Dental Procedures

Read Jacquie Hayes, of the AFR, interview Dr Kia Pajouhesh on dental costs “The Crowning Glory – 8 September 2012”

View Article

A message from the author

My name is Dr Kia Pajouhesh. I am the principal dentist of Melbourne’s Smile Solutions, the largest practice in any one location in Australia.

I am a general dentist with degrees in both Science and Dentistry from the University of Melbourne. I started practising dentistry in 1992 and founded Smile Solutions in 1995 with only 8 patients.

Today, Smile Solutions cares for more than 85,000 patients and engages over 51 clinicians, including both general dentists and registered specialists in various fields of expertise.

For the past 10 years, I have lectured and coached principle dentists of some 200 dental practices locally and internationally. Therefore, on top of my own practice’s daily challenges, I have a well balanced insight into the commercial issues faced by dental practice owners – in geographical areas ranging from the most affluent to the most economically challenged.

Although in my own practice I do not advocate budget dentistry or wholesale cost cutting, I understand there is a place for these in any community. I am, however, motivated to help consumers understand how any service provider, including dentists, can appear to offer value for money in the form of lower costs when, in fact, they are probably economising on the key variables mentioned above in order to still make a profit.

Some of the reasons are obvious to most consumers. They include shorter appointments jam packed within a day, leaving less time for attending to clinical detail or communication with the patient; lower standards of practice equipment fitout; and the provision of inexperienced care. But some of the reasons are not as obvious.

Further, in my own private practice I find myself repeatedly consulting patients who are upset and frustrated in the knowledge that they would have happily met the extra cost of seeking the highest quality of care available, but they did not know it existed outside the four walls of the dental practice they were attending. I find that a great deal of misinformation and confusion exists in the public domain about dental practitioner education levels, speciality categories and the need for referrals when considering a specialist second opinion.

This website aims to provide the consumer with some background knowledge in the path to making a well-informed decision about the dental care of themselves and their families.

Dr Kia Pajouhesh
BSc, BDSc (Melb)