Look after your NHS Dental Registration post coronavirus.
22nd August 2020
During the COVID-19 lockdown, dental practices were closed and emergency and urgent care only was available through the NHS in… read more
Now, as we resume work, the dental sector is having to consider the financial cost of a restricted return to work after three months of compulsory closure. Once again, patients are calling to book routine appointments, and the team is explaining why the fee structure is different now. To help, here is a brief overview to explain the increases in dental costs post-coronavirus.
Since we opened in June for the phased return to work, we have prioritised how best to keep both patients and staff safe. As you know, the government closed dental practices for three months to help control the virus.
To be able to return to work with appropriate safety measures in place, our operating procedures have been extensively revised to meet requirements in our post-covid-19 world.
Changes to the way we now work include:
The cost to dentists of delivering even a simple filling has increased considerably post-coronavirus. During June, we saw only urgent cases and kept fees the same until we could review the costs.
After careful consideration, additional charges were implemented during July.
We are aware that many of our patients have lost income during the lockdown and are also facing challenges getting back to work. We can only hope this will help you understand why we need the surcharge.
Sadly we’re aware that an increase in dental fees may deter patients from booking visits to the dentist. Indeed, patients may even choose to defer dental care until there’s an effective vaccination against the virus causing Covid-19. Professionally, that’s the last thing we want as we know regular dental care helps people maintain better oral health. But we can understand if patients are reluctant to visit or deterred by the additional cost.
During this phase of recovery, so practices can deliver treatments to patients, SpaDental has added a supplementary charge rather than just increasing the total fee. This means that the cost for the actual treatment is clear. Moreover, the additional supplement for covering increased expenses because of current special measures is clearly differentiated.
The hope is, fingers crossed, that we can reduce or remove the Covid-19 surcharge. By keeping the treatment fees and the surcharge separate, we can adjust it easily. Moreover, you know what it is.
|Non-aerosol treatments such as:|
– scale and polish (with hand tools)
– emergency assessments
|Aerosol generating procedure under 45 minutes||£40.00|
|Aerosol generating procedure over 60 minutes||£60.00|
Reviewing costs this month, the surcharge per patient should be set at a minimum of £60 per appointment. It really is that much.
While the media focuses on the rising cost of PPE, there are far more significant additional costs for practices at this time. While PPE is a visible cost, patients may not be aware of the unseen costs. Two significant expenses are the amount of time surgeries are empty, and the increased number of staff per appointment delivered.
Our day to day business is general dentistry. This means delivering hygiene treatments, placing fillings, crowns and root canals. These everyday treatments are all procedures which fall into the category of aerosol generating procedures, or AGPs. And, these days, aerosol generating treatments require dentists to wear full PPE and leave surgeries empty for an hour after use.
SpaDental decided to set the current surcharge in proportion to the treatment. This means that shorter AGP treatments will carry a lower surcharge, and non-aerosol generating treatments will be even lower. Moreover, when possible, your dentist will suggest replacing an AGP treatment with a method that doesn’t require high speed tools and water. For example, teeth can be scaled and crowns can be smoothed with hand tools.
Tiered surcharges means the practice will absorb some of the additional expenses, and will not pass on all of the costs to the patients. We’re sorry we need to levy this additional charge at all, but it is essential. This way is the fairest division of cost we can implement.
We are monitoring opening hours, staff teams and appointment scheduling to be as cost-effective as possible. We want our return to work to be successful so we can continue to help you, our patients, maintain your optimum oral health.
People also ask:
Prior to arriving at an appointment, we have a screening procedure. One of the team will be in touch with you to check your information, and ask you questions about your exposure to the virus.
During your pre-appointment communication with SpaDental, we will explain about fees and surcharges. We believe that being clear about costs now is an essential part of our service.
We want you to know what to expect, so if you have any questions, please take this opportunity to ask them.
Patients may consider joining one of our dental plans to spread the cost of dentistry over the year. Or, for more expensive treatments, you may want to apply for finance.
We sincerely thank you for your understanding.
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Updated: 2nd August 2020
We are receiving a lot of calls and messages now, and are doing our best to follow up and reply to your questions as soon as we can.
Thank you for your understanding.
During our phased return to in-person service:
Not all of our dental services are available immediately, therefore patient needs are assessed before an in-person booking is made.
Access our free remote advice and triage service:
For regular updates, please take a look at SpaDental News and follow us on Facebook too.
Patients often ask:
If you have any questions about your oral health or our services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch using the contact button above, email, or by phone during normal working hours.