A new study reveals that dental patients in London are more confused about pricing and the options available to them than those in any other region.
Londoners are also less trusting of their dentists according to the research, which has been released to coincide with the opening of a new Oasis dental practice in Kingston on 14 January.
The research is worrying but the dentist chain believes its growing presence, which will see it open 40 practices in London by 2018, will change the face of dentistry in the capital.
These new branches will offer clear and affordable pricing to patients with check-ups at just £24.95 – the service is called Oasis Basics – and a full range of clearly priced and competitive dental and orthodontic services. There will also be access to NHS dentistry wherever possible.
Justin Ash, chief executive at Oasis Dental Care, said: ‘The findings are alarming, that so many people in the London are not clear about what their dental practices are offering and even struggle to trust their dentists. It seems that in London, patients are particularly confused and this needs to be addressed. That’s why we’re rolling out fixed priced, affordable dentistry options in London as well as providing comprehensive information on all the options available, clear treatment plans and of course high quality care in a high tech environment.'
The research also reveals that just 2.2 million of the 4.8 million Londoners (46%) that have a dentist think pricing is transparent in their regular practice, compared with 52% for the rest of GB. When it comes to honesty, 70% of patients outside the capital trust their dentist, but this falls to 63% in London. And the proportion of patients who think their dentist listens to their needs and explains the dental care options is 68% in London compared with 71% for the rest of GB.
Justin Ash added: ‘There is a distinct lack of loyalty towards dentists in London compared with the rest of Great Britain, with our own figures suggesting that more Londoners plan to switch dentists in the next year than in any other region. And with so many patients being left confused about pricing and the options available, it’s no surprise that Londoners are left feeling alienated.
‘Patients have the right to shop around, much like they would for any other service, so dentists have a responsibility to be clear about pricing and upfront about the treatment options available. We believe Oasis Dental Care is the only provider with a national pricing policy with Oasis Basics.’