How visit to dentist can cost you €43 more in Carlow than in Cavan
GETTING a tooth taken out by a dentist is costly in Carlow, but cheapest in Cavan.
And getting your teeth whitened in Kerry could send your bank balance into the red.
Details of the wide variations in the cost of dental care between different counties is revealed in a new survey.
Prices for achieving that perfect smile vary so much that they have been described as a lottery.
The survey found that the cheapest average price for dental consultations in the country is Co Westmeath at €28, while Co Cork is the most expensive, at €64. The average cost of consulting a dentist in the 26 counties is €45.
Consumers have been warned that having a tooth taken out could be financially as well as physically painful.
An extraction costs on average €50 in Cavan but is almost double that in Carlow at €93. Across the country, dentists charge €76 to take out a tooth.
Teeth whitening in Kerry costs an average of €388, more than double that of Westmeath, at €159, the survey by WhatClinic.com, a Dublin headquartered private healthcare search engine, found.
The most expensive check-up was found at a Westport clinic. A check-up in the Mayo town is 16 times the price of the cheapest, found in Limerick and costing just €10, according to the survey.
Across Ireland, the average cost of teeth-whitening is €262, but the best value for money is in Co Westmeath, where it costs €159.
Kerry, at €388, is the most expensive county for whitening, at more than double that of Co Westmeath. However, one clinic in Sandycove charges patients more than €650 for the treatment, according to the survey carried out by WhatClinic.com.
Patients looking to snap up a bargain smile from having their teeth cleaned should head to Foxrock in Dublin where the treatment costs as little as €17, but avoid Dublin's city centre where the same treatment can set you back up to €150.
The country has seen a 68pc rise in people enquiring about teeth-cleaning appointments, although the biggest increase has been in Kildare where they have more than tripled, data from the website indicates.
Chief executive of WhatClinic.com Caelen King said consumers should check the prices before giving their business to an expensive dental clinic.
The company surveyed 1,000 dentists around the country, with at least 10 surveyed in each county.
"Dental treatment in Ireland can be a complete lottery. Even something as straightforward as a dental check-up can fluctuate massively depending on where you live, and can also vary quite dramatically between dental clinics in the same city or town."
Families could be hit with high costs unless they seek out the best value, Mr King said.
WhatClinic.com was founded by Mr King and has operations in 127 countries.
Chief executive of the Irish Dental Association Fintan Hourihan said the survey confirmed there was real competition for those who pick a dentist based on fees.
"Most people choose a dentist based on word-of-mouth recommendation and trust. Dentists display their fees openly and the vast majority have reduced or frozen their fees in recent times.
"We don't know how the survey was conducted or if it is comparing like with like," he added.
Mr Hourihan said people stay with the same dentist for an average of 11 years.