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Our dental care most expensive

10th January 2008

A new survey has found that dental treatment provided by the NHS in England is the most costly in Europe.

Dentist Chair

The study of dental costs in nine countries was headed by the Erasmus University Rotterdam, in Holland.

It discovered that the price of a filling to the health service was €156 (£117) in England in comparison to only €8 (£6) in Hungary. The price included the cost of equipment, scans and the dentist's time.

However, the study has been criticised for not taking into account differences in the cost of living.

The study comes at a time when the government faces calls to improve access to dental care in the country. In March 2007, the government said 2 million people who wanted to have NHS dental treatment were not able to find it.

Dentists have significantly increased the amount of private work they do over the last ten years. As a result many patients find it extremely hard to locate a dentist who accepts new NHS patients.

A dentist with his or her own practice could expect to earn an average of £105,000 in 2004-05. Over 50% of this income was from private clients, compared to only 6% in 1990.

England came top of the list for costs of treatment, with Italy in second place with €135 and Spain in third place with €125. Dental care was much cheaper in some other countries, costing €67 in Germany and €46 in France.

Peter Ward, of the British Dental Association, criticised the report: "It is a very small sample, it is not representative and it is not comparing like with like."


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