FAIR PRICING POLICY
Here at Smiles in Tandem fair pricing is an important part of our ethos. We want the fees that we charge you as a patient to be great value to you but to also reflect a fair price for our skills and experience, without compromising the quality of materials, our duty to the environment, or the respect we have for our staff and suppliers. Below we have set out what we will do to try to make this happen.
Making you aware of the fees
We want you to be fully aware of the treatment we are proposing, the reason why we are proposing it and of the fees that you will pay before treatment starts. We also want you to be aware of when your fees will be due.
To do this we will:
display a fee guide on our website and make sure it is available on reception.
discuss with you the treatment we think is necessary, the reasons why and provide you with further information about your treatment where appropriate.
provide a treatment cost estimate before any treatment starts
provide a new treatment plan with updated fees if the treatment needs to change for any reason.
How can I save money on my dental treatment?
We offer practice membership plans through Denplan which spread the cost of your dental treatment out over the course of a year and offer great value as they are designed to cost a little less than your treatment would if you paid for everything individually.
Membership on Denplan Care covers all necessary treatment with just laboratory fees to pay for (if you need a crown or denture for example).
Membership on Denplan Essentials covers your Dental Health Reviews and Hygiene Maintenance appointments, in accordance with your recommended schedule. You get the added benefit of 10% discount off any treatment you need.
Members on both plans get the added benefit of 10% discount off cosmetic treatments such as tooth whitening, Airflow stain removal or veneers.
Of course, the best advice on saving on your dental costs is to keep up with your Dental Health Reviews and Hygiene Maintenance appointments. Our practice is strongly focused on prevention, we feel the greatest testament to how well we care for our patients, is how little dental treatment they need.
We review our fees every year and based on our current costs and the current market conditions we will decide whether to increase some or all our fees. We will always keep the latest pay as you go price list updated on the website and we will email or write to you to let you know if your plan fees are going to change.
If we raise our fees and you have a treatment plan that is less than 90 days old, the prices on it will be valid for 3 months from the date of the rise. Treatment plans that are older than 90 days will be subject to the new fees.
But why do you have to raise your fees?
The two major factors we take in into consideration when adjusting our fees are, our costs and the market conditions. Our costs are all the things that we must pay for in order to run a practice, there are all sorts of them ranging from cleaning and insurance to energy. By far the biggest of these are the wages, the materials and the laboratory costs, all of which have gone up significantly in recent times.
We want you to have confidence in our team and the best possible service and treatment. To do this we need the best people working for us. We think it’s only right to pay them a fair wage, if we didn’t someone else would and we would lose them.
The cost for materials and laboratories varies hugely. We could reduce our fees by using cheaper materials, cheaper equipment, or find a cheaper laboratory, but these savings in the short term are far outweighed by the need to more frequently repair and replace your treatment in the long term.
What exactly does Fair Pricing mean?
More than just the outright value of our services we also believe there are certain principles that we try to uphold:
We feel it an absolutely necessity to minimise our impact on the environment by choosing renewable sources (although the fees we pay electricity have remained remarkably competitive with other non-renewable tariffs).
We want to make use of the fantastic local talent we have in our area.
We want to use local high quality laboratories with technicians who we have excellent working relationships with instead of a large corporate laboratory or a dental lab abroad who lack the personal touch and care that our local master craftsman possess.
We think by following these principles we are giving you the best possible service at good value, our impact on the environment is a small as it can be and we are treating our staff and suppliers fairly, this is what we mean by fair pricing.
Why do your prices say “from”?
Our prices are based on the amount of time it takes to provide the treatment, plus the cost of the materials we will need to use. It’s hard to be completely accurate on our fee guide because for instance, a small white filling may take 20 minutes and only use a small amount of material, whereas a large one may take twice as long or longer. If you need a treatment with a price “from”, you will be given a price for your treatment before your treatment begins.
Why is my treatment plan an “estimate”?
Even when we have seen you and provide you with a treatment plan, the figures are an estimate. Sometimes when we identify a problem in the mouth, we don’t know exactly what’s going to be involved in fixing it until we begin the treatment. We will try to explain these potential variations before we start but sometimes it’s not possible to specify all the permutations at the outset. A good example of this is when we need to replace a failing crown. Even an X-ray won't show if there is decay under the crown, we won’t know the extent of the problem until we have taken the old one off. Sometimes, we can proceed straight to a new final crown, but other times, you may need additional treatment before we can make the new crown.
Why our prices may be more expensive than another practice
We regularly check the prices of other practices in the area to ensure that we are competitive, it is unlikely we are a great deal different but if you have seen some very low prices on the internet you should proceed with caution, the saying “if something seems too good to be true, then it probably is” is as true in dentistry as in general life.
Here are some things to check:
Make sure that you are not getting 'partial pricing'. For example, if you see a low price for an implant make sure it is for the implant, the crown and any additional treatment you may need.
As discussed above, the cost of materials varies considerably, but if you find a price significantly cheaper, there’s a good chance that the materials are significantly cheaper too.
Treatment abroad is often cheaper because they don’t have to worry about you if things go wrong as you’re unlikely to want to travel back to get things sorted. Even the best treatment provided by the best clinicians goes wrong sometimes and we want to be here to support you if the unfortunate does happen.
Finally, consider the skills, qualifications and experience of the team who are looking after you. At Smiles in Tandem we only select dentists, hygienists and therapists who have similar ethos, high ethical and environmental standards, and excellent dental skills, we think it is fair to pay them what they are worth.
I hope that this fair pricing leaflet has answered any questions you may have. If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
The team at Smiles in Tandem