Dental patients in Cambridgeshire braced for increased charges

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Dental patients in Cambridgeshire have been urged to prepare for increased charges to cover the cost of PPE.

Practices in the county have informed patients that prices may rise to legislate for the increased cost of providing staff with personal protective equipment. Practices in England have been open since the 8th June, but clinics are facing a hike in running costs due to the price of PPE. To operate, dental practices must comply with new measures to protect staff and patients, including using robust PPE.

Mydentist, a national chain with around 650 practices in the UK, has already emailed patients to alert them to increased fees. For routine appointments, which don’t involve the use of high-speed drills or tools that generate aerosols, the charge will be £7. For more complex aerosol-generating procedures, or AGPs, the fee will rise by £35. This is to cover the cost of enhanced PPE, which is required to offer additional protection. AGPs pose a risk of infection due to the fact that they produce and disperse droplets. The extra charges apply to private patients. The NHS is covering the cost for NHS patients. 

Antwerp House Dentistry in Cambridge has also confirmed that prices will increase, but the team has not yet confirmed the value of the extra charge. At Together Dental in Chesterton, dentists are only seeing NHS patients at the moment, and therefore, there will be no additional charge for PPE. 

Increasing prices is a means of practices reducing outgoings at a time when many are struggling due to prolonged closures and a vast increase in PPE costs. According to the British Dental Association, the cost of PPE for dentists has soared by up to 6000% since January.

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