Now I know I will never convince anyone that modern dentistry is cheap but in terms of value for money I think we occasionally do have a drum to bang. So please let me bang mine just a little!
I recently completed a fibre reinforced direct white filling for a patient that restored the tooth at less than half the price of crown. The total fee for the work was £235 and the patient very reasonably asked how long they could expect it to last. I explained that it is very difficult to give accurate figures but a reasonable guess would be 8 to 10 years with normal use and good daily maintenance. The patient seemed a little disappointed at this and wondered why it wouldn’t last for life. This is not an uncommon question and one I do find a little surprising. I have tried to think of any other goods or commodities that we buy for under £250 and then use all day every day for 10 years and expect it to last with out fail for this time or longer. My guess is that anything that does this is the exception and certainly not the norm.
When the author John Mortimer was asked in interview what, if anything, had improved over the last 50 years; he paused for a while and answered “dentistry”. I think he was right! We have come an incredibly long way over this time and have made huge improvements in both prevention and cure. I know that the price of the work can seem daunting on occasions but for long term value for money we are quite often in a class of out own.
PS This article was written just after receiving a legal bill for the costs of setting up the new partnership and may have been prompted by the jaw droppingly large some of money that this represented.