A guide to dentists’ finances, part two

Posted on 29 October, 2012  in News

Part 2: Performers
By the time you reach the level of Performer, your career will be well on track and your earnings will have increased significantly. Your personal and professional commitments are likely to have changed considerably since you qualified, and you may now be looking to start a family or buy a practice.

Income protection
You are your biggest financial asset and, with the average salary of a performer being more than £65,000, it’s important to make sure both you and your earnings are adequately protected.

Income protection is important because it will provide you with an income if you are unable to work due to an illness or accident, typically up to 50% of your pre-incapacity earnings.

As your salary will have increased significantly since you were a foundation dentist, any plans you currently have in place may not be enough to cover your new circumstances.

Locum Insurance
It is often assumed that if a performer is unable to work, hiring a locum is the responsibility of the Principal. However, each Performer needs to be aware that responsibility for finding, referencing and hiring a locum now rests with them. Unless an alternative legally binding agreement is in place, the Principal can hire a locum and recover the costs from the Performer.

Without insurance, the cost of a locum – which can run to hundreds of pounds per day – could be deducted from the earnings of the person they are covering for.

Starting a family
At this time of life, settling down and starting a family may be on the agenda. But aside from the added expense of having a child, there is also the loss of income to contend with that comes from taking maternity leave.

Statutory Maternity Pay is paid for a maximum period of 39 weeks. For the first six weeks it is paid at 90% of your average gross weekly earnings with no upper limit, and for the remaining 33 weeks the lower of either £135.45 or 90% of your average gross weekly earnings. It is also worth checking your contract with the practice, to see if you are liable for locum cover for the time you are off work.

Looking further ahead, if you decide to send your children to private school or help them with university costs then you will be faced with even more expense. Based on current fees it could cost more than £175,000* to put a child through private education from age 5 to 18, while, the average debt on graduation for university students starting this autumn could be £53,400**.

With sums like this, it’s important to review your savings and investments portfolios to ensure they will cover the predicted costs.

Investing for the future
No matter what your goals are, when you’re saving it’s important to make your money work hard.

If you opt for shares, or equity based investments, you should be prepared to leave your money invested for at least five years. There are a variety of options available when investing in the stock market, ranging from stocks and shares ISAs to investment bonds, and it is sensible to talk to a financial adviser who will explain these and discuss which options are best for you

Buying a property
When you’re buying a home, getting the right mortgage to suit you is vital.

You will need to decide whether to opt for a fixed rate mortgage, which has a set level of interest for a specific period of time, or a variable rate. You will then need to consider how you will repay it. With a repayment mortgage, you will eventually pay off the full amount borrowed plus interest. Interest only mortgage payments are lower, but at the end of the mortgage term you will still owe the amount you originally borrowed, and lenders will insist you have the means to pay this off.

Preparing for retirement
Even though retirement will still seem a long way off when you’re in your 20s and 30s, it’s still important to think about your retirement.

As you will know, there are major changes planned to public sector pensions. While the final details have yet to be confirmed, if you are a member of the NHS Pension Scheme, it is likely that you will have to work longer and pay more for potentially lower benefits. You may need to make additional payments or alternative investments to ensure you achieve the level of retirement income you desire. However, it is still likely to be a very good scheme.

If you are concerned about how the changes will affect you, discuss your options with a financial adviser who has a detailed understanding of the NHS Pension Scheme.

* 2012 Independent Schools Council Survey

** Push.co.uk Student Debt Survey

The above information does not constitute financial advice.  If you would like more information or need specialist financial advice call Wesleyan Medical Sickness, which specialises in financial services and products for dentists, on 0800 980 5462 or visit the website at www.wesleyan.co.uk/dentists.

Its Bruxism Awareness Week

Posted on 25 October, 2012  in News

Bruxism Awareness Week 2012 takes palce this week and provides a vital opportunity for both patients and dental practitioners to learn lessons about the condition, according to the dental splint professionals at S4S.

The condition is believed to affect between 8-10% of the UK population.

Characterised by teeth grinding and clenching, bruxism causes migraines, jaw pain and poor sleep quality for sufferers. It can often go undiagnosed for years.

A number of proven treatments, such as the NTI-tss occlusal splint system from S4S, are now available to offer hope for sufferers.

Bruxism Awareness Week will see initiatives to raise awareness of the condition, and to help sufferers understand that their suffering can be brought to an end with the right help.

The week-long event include a series of seminars and promotional events to draw attention to the scale of the suffering brought about by bruxism.

CQC widget – a badge of honour

Posted on 23 October, 2012  in News

In these times of increasing and updated Care Quality standards, it becomes important to offer existing and potential patients the assurance that your practice is properly registered and in fullest compliance.  
Towards this end, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has recently launched a widget which allows visitors to your website to instantly access a summary of your practice’s service compliance record. 

A widget is an embedded code application that can be easily added to your website and operates as any internet link does.

By clicking on the CQC widget, your website visitors are transferred to your CQC profile page, where your current safety and quality standards are summarised. 

The summary also includes a link to your full profile page managed on the CQC website. 

The widget is defined on your website by the CQC logo, which also designates you as a registered care service provider.
This unique direct access allows registered practices to present the fullest transparency of their quality of service, allowing the patient community to make informed choices about their care services.
Digimax Dental believes the CQC website widget is a valuable addition to your dental practice website, providing instant validation of your commitment to the highest quality care services, and will add this reassuring access at no charge.
The CQC beta-tested the widget with a small pilot group and received supportive feedback, encouraging the launch of their widget. 

There appears to be no down-side with this new access – and with Digimax Dental offering a free install – no reason to delay popping it into your website!

An age-old problem

Posted on 23 October, 2012  in Dental Care

In an increasingly ageing society, it is perhaps surprising that people living in care homes have such poor access to dental care.

Sadly, this is an unintended consequence of the 2006 NHS Dental contract. The domiciliary dental sector is currently estimated at two million patients and is expected to double by 2020, making it a rapidly emerging new private sector niche.

CQR Dentures

Posted on 11 October, 2012  in Dental Care

CQR Dentures technology enables our patients to advantage from the cutting-edge of contemporary science. This new building process allows us to make a denture that can be exclusively modified to the shape and function of the person patient. This means that muscles of the jaw can work additional efficiently to allow a better chewing action. They are also steadier so that you can feel surer when smiling and talking. There’s less resistance against the gums too!

CQR Dentures provide many health and way of life benefits to give you the self-assurance that your dentures are effectual and well-fitting.
Dentures, also known as false teeth, are prosthetic devices constructed to replace missing teeth, and which are supported by surrounding soft and hard tissues of the oral cavity. Conventional dentures are removable; though there are a lot of dissimilar denture designs, some which rely on bonding or grasping onto teeth or dental implants. There are two main categories of dentures, depending on whether they are used to put back absent teeth on the mandibular arch or the maxillary arch.
Dentures can create a person look and feel elder than they are and limit their everyday pleasure of eating and talking contentedly. CQR Dentures give many of our patients the chance of a new excellence of life’, helping make your mind up many of the evils caused by conservative dentures. High Street Dental Care is proud to be the primary dental practice in the UK to offer CQR Dentures technology.

New CQR Dentures technology

Patients can turn out to be entirely edentulous (without teeth) for many reasons, the majority of common being taking away because of dental disease characteristically relating to oral flora control, i.e. periodontal disease and tooth decay. Other reasons comprise tooth developmental defects caused by harsh malnutrition, hereditary defects such as dentinogenesis imperfecta, trauma, or drug use.