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Ever wondered what you're really paying for at the Dentist?

Updated: Dec 18, 2018

Going to the dentist is an important part of everyday life.  The World Health Organisation recommends twice yearly visits to stay on top of your oral health.

For some this sounds like a sound investment in order to keep their teeth and gums healthy.  For some this sounds like a costly affair.  For most, not knowing or understanding where the money is invested is highly probable.

Here are a few myths surrounding Private Dentistry, dispelled.

Dentists charge what they like!  Dentists make the prices up as they go along!  Our money just goes towards their next holiday/car!

Wrong! Contrary to popular belief, the money doesn’t all go in the dentist pocket!  Far from it! 

Dentists are governed by the GDC (General Dental Council) and regulated by the CQC (Care Quality Commission).  It is a requirement that dentists are clear and transparent with the cost of treatment.  Here at College Street Dental Centre, Petersfield, all our prices are on our website,, provided to you in our New Patient Information packs.  You are provided with a treatment plan for any upcoming care required, showing the costs to you clearly, a copy of which you take home with you.

Every dentist, nurse and hygienist has to be covered for professional indemnity.  In our practice this is an annual cost of nearly £4000.

Clinical governance dictates that risk assessments, servicing and audits are carried out on pretty much everything!  To name just a few:

An annual fire risk assessment

An annual fire extinguisher service

Quarterly servicing of our Sterilisers

Membership to providing Xray services

Legionella risk assessment

Annual servicing of suction pumps and dental chairs

Annual electrical PAT testing

These alone accrue thousands of pounds in Practice costs each year.

Dentists have seen a meteoric rise in recent years of the costs of materials, and the majority have tried, where possible not to pass the burden directly onto the patient.  Did you know for example, that a single pot of adhesive, used for white fillings (smaller than a nail varnish pot) is £120!!  We are charged £17 for every bag of clinical waste collected. (Usually about 5 of these a week).  For each patient, 4 sets of disposable gloves are used.  Many of our materials are for single use only, not just gloves:  drill pieces, and files for Root Canal Treatment are just a couple of pricey examples!  Our CT Scanner costs £1500 per month to run.    Private Dentists are not subsidised by government contracts in way shape or form, and have to meet these costs come rain or shine. 

Obviously you know that our dentists are all medically qualified.  But did you know the level of training that our nurses and hygienists go through??  Nurses study for 2 years to become qualified.  Hygienists spend three years full time doing a degree before being able to Practice their profession. (Many have been qualified dental nurses before progressing into this field). All dental clinicians and nurses must maintain professional subscriptions to the GDC as well as undertake ongoing study every single year to stay abreast of the very latest regulations and training.

Here at College Street Dental Centre, we use the very best materials, technology and staff to be able to give you the very best in service, treatment and care.

Not to mention, (familiar to you all I’m sure) the cost of heating and lighting and other public services.  It is essential that our staff are paid monthly on time, and looked after.  Our staff are happy here which is shown in the service levels they provide.  Despite our very best efforts, there will always be people who cancel their appointments at the last minute (in the majority of cases, due to genuine emergency) or who forget to turn up.  This costs the Practice over £35,000 in lost revenue.

So after all this has been accounted for… I say to you Profit?? What profit?! …..Certainly not as much as you might have thought.  Dentistry is a business, yes, but above all it is a vocation –they do it because they care.  Because you care.

For more information about our practice contact 01730 263180 or visits

For further information or advice contact College Street Dental Centre in Petersfield, Hampshire on 01730 263180


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