The price of dental treatments in England is set to rise by 5% by the year 2017/18; a routine check-up will cost over twenty pounds and band C treatments, such as dental crowns, will cost over £240.
According to the government, the price changes will only affect ‘those who can afford it’ whilst at the same time ‘protecting the most vulnerable’. However, the British Dental Association does not agree, saying that this price rise could ultimately damage the dental health of the nation, as people avoid going to the dentist for check-ups and treatment.
A written statement to Parliament by Health Minister Alistair Burt said that the decision has been made to implement the 5% price rise, stating that ‘Dental charges remain an important contribution to the overall cost of dental services, first introduced in 1951.’
Henrik Overgaard-Nielsen, of the British Dental Association, called the price hike ‘unprecedented’ and argued that this will only ‘discourage the patients that are most in need of care.’ He added that dentists were ‘being asked to play the role of tax collector, while our patients are singled out to subsidise the health service.’ Finally he said that this is likely to ‘undermine’ the relationship between dentists and patients, whilst giving patients ‘another reason to avoid visiting the dentist.’