Examinations and Consultations
This can be quite a ‘vague’ topic! The variation as to what different practitioners provide is enormous. So we can only comment on what elements we consider essential and appropriate.
What does a dental consultation include?
The consultation has two elements:
- Listening to the patient’s needs and issues (leading to the clinical examination), and then
- A discussion on the findings and possible treatment options and fees.
At the very least, the examination always needs to address the evaluation of dental health, function and aesthetics. X rays should always be taken on a new patient and thereafter, on recall check-ups roughly every one and a half to two years. The number required will usually vary as to how much dentistry the patient has in their mouth. This particularly applies to any heavily filled, crowned and root canal treated teeth.
Invariably, because in today’s world aesthetics plays such an important role, diagnostic ‘smile’ photographs are also taken. Photographs, as do x-rays, also help in visually showing patients what problems they have; and so are essential for ‘communication’. Occasionally, study models (‘moulds’) of the teeth are made, particularly if there is a significant functional problem.
The only time anything less than a full, comprehensive examination may be carried out, is if a patient presents with a specific dental emergency situation, when the examination and diagnosis focuses specifically on that issue.
How much does a dental consultation cost?
Most consultations and examinations, unless there is no, or almost no, treatment required are followed up with a written report and treatment recommendations (‘Plan’), which is included in the fee.
For most new patients, that do not require an extended initial examination the fee is likely to be £115, which includes a follow-up dental report and possibly clinical photographs. X-rays, if required, incur a cost of £18 each.