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Frequently asked questions

We understand you may have questions about our COVID-19 safety tariff, so we’ve put together the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions, relevant to both existing and new-to-Bupa patients who may be looking for further information.

The COVID-19 safety tariff is chargeable to all private appointments.

Depending on the nature of your appointment, you will be asked to pay either £5 or £15 per private appointment. Please refer to the table above to see a breakdown of which cost applies to which treatment.

The COVID-19 safety tariff covers the increased cost of PPE due to increased global demand, as well as additional safety requirements including broader PPE utilisation across all staff, and enhanced cleaning requirements. For procedures that generate an aerosol such as drilling and scaling, it further covers the cost of additional items of PPE worn by staff, including respirator masks, visors and surgical gowns.

We aren’t making a profit from this tariff. The entire tariff goes towards the increased cost of PPE as well as the additional cleaning in practice that’s required in guidelines from the Government, as well as the enhanced requirements when applicable in aerosol generating procedures.

The cost for PPE used prior to the pandemic is currently around 30-45 times higher than it would usually be. In the current situation, we are committed to keeping our practices open and providing as many appointments as possible.

We have not increased our prices to account for the additional cost of PPE and cleaning. We are charging it as a separate, temporary tariff so we can be transparent with you about the cost, and when prices return to pre-pandemic levels and enhanced safety measures are no longer needed, we can remove the tariff.

We have already decreased the tariff twice since we reopened after the initial lockdown and continue to review prices on a regular basis so we can continue to reduce it.

Our clinical teams wear PPE to lower the risk of cross contamination during treatment. This means that PPE is not reusable and the safety tariff must apply per appointment. If your dentist can undertake more treatment in a single appointment to reduce the number of appointments required, they will do so to minimise the cost to you.

Dentistry has more close contact and is higher risk. As the dentist is working inside your mouth and COVID-19 is most likely transmitted via respiratory droplets, dental staff must wear enhanced PPE and undertake additional cleaning requirements, which incurs additional costs. We want you to be safe. With these safety measures in place, there’s nothing to worry about.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, we’ve had to introduce a safety tariff. This is not covered by your subscription payment plan, so I’m afraid we need to ask you to pay separately for this.

Your dental insurance covers certain treatments and services, but the new safety tariff may not be covered. You will need to check with your insurer if it’s included in your benefit limits.

We’re pleased to let you know that for Bupa Dental Insurance customers, we’re covering the cost of PPE for treatment up to benefit limits until the end of 2021. This means we will pay for the cost of treatment and the additional PPE costs out of the relevant treatment benefit, if it is within benefit limits. For more information please contact the Insurance team on 0800 237 777.

We’re afraid not. The safety tariff isn’t just for your mask, it’s for the increased cost and additional PPE dental staff must wear, as well as additional cleaning.

The NHS covers the cost of PPE for NHS appointments.

Social distancing measures might be easing, but mandated Public Health England Operating Procedures (which apply in all UK nations) for dentists haven’t changed. So, the tariff will remain as long as we have to keep enhanced safety measures in place. The health, wellbeing and safety of our patients, their families and our people is our priority and always will be.

We regularly review the tariff in line with Public Health England Operating Procedures and will remove it as soon as PHE advises that it is safe to do so. It has already been reduced twice since it came into effect in June 2020.

The COVID-19 safety tariff is applicable to all and does not differ for under 18s. The enhanced levels of PPE are treatment specific and do not differ by the age of patient.

In Wales: Public Heath Wales has advised that, at family appointments where all people attending the appointment live in the same household, the clinical team do not need to change their PPE between treating the different family members. Therefore, the COVID-19 safety tariff will only be chargeable once, unless PPE is needed to be changed more frequently, in which case, you will need to cover the extra cost.

In England, Scotland and Northern Ireland: The guidelines issued from Public Heath England (which covers Scotland and Northern Ireland) states that the clinical team must change their PPE between treating patients, even if they are part of the same family and live in the same household. Therefore, the COVID-19 safety tariff is payable for each patient treated.

Many images and videos used throughout our website were taken before the COVID-19 outbreak and therefore do not represent COVID best practices.

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Bupa Dental Care is a trading name of Oasis Dental Care Limited. Registered in England and Wales No: 00478127. Registered office: Bupa Dental Care, Vantage Office Park, Old Gloucester Road, Hambrook, Bristol, United Kingdom BS16 1GW.

Oasis Dental Care Limited has a number of trading names including Bupa Dental Care. For a list of all our different trading names please follow this link.

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