To ask the Secretary of State for Health
(1) what the gross fee is paid for (a) an MOD amalgam and (b) a root canal filling on the lower first molar to an independent contractor dentist in the NHS;
(2) what is the unit cost of provision by the salaried dental service of (a) an MOD amalgam and (b) a root canal filling on the lower first molar, taking into account all management, rental and other overheads.
The item of service fee currently paid to a dentist providing treatment in the general dental services (GDS) is £17.60 per tooth for an amalgam filling in permanent or retained deciduous teeth for three or more surfaces where the mesio-occlusal and disto-occlusal surfaces are involved. If pin or screw retention is involved there is an additional fee of £5.40. The fee for the root filling of each root canal of a permanent tooth per first molar tooth is £68.65.
The total fees claimed by general dental practitioners are intended to cover all costs including management, rental and other overheads. Under the personal dental service's arrangements, treatments are not remunerated on an item of service basis but are included as part of the overall contractual arrangements. We have no reason to expect that in the salaried services similar item of service treatments would differ significantly in cost from the GDS, taking into account the range of patients treated.