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As An NHS Dentist, Do I Think The Prices Are Fair?

Posted 1 September 2014 in News

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Whether or not NHS dentist prices are fair is the subject of much debate. A significant number of private dentists are earning hundreds of thousands of pounds per year, leading many NHS practitioners to turn to private practice (either part time or full time) so as to earn a higher salary. However, it must also be noted that the costs involved in providing proper dental care have risen exponentially. Government budget cuts have reduced the amount of money an NHS practitioner can potentially earn in a single year, while exchange rate changes have made it more expensive to import needed dentist equipment. Additionally, the cost of complying with various NHS dental regulations is on the rise.

Supply and Demand

The fact is that the number of dentists who are willing to see NHS patients is dwindling; in fact, the Telegraph has noted that some patients are traveling up to 40 miles in order to see an NHS dentist. At the same time, the number of patients who qualify for NHS dental care has risen exponentially over the last couple of years. It is clear that demand far outweighs the supply; what is more, this trend is set to continue for the foreseeable future.

Training

It costs anywhere from £150,000 to £250,000 to put a dentist through NHS training. Unfortunately, the problem is not so much the cost – which is in some cases borne partly by taxpayers – as  the lack of space at training facilities that is having an adverse effect on the number of NHS-approved dentists available to treat the general public. Dentists who are not able to secure a spot in an NHS training program must attend a private post-graduate course, leaving them unable to become NHS-approved dentists.

How NHS Dentistry Works

In times past, the government paid dentists according to the number of people treated and the form of treatment given. However, this is no longer the case. At present, dentists receive a fixed salary per year in exchange for doing a pre-determined amount of NHS work. The goal of this arrangement was to stop dentists from doing unnecessary, expensive procedures in order to earn more money. However, many dentists clearly feel that the fixed contract system is unfair, as is evidenced by the fact that such dentists are now refusing to treat NHS patients. Instead of leading to a rise in preventative care, the new contract system has left patients bereft of almost all forms of NHS care.

While many members of the general public feel that NHS prices are unfair in that they are too high, Nhs dentists In Coventry clearly have another point of view. The rising cost of sustaining a practice and importing needed equipment has made it necessary for dentists to earn more than they did in the past. Unfortunately, the budget cuts have made it all but impossible for dentists to sustain a successful NHS practice, even though there are plenty of patients in any given area that need care and treatment.

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I had my lower wisdom tooth removed. To say that I was a nervous patient was an understatement. The dentist was very understanding and explained the process in stages where I could ask questions. Even though I was really panicking inside the staff had a true sense of calm and the tooth removal was quick and uneventful. I originally wanted sedation but felt confident to go without. The aftercare information was very useful. I experienced a first class service here!

Visited in February 2018. Posted on 18 April 2018