PRIVATE dental patients in the Capital are paying almost double the cost of treatment in Glasgow, it has been claimed.
A new survey has shown that the average cost of a standard consultation in the city has risen to £74 – the second highest rate in Britain – compared with just £27 in Scotland’s second city.
There is also a wide disparity in the cost of more complex procedures, with a bridge costing £443 in Edinburgh compared with £293 in Glasgow, dentures set patients back £473 compared with £260 while a dental implant costs an average of £2273 in the Capital – more than £800 more than in the west.
Overall, private healthcare comparison company WhatClinic.com said that patients in the Capital were having to fork out an average of 42 per cent more for treatment compared with their Glasgow counterparts.
Philip Boyle, marketing manager for the firm, said the survey had revealed that there was no wider disparity in price in Britain between two cities so close together, and that Edinburgh residents may be unaware they could save hundreds of pounds by travelling down the M8 for treatment.
“I was surprised by the scale of the difference – 42 per cent is fairly massive,” he said. “Part of what we are trying to do is raise awareness. People will think first of whether a dentist is close to where they live or work, but even in the city there are a lot of options.
“They might be willing to travel half an hour to save £20 or for another hour if they’re going to save hundreds.”
WhatClinic.com surveyed more than 3000 private dentists in the UK, including 50 in Glasgow and 30 in Edinburgh. Overall, it found that the average cost of a standard check-up in private dental practices has risen by 22 per cent in just one year.
Mr Boyle said that what is included in a standard consultation could vary between cities, but that the other treatments were roughly comparable.
The Vermilion clinic in Corstorphine, which treats patients referred by other dentists for specialist treatment, opened 18 months ago and lists prices of between £50 for a panoramic X-ray and £16,995 for same-day implants.
Marketing manager Emma Offord said that their patients were happy to pay for expert dentists and state-of-the-art equipment in a pleasant environment, and warned that other clinics could advertise misleading prices.
“Some will say an implant costs from a certain amount, and the from is the interesting factor,” she said. “It’s often a price to get people through the door and when there’s a detailed plan it can be a lot more.”
Andrew Lamb, British Dental Association director for Scotland, said: “Within the NHS, prices for dental treatment are fixed across Scotland according to a fee-per-item system. However, prices for private dental treatment are set by individual surgeries. They will vary according to a number of factors including a practice’s staffing, premises and equipment costs. The location of a practice is one of these factors because business property rental varies in the same way it does for domestic properties.”