Sunday 27 May 2018

Revealed: Dublin dental care can be expensive - but it's not the most costly county to get a tooth out

'Postcode lottery' over dental work costs

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Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

Massive variations in the cost of common dental treatments across the country have been uncovered in a new survey.

The price of getting a tooth out is costly in Dublin, but cheapest in Donegal.

The survey shows the price of the perfect smile varies greatly, and if you do not mind travelling it may be worth it financially.

The average cost of an extraction is €85 across the State, but it is possible to have the procedure carried out for €59 in Donegal, according to a survey carried out by dental research and marketing company DentalBooster.com.

Some 1,225 dental surgeries around the country were contacted manually to get their prices.

Dental Booster is a Cork-based company that offers marketing services to dentists. Founded by marketeer Adrian Duffy, it has been in existence for 10 years.

The survey found that getting a tooth out costs on average €83 across Co Carlow, but the same procedure costs an average of €65 in Co Cavan.

Dubliners can expect to pay an average of €96 to have a decayed tooth taken out.

Cork people pay less, with an average price across the county of €84, according to the survey.

It found that the cheapest average price for dental consultation in the country is Co Louth at €33.

Co Roscommon is the most expensive, at €60. The average cost of consulting a dentist in the 26 counties is €46.

Despite the large variation in prices for a range of dental procedures, consumers are reluctant to move away from a dentist they know.

For complicated treatments such as crowns, costs also vary hugely. Kerry is more than twice as expensive, at €825, as Monaghan, at €350, according to the survey. 

When it comes to tooth replacement options, full upper and lower dentures cost €933 on average in Wicklow, while Offaly seems a more affordable option at €525.

Teeth whitening in Wexford costs an average of €475 for in-clinic tooth whitening, more than double that of Laois, at €212.

Consumers are reluctant to change their dental clinic even when prices increase.

The survey found that 36pc of patients are less likely to leave a particular dentist who they attend. 

“The treatment costs fluctuate from town to town, we have seen differences of up to 52pc in similar treatments from clinics within 10km of each other,” Mr Duffy said.

Fintan Hourihan, of the Irish Dental Association (IDA), said the survey shows a significant variation in price around the country and that indicates there is healthy price competition among dentists.

“The survey notes that people are slow to change their dentist.

“Many people have long-standing relationships with their dentist built on trust,” he added.

He said an IDA survey a number of years ago found that on average people remain with their dentist for just under 11 years.

“In our experience the personal reputation of the dentist is the most important factor for people choosing a dentist and fees are usually ranked below quality of care by the dentist and his staff, convenience, and opening hours,” he said.

Mr Hourihan said that unlike other health professionals, dentists are required to display their prices.

He said customers should discuss payment options, and shop around for quotes.

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