Why are dentists so expensive?
It is a question I get asked quite often by non-dentist friends and people I meet. They all have their own story, whether it is how they had a bad experience previously or they only now go privately because they want to see a particular dentist. Nonetheless in many instances the most advanced modern dentistry requires an investment from the patient but an even bigger one from the dentist themselves.
The aim of this post is to give people a rough idea of what is involved in running a dental clinic (and teaching centre). As I teach other dentists I get asked about this sort of thing a lot, so in no particular order I have listed some of the main things that are involved.
1) The building: The cost of the build (many hundreds of thousands of pounds)
2) The lease or mortgage on said premises (this is still paid during build works - so expect no income for at least 3-5 months)
3) The solicitors fees
4) Planning applications
5) Medical, dental Indemnity and dental council registrations
6) CQC registration and fees
7) Alarm system
8) Fire alarm system and extinguishers
9) Building surveyors and build certification
10) Plumbing of new radiators, taps, sinks, boilers and maintenance.
11) Electricians for new lights, wiring, internet, cabling and maintenance.
12) IT systems: Minimum 3-4 new fast processing computers, back up servers, cloud storage, data protection services, external hard drives, installation
13) Legionella and fire assessments
14) Phone line, wifi, back up data signal, practice mobiles
15) Electricity set up and bills
16) Water board registration and bills
17) Council rates
18) Management fees
19) Dental software (EXACT SOE) purchasing and monthly fees with clinical iPad licences
20) Dental compliance software - monthly fees
21) COVID-19 in built ceiling filters, ventilation and air purification
22) Decontamination room with autoclaves, disinfection equipment, ultrasonics, water purification systems
23) Furniture, cupboards, custom measured and made dental cabinetry
24) A dental chair itself is hugely expensive and can range from (15-50K)
25) Hand pieces (300-1k each)
26) CT scanner and x-ray units with software and specially lead lined doors and walls
27) Radiation protection supervisor and inspector with certification
28) Air compressor and suction pumps
29) Clinical waste and sharps collection contracts
30) Life insurance, building insurance, critical illness cover
31) Staff contracts, HR support, staff salaries, staff pensions
32) Instruments, restoratives, surgical units, piezo units (tens of thousands of pounds)
33) Digital x-ray system
34) Air abrasion system
35) Electric hand pieces and motors
36) Microscopes and intra oral cameras/digital cameras
37) Digital intra oral scanners with licences
38) 3D printers and CAD
39) Televisions and electrical appliances
40) PPE (costs have tripled of recent)
41) Dental and nurses stool (1k each)
42) Webdesign, ad campaigns, marketing.
So that's just some of the involved costs it doesn't even consider the thousands of hours involved in training, paying for courses for your staff and you and implementing the above. So in reality it is a lot of stress and suffering, so you really have to want to do it. If I didn't love my job and this was not Samantha and mines dream I am sure it would not have happened. Especially without the support of my amazing wife and family who have stuck with me through all the really tough times. Best wishes Thomas (for any more advice or help please firstname.lastname@example.org).