Dentists call for fees to double

Dentists say the rates for basic are are outdated

Putting up rates for basic procedures like fillings would allow them to reduce fees for more complicated procedures

DENTISTS want to double the basic state tariffs for the most common kinds of dental care.

Having a tooth taken out should cost €66 as opposed to €33, a scale and polish €58 instead of €29, or a simple filling €34 instead of €17.

They say this would enable them to charge less for more expensive procedures like crowns and orthodontics - areas where they are allowed to set their own fees.

Basic procedures must be charged at state rates, with few exceptions.

The demand, made at a national dentists’ conference, came days after publication of a study by health consumer body CISS criticising high dental costs.

The study noted, in particular, that dentists in Paris are too frequently charging over state rates for basic care, which in most cases is supposed to be justified by the patient having made special demands such as being seen out of usual hours.

The study also found dentists were tending to opt for high-cost treatments where they were not essential or where there were cheaper alternatives.

This included almost systematic use of “inlay-cores” – a reconstruction of the tooth – under crowns, which the study said was only essential where the tooth is especially badly damaged.

The president of national dentists body CNSD, Catherine Mojaïsky, admitted it is well-known that Paris dentists tend to charge over the state rates, but said this is “tolerated”, due to the cost of living in the capital.

She said the fault for the high bills lay with the state tariffs, which had not changed for 25 years. Their aim was not to earn more, but to work more coherently. Some dentists avoided basic work that was poorly paid, whereas it should be the core of the job.

The dentists say their aim would be for the state and top-up insurers to foot the bill for raised tariffs, so costs to the public would stay the same.

Photo:© Sandor Kacso - Fotolia.com.jpg

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