tooth. A part re construction is required at a cost of £175. This is private treatment. I would like to know if Forum members are charged for initial assessments. This charge works out £420 per hour. Total cost for one filling £245 !

blowlamp03/12/2021 15:28:45
1590 forum posts
102 photos

Build Back Better?

Tony Pratt 103/12/2021 15:46:03
1926 forum posts
12 photos

I'm having an implant fitted for the wrong side of £2000+ & yes I paid i believe £40 for an initial assessment, absolute rip off but I don't want dentures. I reckon all my spare cash will go on 'body repairs', can't really rely on the NHSsad


Martin Connelly03/12/2021 16:06:14
2123 forum posts
222 photos

I think my dentist has 2 receptionists, 2 dental hygienists and a dental nurse. So as well as costs for equipment, consumables, business rates, rent, probably an accountant, electricity, business loans to repay, there are six people's wages included. It soon adds up. All these costs have to be paid for out of the 40ish hours they are working per week since they cannot run shifts or let automatic processes run through the night. They also have to clean and sterilise the treatment rooms between patients.

Martin C

Speedy Builder503/12/2021 16:06:33
2590 forum posts
207 photos

Yes, but look at all the new shiny kit dentist's have - Costa Bundle. Would you go to a dentist that had an old honeypot full of Detol to sterilise his probes and stuff and an old cream angle poise for a lamp and not to mention a drill powered by a sparking motor and 10 feet of frayed cord.

No you want to see the most up to date kit, an assistant that looks gorgeous and no pain. Someone (You) has to pay for it.


SillyOldDuffer03/12/2021 16:09:27
8469 forum posts
1885 photos

This table of UK prices is on the web:


At the moment, many dentists - not all - are also surcharging for COVID PPE, average another £35 on top. Might have been part of Bryan's £70 bill.

Generally private is more expensive than NHS. Main advantage is being seen quicker plus more choice. I don't think it unreasonable for private patients to pay full price for these privileges.

Quite a few garages charge for diagnosis, I suppose dentists value their time in the same way.


Mike Poole03/12/2021 16:23:35
3302 forum posts
73 photos

My dentist drove a Ferrari, raced cars and flew a aeroplane, not cheap hobbies. It’s got to be a good business to be in reward wise but on a par with washing dishes and cleaning toilets for me, being a GP is on the same part of the list


Martin King 203/12/2021 16:33:27
980 forum posts
436 photos

Hi All,

Just had an extraction two weeks ago, cost me £250, I assumed I was NHS, it would appear from the table above that I am not?

Got to go back in Feb for a 3d scan to determine the bone loss , if any, and have been told that an implant will be north of £2k

The joys of getting old I guess.

Cheers, Martin

Colin Heseltine03/12/2021 16:43:27
654 forum posts
227 photos

I admit I go private but when you look at the equipment they now have invested in, particularly in light of Covid, you can see where the money goes. My dentist has specialized air extraction systems that are running very close to your face, specialist machines to disinfect/decontaminate the room, X-ray equipment that gives him and me an immediate view of the x-ray's he has just taken, seconds before. Can do CT scans as well. His practice supports at around 17 staff who are constantly trained in latest techniques and procedures. The service is considerably better than anything I have experienced within the NHS.


Brian Baker 103/12/2021 16:51:19
194 forum posts
36 photos

Also, I believe the training period for new dentists is 6 to 7 years, with low income, and they are required to take refresher courses from time to time.

Dentists also have, I understand, the highest suicide rate of all occupations.



John Haine03/12/2021 16:52:45
4622 forum posts
273 photos

My last crown needed no impression but used 3D laser scanning to acquire the "mould", technician used CAD to design the actual replacement tooth, which was CNC milled from green zirconia and fired to harden it. Fitted nearly without any adjustment at all. I watched the whole process, fascinating. Takes some investment to do that sort of thing! The NHS is great, but in some ways it has led us to expect that caring for ones biological assets requires no investment. Another thing we tend not to think about is the sheer courage it must take for a dentist to take a drill to your teeth, or make an extraction, or fit an implant, making permanent changes to your body, as well as the knowledge and training needed.

not done it yet03/12/2021 16:56:49
6719 forum posts
20 photos

D0n’t forget that many Practices are owned and run by bupa or others. They are loaded with highly paid accountants/CEO’s etc. You are paying for them, too.

My dentist is run by bupa. My teeth have been checked over once in about the last three years (even though they used to say every 6months or you would be crossed off the NHS list). Worse still (my teeth are basically still fairly sound), is our doctor’s practice which is currently rated as unacceptable for all assessment criteria and is under enforcement action after checks by the Quality Care Commission.

It was good until this company seems to have bought out both main practices in town and the surrounding area, leaving few or no alternatives. Most patient care was crowded into one surgery (without adequate parking), receptionists are often unable to do more than ‘stone wall’, phone calls to the surgery are limited to very few hours in the mornings and the longest phone queues are likely over 30 (they likely stop counting at 28, which seems to be longest queues I have encountered). Even a return telephone call, from a doctor can be approaching two weeks!

As I see it, there are a lot of NHS funds going to this organisation for p poor service at the practices.

Martin Kyte03/12/2021 17:58:50
2721 forum posts
48 photos

Looking at it from a different angle. What are you prepared to pay for functioning teeth. We spend thousands so we can machine metal, so what would we pay to be able to eat.

regards Martin

J Hancock03/12/2021 19:50:51
832 forum posts

My last visit to an NHS dentist was in 1962 Allington House , Ipswich , an evening appointment.

I was 16 years old , it was the same establishment I had been taken to from 7 years old but this time I was

working as an apprentice.

Every single filling , up to this time had been done with NO injections of Novacaine and an 'electric' drill.

BUT this event was Dustin Hoffman / Marathon Man on steroids.

An old man with glasses appeared and said " the electric drill is broken " and proceeded to use a treadle drill.

PAIN .......................

NEVER, EVER used an NHS dentist since.

Clive Hartland03/12/2021 22:13:54
2810 forum posts
40 photos

A ecent visit to the dentist, showed a bit broken off a molar, damn toffees. He said I think it needs a crown, Oh, cannot you just fill it? OK, £65, £155 for a crown temporary.

I am sure that dentists annd now vets are being bought out and charges go up. Very dubious now about going there.

pgk pgk04/12/2021 07:15:53
2549 forum posts
293 photos

Dentistry is a business. Surprisingly, dental clinic set-up costs aren't as high as you might think: chair units from a few £K and glues, pastes, disposables are all quite reasonable. It's the building and staff costs that are the bigger burden.
NHS dentists get set fees and you'll likely find that they just don't want to do certain jobs - either referring to a hospital or pulling a tooth rather than doing money-losing work. You'll also find that the main difference between NHS and Private might be the sophistication of equipment and simply more time devoted to a single patient - NHS dentists often run 2 chairs in parallel, hopping between the two while injections take effect or x-rays get processed.

I used to do basic dentistry on my animal patients - root canals and fillings to avoid extractions. It was uncommon enough that when I did do them then I'd take the extra time to make it nice - carefully selecting colour shades of filling pastes and properly polishing them down.

When I retired and moved down here I had a large pinned filling come adrift. I went to a local NHS dentist. The shabby building didn't bother me but I was more concerned with the dead flies in the light defusers. Even a shabby building should be clean. She wanted to extract the tooth and refused to discuss any other restorative ideas I offered. I just walked out, found a private chap and 9 years later still have a functional tooth.

My previous NHS dentist had been a good chap - just up the road from my own clinic and occasionally we lent each other stuff that was back-ordered but the other had in stock. I never had any reason to doubt his work.

Digital radiography is the way to go. OK so a higher initial cost. My own large unit could image anything up to an Irish Wolfhound and when i bought it 20 years ago cost £80K but after that it was a few pennies per pic compared to the nuisance, time and maintenance costs of wet film processing. Instead of 'do we really need to take an x-ray' it became 'if it might help take a pic' and we could charge less than before plus dead easy to send a DICOM file to a new vet if they relocated or for a second opinion.


Nigel McBurney 104/12/2021 09:53:30
999 forum posts
3 photos

In my area vets and private cinics/hospitals have been taken over by companies whos main purpose is to make money ,charges have increased and the service diminished. One local vet who owned his practice and sold up said that he could not work 24/7 and the latest generation of vets want the maximum amount of cash for the minimum amount of work,and no real dedication,and there is also the problem of finding vets for the larger animals.Looking at the list of dental prices my my dentist charges at the top end of that list,but he is good,

Samsaranda04/12/2021 11:15:44
1396 forum posts
5 photos

My wife and I are both covered for dental work with Denplan, I pay a monthly subscription of £50 which covers us both and includes two inspections and two hygienist visits every twelve months each. Most dental work is carried out for no cost this includes fillings extractions and crowns, I recently broke a tooth and it was repaired with a filling at no cost, current problem is a broken bridge which I am currently considering whether to go for an implant, a denture or part replacement of the bridge which covered 4 teeth by covering just 2, decision day is next Tuesday, an implant is probably out of contention, I don’t fancy someone drilling and tapping my jawbone being a coward where pain is concerned. Previous work carried out on the failed bridge a few years ago, involved drilling through the bridge to carry out a root treatment on one of the supporting teeth, this was not an easy procedure which took three visits and involved about three hours in the chair and cost me nothing, all covered by Denplan. My last crown that was fitted about four years ago was a gold one and the only cost not covered by Denplan was the Dental Technicians fees which I had to pay and as far as I can remember was about £60.

As a cat owner I am well aware of the buying up of veterinary practices by insurance groups, fortunately we have a local vet who is still independent and fighting the insurance companies. I have four cats and two are on regular medication, one has asthma and requires inhalers, if I get these through our vet the cost is £120 each inhaler, if I get a written prescription from our vet he charges £13 and I can then go online and purchase the same inhaler for £60. Our vet has to purchase his items that he dispenses from the suppliers owned by the very insurance companies that are monopolising the industry, they charge him top whack but will sell to customers on the internet at prices which are designed to undermine independent vets, my vet is quite happy to give his customers written prescriptions. As an aside the same inhaler that my cat needs if supplied by the NHS for human patients is costed by the NHS at £60. Unfortunately our society is more and more being governed by profits, not reasonable profits but what I would class unreasonable profits. Dave W

pgk pgk04/12/2021 12:13:19
2549 forum posts
293 photos

I retired 10yrs ago and things change but a quick punt about at two of the largest UK vet drug wholesalers shows no evidence that they are owned by insurance companies. I didn't bother digging about in the current vet practice corporates.
Why anyone ever sold to a corporate I found hard to understand. They approached me a few times but not only were their price offers not exceptional but they expected the incumbent to work for 6-12mths transition to their rules and restrictions and staff training- in other words put up with the flack from one’s clients for all the changes and cost increases.
The reason I retired was due to staff. It's certainly true that there was less emphasis on dedication to the animal and more about the contemporary mantras of work-life balance and other buzzwords instead of getting on with fixing the patients. Instead of applicants wanting to know what cool toys we had and interesting procedures one was capable of they all wanted to know how early they could leave and how long their holidays would be.


Edited By pgk pgk on 04/12/2021 12:14:23

Mike Hurley04/12/2021 12:25:40
305 forum posts
87 photos

My dentist works for a group, based locally. He is excellent, cannot praise him enough.

He does all the NHS work at 'list' price, but gives the option of certain work privately with an clear estimate. e.g. having ' white ' crowns instead of the standard NHS metal ones. ( The NHS will not pay for the white ones) So it's your choice and no pressure at all. He's also a really nice chap.

Count my blessings some time!

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