Well after spending a week last month touring the UK on this subject I can share with you the following revelations: 1. most dentists have no pricing structures in place at all; 2. they often set a nominal hourly rate based on “last year plus a bit” and with no scientific reference to their business running costs and desired level of profitability; 3. they don’t count the beans – financial information is historic, late and ignored; 4. the nominal hourly rate is often discounted to “fill the appointment book” and retain any business at whatever cost. Overall, it’s a pretty poor picture and the arrival of the new GDS rules for the delivery of Health Service dentistry seem to hand the responsibility to local Primary Care Trusts for setting prices and productivity. These PCT’s are motivated by budgetary constraints and so the prognosis is not good for those principals who surrender. The usual 20% of enlightened dentists are, of course, calculating their hourly rate scientifically, charging it at all times and monitoring finances very closely. But they are in a minority and I feel sometimes that I’m on a one-man mission to get finances in order for many of my clients.
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