Dental plans open wide

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NOW the two dental unions have voted to stop taking on all new NHS patients, the companies providing dental care insurance are seeing a huge increase in enquiries about their plans - both from dentists and patients.

Complete Direct Care (CDC), which offers plans for private and NHS treatment, says it has 30,000 members now, up from 20,000 two months ago.

David Shapiro, marketing director of CDC, said: 'We have seen a dramatic rise in enquiries over the last few weeks. We used to have a steady couple of hundred a week. Now it is about 600.'

Denplan Care, the largest scheme, has also seen a big jump in enquiries. Last year it had about 550 a week joining; a few months ago it was 1,000 a week, and now it is 1,500 a week.

Denplan Care costs an average of pounds 10 a month, which does not cover the more expensive work. (Kings Court, The Broadway, Winchester, Hants, S023 9BE, telephone 0962-866662).

DenTOPlan costs pounds 65 a year, with some limitations to what it will pay out on. (6 Vale Avenue, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TNl 1EH, telephone 0892-511989).

CDC costs between pounds 4.25 and pounds 9.50 a month, depending whether it covers NHS or private treatment. (115 Station Road, Hayes, Middlesex, UB3 4BX, telephone 081-848 1028).

Strasbourgeoise covers dental and all out-patient care and can cover all costs; monthly premiums from pounds 18 to pounds 67, depending on cover, age and sex. (90 Sloane Street, London, SW1X 9PQ, telephone 071-259 5260).

Hospital Saving Association offers dental benefits under its SuperPlan Direct Scheme. You pay pounds 1.20, pounds 2.40 or pounds 4.80 a week to get pounds 23, pounds 46 or pounds 92 a year towards dental bills. (Hambleden House, Andover, Hampshire SP10 1LQ, telephone 0264 53211.)

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