A study of over 12,000 dentists around the UK has revealed the cheapest and most expensive areas to have a check-up and other common treatments, and the scale of the differences between them.
The variation can be quite substantial, with the average private dental check-up in Glasgow costing £31, compared to £62 in Milton Keynes. A single London dentist charges £185 for the service, compared to an individual offering the same thing for £15 in Birmingham.
While all NHS dentists are required to offer flat rates for particular services, some people live in areas where there are very few NHS options, forcing them to rely on private practitioners.
The NHS charge for a check-up and other band one services is currently £18.80. Band two treatments (fillings, root canals and tooth removal) are £51.30 and band three (crowns, dentures and other treatments) costs £222.50.
The variation in private prices can become even more pronounced when more invasive treatment is involved. On average, York is the most expensive place to have a root canal, at £365, whereas in Glasgow the same treatment costs £185.
Commenting on the findings, a spokesman for the British Dental Association told the Telegraph: “The costs incurred in providing dental treatment are significant. They include premises, payment of staff and the purchase and running of complex equipment. Dentists operate in different ways and use different equipment, laboratories and materials.
“The dentist will provide patients with a costed treatment plan that should mean no surprises.”
The research was carried out by WhatClinic.com, a private healthcare comparison site. Consumer watchdog Which? has previously issued calls to make the system of private and NHS dental charges more transparent. This would allow patients to assess all of their options, and if necessary, shop around for better prices.