Sunday 22 April 2018

Dentist practice markets itself to 'dental tourists'

130 dental patients took their grievances to the the Dental Complaints Resolution Service
130 dental patients took their grievances to the the Dental Complaints Resolution Service

A DENTIST practice claiming to follow the model of low-cost carrier Ryanair says it is bucking the trend and attracting back so-called dental tourists by cutting costs.

Almost 8,000 patients have had a consultation with MyDental in Dublin's Ballsbridge, which maintains it can match any price offered in Northern Ireland for treatment as it keeps outgoings to a minimum.

Gerard Egan, clinical director, said when travel costs and time off work are also added in, the practice can usually come in cheaper than travelling to eastern Europe – which attracted huge numbers of Irish dental tourists during the boom.

He stressed the quality of work and materials used are the same as any other clinic, but argues he can save a patient about a third by buying in bulk from suppliers who he "pins to the wire".

The businessman says he looks after the books and negotiates tough deals with suppliers and laboratories while a team of four dentists focus on treatments.

Growing numbers of patients are now visiting them from Northern Ireland and a large number of the client list are Latvians and Lithuanians.

He maintains the low-cost model has worked so well he plans to open two new clinics, a second in south Dublin and one in Munster, next year.

"Dentists don't do negotiations," said Mr Egan.

"I also get the feeling fees don't matter to them. If their patients are willing to pay what the fees are, no matter what the fees are, and nobody is complaining, they (dentists) won't look for lower prices.

"That's fine because it works for the patient, dentist and supplier."

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