Patients might be surprised to learn that private dental treatment can be cheaper than the NHS, but a Cheshire practitioner has proven that this can indeed be the case.
Andrew Brown, who set up Grappenhall Dental Practice last summer, told ThisisCheshire.co.uk that he had to set up a private clinic because the local primary care trust could not afford to fund him.
Mr Brown revealed: "They were forcing me to go private which I didn't want to do and my patients didn't want me to do. So now I just charge the same as the NHS."
In fact, the website learnt that a trip to Mr Brown's private clinic could end up being cheaper than an NHS appointment as a check-up with the generous-minded dentist costs just £12.50 compared to the NHS charge of £15.90.
The dentist has also warned patients against carrying out their own dental work, a situation that was revealed in a recent survey of UK dental patients.
"It has come to a bad state that people are forced to do things like that," he said. "Most people are not particularly good at pulling teeth out and they leave bits behind which can cause infections or abscesses."
A recent national survey revealed that a quarter of patients in England now use private dentistry, with nearly four fifths of these claiming that they had been unable to access an NHS dentist.
What's better? Private or NHS healthcare?