Tooth replacement – keeping an eye on costs
Patients often ask themselves the following question about tooth replacements: Which restoration is the right one for me?? Because there are many individual choices available. The dentist advises in a detailed conversation about the different forms of care. He makes the respective costs transparent with the treatment and cost plan (HCP).
The special features of dentistry are characterized on the one hand by the various scientifically recognized therapy alternatives in the event of a finding and on the other hand by patient cost sharing. As a result, the requirements for education and information for patients are very high before a joint decision is made,” explains Prof. Dr. Dietmar Oesterreich, Vice President of the German Dental Association.
Tooth replacement – Freedom of choice for individual requirements
Patients’ expectations of their dental prostheses are quite individual. Therefore, they have the freedom to choose between standard care and forms of care that meet particularly high demands. The statutory health insurance funds fulfill their obligation to provide benefits in the form of a fixed allowance based on standard care. The patient can therefore choose between the standard restoration, which is cost-effective for him, and other higher-quality restorations. These are associated with various high co-payments.
Good advice – satisfied patients
Your dentist has an open ear for all questions. In addition, the (state) dental chambers and the Kassenzahnärztliche Vereinigungen (KZVen) offer free advice: www.patient-counseling-of-the-dentists.de.
Patients also have the right to obtain a second opinion from a dentist of their choice on a planned restoration. “If they already have the treatment and cost plan from their dentist, patients can also find a comprehensive range of information at the advice centers of chambers and KZVs – also on the provision of tooth replacements. It fulfills an important need for patients,” says Oesterreich. Do not confuse second opinions with so-called Internet auction exchanges.
Here, concrete treatment and cost plans are auctioned off in mainly internet-based, auction-like bidding exchanges. “However, Internet auction exchanges violate the rules of dental science, since the dentist who is bidding submits an offer without knowing the patient and his or her medical history and without having examined the patient himself or herself,” Oesterreich goes on to explain.
“Should the patient accept an offer via an auction platform, double caution is advised: Firstly, the patient goes to an unfamiliar dentist with whom he does not yet have a relationship of trust. Secondly, it can be even more expensive for the patient, if the new dentist has examined him first.”
Treatment and cost plan – understanding correctly
The dentist prepares a treatment and cost plan (TCP) for patients with statutory health insurance who require tooth replacements. Based on the therapy and cost planning, the health insurance company assesses its subsidies. However, it is sometimes difficult for laypersons to understand what the fields, abbreviations and tables on the sheet mean.
Initiative proDente e.V. – Facts
Five associations representing the entire range of dental services in Germany are involved in the initiative proDente e.V.:
– The German Dental Association (BZÄK),
– The Free Association of German Dentists (FVDZ),
– The Association of German Dental Technicians Guilds (VDZI),
– The Association of the German Dental Industry (VDDI),
and the German Dental Trade Association (BVD).
Why this initiative?
proDente has set itself the goal of conveying sound specialist knowledge in the fields of dentistry and dental technology. To support dentists and dental technicians, the initiative aims to provide dedicated education for patients.
proDente wants to show the value of healthy and beautiful teeth. Above all, the focus is on education, from prophylaxis to prosthetics. For dentists and dental technicians, proDente presents a comprehensive range of services to facilitate communication with the patient.
proDente produces scientifically based information material in an understandable format. This includes the information brochure “Teeth good – everything good” as well as numerous other magazines, flyers and leaflets on special areas of dentistry. The range of topics is regularly expanded. proDente is present on the Internet with an information portal (www.prodente.en).
Dirk Kropp, Managing Director Public Relations, is the contact person for all questions concerning proDente’s public relations work. The office is located in Cologne.