Fair Pricing Policy
Created on: December 2022
Here at FHP Dental, the philosophy of our pricing is that we need to be fair to our patients - we want the fees that we charge you as a patient to be of great value to you. We also need to be fair to our skilled employees, to our suppliers, and to the environment. Moreover, we also need to be fair to ourselves, because we have got a business to run.
We have a right to generate a reasonable return to reinvest back into the business; you as a patient are entitled to be charged a fair price for the service that we deliver. It is by bringing all that fairness together we end up with this fair pricing policy.
Making you aware of the fees
Before treatment commences, we want you to be fully aware of the treatment we are proposing, the reason why they are proposed, and of the fees that you will pay. We also want you to be aware of when your fees will be due, in most cases this will be at the end of each appointment.
To do this we will:
- Display a fee guide on the website;
- Discuss with you the treatment we think is necessary, the reasons why and provide relevant information about your treatment;
- Provide a treatment plan which includes estimated costs for each patient before treatment commence;
- Provide a revised treatment plan with updated fees if the treatment needs to change for any reason.
How can I save money on my dental treatment?
- Sign up for our dental membership! - our range of memberships offer great value for patients as the base cost is slightly lower than you would pay normally for routine appointments. As a member, you also benefit from a member’s price for certain treatment costs, worldwide accident insurance cover and redundancy cover.
- Prevention! - Our dental professionals are here to provide you with personalised care and advice to help you to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Follow their advice and guidance to minimise the need for future treatments.
- Effective treatments! - all our treatment is aimed at getting you dentally fit, making your mouth as self-cleansing as possible, and to help to significantly reduce your treatment needs going forward.
Our fees are reviewed and revised every year based on our current costs and the market conditions. Communication will be sent to you in advance of the dental membership and treatment fees increase.
If we raise our fees and you have a treatment plan that is less than 60 days old, the prices on it will be valid for 2 months from the date of issue. Treatment plans that are older than 60 days will be subject to the new fees.
But why do you have to raise your fees?
The two major factors we take 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, such as utilities and insurance. By far the biggest of these are the wages, the materials and the laboratory costs.
We want you to have confidence in our team, to receive the best possible service and treatment. To deliver this goal, we need the best people working for us, and it is only right to pay them a fair wage.
The cost for materials and laboratories varies. We could reduce our fees by using cheaper materials or find a cheaper laboratory. Nonetheless, from our experience over the years, this is often a false economy. “You get what you pay for” - if we use a cheaper filling material it will not look as nice or last as long; use a cheaper laboratory and the crown may not fit as well, look as natural or be as strong – ultimately meaning that you will probably end up paying more.
Dental material costs also change based on the world market. Most of the items we use are manufactured in Europe, and any changes to the relationship between the UK and its trading partners will cause costs to fluctuate. We consider all these factors when deciding if we should raise our fees.
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 is an absolute necessity to minimise our impact on the environment
Dentistry is a heavily regulated industry particularly around infection control. As a result, we cannot easily eliminate the use of single-use items within the surgeries. However, we are still mindful of our responsibility to the environment and have made operational improvements to go “paper lite”, and to reuse instead of recycling wherever possible in and across our practices.
We want to make use of the fantastic local talent we have in our area
To keep the costs down, we could use a large centralised laboratory which provides lab work to the whole country, or even a lab based abroad. We choose not pursue those options and remain loyal to the local labs, because we believe going local will:
- Minimise carbon footprint;
- Keep the local economy going;
- Allow a good working relationship to flourish to provide you with the best possible service at good value.
Why our prices say 'from...', and our treatment plans are 'estimates'
- The cost of treatments can vary as it depends on the complexity and the type of material used. This is why except for routine services, our prices say ‘from’ and treatment plans are ‘estimates’. For example, a small filling at the front of the mouth is easy to get to, and doesn't use much material which will be cheaper. A big filling at the back of the mouth is more difficult to get to and thus takes longer; it will also use more material so therefore it is reflected in the cost.
- Continuing on with the filling example above, sometimes there are other areas we would need to address before getting to filling a tooth, and a good example is gum disease. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that gum disease has a considerable effect on your overall health, and we would always want to address it first. We would also try to find the cause of the issue, provide relevant advice to prevent the need of you needing a filling in future.
- Even when we have seen you and provided you with a treatment plan, the figures are still an estimate. We will try to explain in the plan why there might be variation, but the main reason we have to be unspecific is that we just can’t be sure of the extent of the problem until the work has commenced. A good example of this is replacing a failing crown. An x-ray won't show if there is decay under the crown until it is taken off. This is why the cost of treatment is always estimated, and sometimes it might be that you pay less than we were expecting for the same reason.
Why our prices may be more expensive than another practice
Our prices are calculated based on the cost of labour, material and overheads. We also regularly check the prices of other practices in the area to ensure we stay competitive, so it is unlikely we are a great deal different. Do proceed with caution if you have seen some very low prices on the internet. 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:
- Partial pricing - for example, if you see a low price for an implant, make sure it is for the implant and the crown. We have seen quotes for an implant that didn’t include the crown, and we believe that is unfair pricing. The common understanding is that an implant means the implant and the crown as a total price. Implants sometimes have other costs associated with them, based on your own circumstances. Bone grafts being the most common, so always check and ask what additional cost there might be.
- Cost of materials - as discussed above, the cost of materials varies considerably. This will be the most difficult area for you to assess and it could be another reason why prices vary. If you are in any doubt, check exactly what materials you will be getting and what's in them.
The skill and experience of the dentist really does matter. At FHP Dental we only select dental professionals who share our values, high ethical standards and excellent dental skills. Therefore we believe it is fair to pay them what they are worth.
I hope that this fair pricing policy has answered the questions you may have. As always, please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any further questions over pricing, or indeed anything else.
FHP Dental team