Dental patients in Northern Ireland face higher charges to cover PPE costs

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Dental patients in Northern Ireland are facing higher charges, as dental practices increase fees to cover the cost of PPE.

As research suggests that the cost of sourcing and providing PPE for dental teams has rocketed by as much as 6000% in recent months, the British Dental Association claims that dentists have no option but to increase treatment fees. To provide services safely and protect patients, dental teams need to be equipped with PPE, and the cost of items has soared due to unprecedented global demand. 

Some patients have taken to social media to share stories and complain about increased treatment costs, with most people paying between £6 and £40 extra. The increase does not impact NHS patients. 

Tristen Kelso, director of the British Dental Association in Northern Ireland, said that dental practices are facing incredibly challenging times, as running costs soar and patient numbers fall. Practices are required to restrict access to allow for social distancing and fallow periods between patients, which is contributing to reduced income at a time when expenses are sky-high. Mr Kelso has called on Stormont to react quickly to support practice owners and dental professionals, with many facing a fight to survive the crisis. 

Member of the Legislative Assembly, Paula Bradshaw, confirmed that the Health Committee would be discussing further measures to help dentists once Stormont returns, having been bombarded by dentists fearing for their future. 

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