Dental Patients 'Must Have Clear Pricing Information'

Which? Research Finds Many Patients Confused

20.01.2015

Dental patients need to be offered clear pricing information and guidance on the treatment options available to them, consumer group Which? has said.

A survey found that more than half of people who visited a dentist in the last six months were not given a price list, while one in five did not feel they had enough information about how much they were going to be charged.

Which? has also found that one in five NHS patients who pay for their treatment have been charged more than once over the last two years, when they should not have been.

Additionally, a quarter of people were confused about the difference between NHS and private treatment. The consumer group urged NHS England and dental regulators to ensure that dentists comply with existing rules on pricing and patient education.

"Most of us will need dental treatment throughout our lives and it’s important that when that happens people feel clear about the nature of the treatment and what it will cost upfront," said Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which?

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Expert Opinion
The findings from Which? have put an important spotlight on the issue of transparency when it comes to dental services in the UK.

"It is clear that there is much to be done to improve communication to patients, so that they are able to make informed decisions regarding not only their treatment but also the price they will pay for it.

"The safety of patients should always be a priority and proper education and guidance on their treatment is an important step towards ensuring this. NHS England and dental regulators should work quickly to improve standards on this issue."
Mandy Luckman, Partner