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London dentist introduces recession-busting way of spreading the cost of routine dental care

With no sign of the economic downturn ending many Brits are having to tighten their money-belts and purse strings to make ends meet.

But skimping on essential outlays – like dental costs – are false economies if they compromise your health and well-being. Deferring check-ups and hygiene appointments on the grounds of costs could end up costing you more money in the long run if they mean that problems, ones which are hard to address later, go undetected.

Putney dentist Ethicare has come up with a solution for patients who want to look after their oral health and their money.

Flyers advertising the new Denplan Essentials scheme have just gone up in this practice’s reception area and contain details of three different year-long dental care cover schemes.

With prices starting from as little as £12 per month and savings of up to £23 per year to be made, these schemes are sure to attract interest from financially-prudent patients.

Plan A offers one check-up and two 30-minute hygiene appointments per year for £12 per month; a saving of £11 per year

Plan B offers two check-ups and two hygiene appointments per year for £15.65 per month (a saving of £17.20)

Plan C offers two check-ups and four 30-minute hygiene appointments per year for £23.50 per month (a saving of £23)

Benefits such as preventive dental advice and ten per cent-off fillings are also included in the schemes. People who subscribe to the scheme can take advantage of worldwide dental emergency cover; something which is very useful should you suddenly require treatment when abroad.

Commenting on the new schemes, dentist Dr Glafcos Tombolis, who runs the practice, said: “This is a great way for people to keep on top of their routine needs by splitting the yearly cost of dental charges into monthly amounts.”

Dr Tombolis added: “The cost of a dental check-up or hygiene appointment is the same as a lot of people pay for a trip to the hairdressers – and a lot more vital.”

The dentist believes that the inclusion of hygienist appointments in the Denplan Essentials packages will prove particularly useful. He said: “Sometimes preventative measures such as an appointment with one of our hygienists can be more beneficial than a dental check-up as it keeps bacterial levels low.”

Dental check-ups are also vital as they can pick up on problems that patients aren’t aware of and treat them before they cause discomfort. Often a patient will feel no pain in their mouth until tooth decay has reached an advanced stage; one of many reasons why check-ups can be so beneficial.

Schemes like Denplan Essentials could lead to busier dental practices.

In March 2011, the publication of the Adult Dental Health Survey revealed that one in five people have delayed having treatment for financial reasons.

Commenting on such findings, Dr Nigel Carter of the British Dental Health Foundation, said: “Dental care should not be viewed as a luxury. It has been proven that looking after your health can reduce the risk of getting infections which in turn can spread to other parts of the body.”

Another good reason to view dental costs as a positive investment rather than an unnecessary expense.

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