Cost of dental treatments show huge price variations

Patients pay over 900 percent more for private dental treatments depending on which clinic they choose

84 percent of WhatClinic.com users admit to having put off dental treatment due to prohibitively high costs

Following a survey of over 500 private dental clinics, variations of over 900% in the prices of even basic dental treatments have been revealed. The survey was carried out by WhatClinic.com, the search engine dedicated to health, and the massive price differences have come as a shock to all. A dreaded root canal on a front tooth will cost you £57 in Newcastle, but in London a whopping £600, a difference of 953%.

Other huge variations on other treatments were also observed. A check-up will cost anything from £13-£125 in London whilst teeth whitening in Glasgow costs £99 compared to £895 in the capital. The vastly differing prices are a clear indication of the healthy competition that exists between the clinics, but it seems that most patients are unaware of the savings that can be made.

WhatClinic.com also ran a parallel survey of 500 visitors to the UK which revealed that 84% had suffered pain but hadn’t sought dental treatment due to the cost. In addition, over half of those who responded said they would happily travel for more than 30 minutes to visit a cheaper dentist, and 23% would travel for more than an hour.

Philip Boyle, WhatClinic.com’s marketing manager, said that it was traditionally difficult and time consuming for patients to work out what option were available to them as far as private dentistry was involved. He said that by the website publishing prices from clinics across the UK, patients now had the information at hand to make more informed choices.

“Those people prepared to travel could find the savings they make are significant. For example, the cost of a dental implant in Sheffield starts at £2,000, but drops to £1,350 in Manchester. By travelling just 40 miles west, people from Sheffield can look to make a saving of as much as £650.”

Even within cities, price differences can be dramatic. Birmingham residents can pay as little as £160 or as much as £650 for in-clinic teeth whitening. Price variations between clinics can be attributed to a number of factors but cost shouldn’t be the only factor patients take into consideration when choosing a clinic, warns Boyle.

“The experience of the dentists involved, the equipment they use and their location can all be factors in why prices vary from clinic to clinic. Members of the public should check online for additional information including qualifications, treatment reviews from past patients and customer service feedback so they can make a better informed choice when deciding which clinic is right for them.”

Further findings from the WhatClinic.com research:

Dental Treatment
National Average
Lowest Price
Highest Price

Check-up
£35
£13 London
£125 London

Root Canal(Front Tooth)
£230
£57 Newcastle
£600 London

In-Clinic Teeth Whitening
£415
£99 Glasgow
£895 London

Veneers
£430
£120 Bristol
£2,000 London

Implants
£1,964
£850 Newcastle
£3,300 London

(Source: WhatClinic.com 2011)