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Dentist overcharging-£3000 for Mouth Disinfecting

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  • Mcasey100
    Mcasey100 Posts: 11 Forumite
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    It is going to cost way more to have 40 mins with a specialist periodontist than it is to have 40 mins with a hygienist. 

    The devil is very much in the detail. 

    There is no way you will be able to get quotes by just ringing up and saying 'How much do you charge for a full mouth disinfection?' You will need to go round visiting (and paying for) another specialist periodontist to have a look at your mouth and seeing what they think. Were you referred to that specialist by your own general dentist, or did you just decide yourself that this specialist periodontist was the place for you? 
    The dentist in question has good reviews and is well-established. So I thought they would be a good option. But the periodontal treatments are not priced on the website. I just don't see how £1500 approx can be justified for such a short treatment. Rightly or wrong, I think its taking advantage
  • MattMattMattUK
    MattMattMattUK Posts: 8,897 Forumite
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    Mcasey100 said:
    It is going to cost way more to have 40 mins with a specialist periodontist than it is to have 40 mins with a hygienist. 

    The devil is very much in the detail. 

    There is no way you will be able to get quotes by just ringing up and saying 'How much do you charge for a full mouth disinfection?' You will need to go round visiting (and paying for) another specialist periodontist to have a look at your mouth and seeing what they think. Were you referred to that specialist by your own general dentist, or did you just decide yourself that this specialist periodontist was the place for you? 
    The dentist in question has good reviews and is well-established. So I thought they would be a good option. But the periodontal treatments are not priced on the website. I just don't see how £1500 approx can be justified for such a short treatment. Rightly or wrong, I think its taking advantage
    You are not just paying for their time when seeing you, firstly the prep and clean down for a 40 appointment likely takes an hour, then there is the practice and insurance cost, the cost of the local anaesthetic and everything that is involved with administering those, the cost of their training and experience etc.

    It may be at the top end of the costs on the market, or it may not, but regardless of any of that it is the cost you agreed to before treatment. Some people will be happy to pay that cost with that specific dentist, others will not. I visit a dental hygienist every six months, it costs around £90, I could find somewhere as cheap as £50, or there is another place near that charges just shy of £200, a private dentist with an element of prestige attached (I know, it makes no sense) could easily charge £500 for the same treatment. Prices vary. 
  • lorryw
    lorryw Posts: 148 Forumite
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    Sorry but that is an obscene amount of money to be charged. That equates to almost £35 a minute! 
  • Exodi
    Exodi Posts: 2,928 Forumite
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    edited 2 August 2023 at 3:31PM
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    lorryw said:
    Sorry but that is an obscene amount of money to be charged. That equates to almost £35 a minute! 
    I think if we timed how long a specialised task actually required to be completed by a specialised professional, we might as well start calling out all plumbers, electricians, legal professionals, medical professionals, vets, etc.
    Know what you don't
  • lorryw
    lorryw Posts: 148 Forumite
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    Exodi said:
    lorryw said:
    Sorry but that is an obscene amount of money to be charged. That equates to almost £35 a minute! 
    I think if we timed how long a specialised task actually required to be completed by a specialised professional, we might as well start calling out all plumbers, electricians, legal professionals, medical professionals, vets, etc.
    Fair enough but personally I wouldn't have a cat in hells chance finding that amount of money. The National Living Wage is currently only £10.42 an hour.
  • MattMattMattUK
    MattMattMattUK Posts: 8,897 Forumite
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    lorryw said:
    Exodi said:
    lorryw said:
    Sorry but that is an obscene amount of money to be charged. That equates to almost £35 a minute! 
    I think if we timed how long a specialised task actually required to be completed by a specialised professional, we might as well start calling out all plumbers, electricians, legal professionals, medical professionals, vets, etc.
    Fair enough but personally I wouldn't have a cat in hells chance finding that amount of money. The National Living Wage is currently only £10.42 an hour.
    The median hourly wage is £18.56 (mean is £22.11), 20% of households have more than £66k disposable income, the top 10% and 1% is considerably higher. There are plenty of things that most of us cannot afford that many others can, more than enough to keep those businesses viable. 
  • Mcasey100
    Mcasey100 Posts: 11 Forumite
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    Mcasey100 said:
    It is going to cost way more to have 40 mins with a specialist periodontist than it is to have 40 mins with a hygienist. 

    The devil is very much in the detail. 

    There is no way you will be able to get quotes by just ringing up and saying 'How much do you charge for a full mouth disinfection?' You will need to go round visiting (and paying for) another specialist periodontist to have a look at your mouth and seeing what they think. Were you referred to that specialist by your own general dentist, or did you just decide yourself that this specialist periodontist was the place for you? 
    The dentist in question has good reviews and is well-established. So I thought they would be a good option. But the periodontal treatments are not priced on the website. I just don't see how £1500 approx can be justified for such a short treatment. Rightly or wrong, I think its taking advantage
    You are not just paying for their time when seeing you, firstly the prep and clean down for a 40 appointment likely takes an hour, then there is the practice and insurance cost, the cost of the local anaesthetic and everything that is involved with administering those, the cost of their training and experience etc.

    It may be at the top end of the costs on the market, or it may not, but regardless of any of that it is the cost you agreed to before treatment. Some people will be happy to pay that cost with that specific dentist, others will not. I visit a dental hygienist every six months, it costs around £90, I could find somewhere as cheap as £50, or there is another place near that charges just shy of £200, a private dentist with an element of prestige attached (I know, it makes no sense) could easily charge £500 for the same treatment. Prices vary. 
    I get prices vary. I get the time is not just the 40 minutes I saw him for. But I think believe I have been grossly overcharged unless someone can convince me otherwise.
  • Undervalued
    Undervalued Posts: 8,918 Forumite
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    edited 3 August 2023 at 8:23AM
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    I agree that this sounds like a total rip off for the amount of work done, even allowing for a highly skilled and extensively trained dentist working in an expensive / up market practice.

    However, being expensive isn't a crime providing that the customer / client / patient hasn't been mislead about what was proposed and the work has been done to a good professional standard.

    For example, was it suggested that say five 40 min sessions were needed to do this treatment properly but it was then done in one? If so then the OP was clearly mislead and / or the work wasn't done properly then there might be some comeback.

    However, if he was simply told that XXX needs doing and our fee will be £3K, then providing XXX was indeed done properly then he has simply chosen to accept an apparently very expensive quote.

    OP, have you complained? Have you had an independent opinion on the quality of the treatment done?

    Obviously you could make an implied "threat" to name and shame but be very careful to stick to indisputable facts!


  • Toothsmith
    Toothsmith Posts: 10,076 Forumite
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    edited 3 August 2023 at 8:49AM
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    What's going to be happening on the second session? 

    Treating gum disease is just as much about the education given to the patient as well as anything 'done' to the patient.  Without that, and a change in your habits & tooth cleaning routine, whatever is 'done' would be money down the pan anyway.

    So be aware of what is being done, pay very close attention to what you are being told (and be sure to start putting it into practise) and make sure that it's successful. 
    How to find a dentist.
    1. Get recommendations from friends/family/neighbours/etc.
    2. Once you have a short-list, VISIT the practices - dont just phone. Go on the pretext of getting a Practice Leaflet.
    3. Assess the helpfulness of the staff and the level of the facilities.
    4. Only book initial appointment when you find a place you are happy with.
  • Emily_Joy
    Emily_Joy Posts: 1,264 Forumite
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    Usually when you attend the practice you get to sign a document saying that you agree with the cost of services. I think it is impossible to advise without seeing the treatment plan and detailed break out of the cost.
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