Dentist bills look set to rise

Government cuts could result in higher prices for patients

A new agreement between the regions and dentists means that dentists are losing part of their government subsidies.

The cuts mean that denistry could cost the average patient 40 percent more unless alternatives are found.

“One option is to extend the time between treatments,”Jørn Lehmann Petersen, the head of Region Syddanmarks Sundhedssamordningssudvalg, told Jyllands-Posten. “Dentists could find alternative treatments or, finally, patients could wind up paying more.”

Petersen fears that higher prices might keep some from going to the dentist, but said that choices had to be made.

“Life-threatening diseases must be treated, so painful cuts had to be made in other places” he said.

Bad teeth, big money
Søren Bach Petersen, the chairman of the dental clinics' association, denied that higher prices are on the way.

“It's not going to happen,” said Bach Petersen. “Our agreement with the regions ensures that prices for patients cannot increase.”

READ MORE: Fear of dentistry bill keeps young people out of the chair

Ironically, the citizens with the poorest teeth are going to be called into the dentist more often under the new rules, and they will wind up costing dentists more. The new treatment ceiling is a result of public funds for patients being cut by 300 million kroner.