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News / April 11, 2011

Displaying dental fees mandatory from June

by Guy Hiscott

The Dental Council issued a Code of Practice today [11 April 2011] making it mandatory for dentists to display private fees in a place where patients can view them before consultation.

A single fee must apply for some procedures while the fees for others may be shown as a range, with a minimum and maximum clearly stated. Where a range of fees applies, it is not permitted to set a minimum price only.

The Irish Dental Association (IDA) has welcomed the new Code of Practice.

The chief executive of the IDA, Fintan Hourihan, said a recent survey by the Consumer Association showed real price competition existed across the country and this would become more apparent with fees on public display.

According to the IDA, all available evidence suggests that patients choose their dentist for a variety of reasons such as having trust in their dentist, having confidence in the standards of hygiene and cleanliness within the practice, and convenient location.

The Dental Council has also published guidance for members of the public on the criteria they should use in choosing a dentist.

Referring to this, Mr Hourihan stated: ‘We would strongly encourage patients to acquaint themselves with this advice in deciding on which dentist they entrust with their treatment and care.’

New guidance was also issued relating scope of practice, which describes the tasks that each member of the dental team is legally entitled to carry out and is intended for use by both the public and the profession.

To download the guidance documents, visit