5 minutes reading time (917 words)

Buy Cheap, Buy Twice - Chris Wahlers

It is true to say that most of us love a bargain. If a product or service can be acquired for less than its recommended retail price, it can bring a sense of achievement that makes us feels good. Consumer scientists have suggested that not only do our brains react positively to appealing items but also to the prospect of grabbing a bargain. However, when we become excited about a bargain it can also interfere with our ability to clearly judge whether it is actually a good deal or not. Most people have experience of purchasing a cheap item, only to find themselves trudging back a month later to replace it with a more expensive brand. Essentially, there are some things that there is no point in scrimping on.


For example, over the last decade, there has been an increase in the number of patients going abroad for dental treatments. Admittedly, some procedures such as dental implants can be cost a third of the price in some countries when compared to the costs of private treatment in the UK; however, there can also be added costs involved and they may not always be monetary. Experts explain that patients should research overseas clinics, practitioners and treatments carefully and think about every eventuality before embarking on any type of medical procedure abroad. It is not that treatment abroad is necessarily of a lower standard or that clinicians are less competent than those practicing in the UK, the difference lies in the potential for additional risks or difficulties that could be faced if a complication crops up.


Firstly, many patients arrive in the country on the day of their treatment is due to take place with very little prior consultation or time to establish a clinician/patient relationship. There could be a language barrier making it difficult for patients to understand how the procedure is going to be carried out, what they should expect and any aftercare instructions. As well as these potential risks, there may also be hidden costs involved such as add-ons or unexpected travel and accommodation to consider if things take longer than expected. Fundamentally, however, if a problem does arise or if the treatment is not successful, the practitioner that carried out the work is not nearby to call upon and it can be extremely expensive to return for any remedial work or for a clinician in the UK to put it right.


Another serious issue that is encountered in the dental industry is the amount of illegally supplied and possibly harmful medicines, products and devices that could potentially enter the UK supply chain. In 2015 alone, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) stated that £15.8 million worth of counterfeit and unlicensed medicines and devices were seized in the UK. This figure was almost twice as much as those recorded in 2014, providing clear evidence of a grave and growing concern.[1] Fraudsters tend to concentrate on low cost, high turnover, high demand products and these counterfeit items are, in most cases, packaged to a high standard making it difficult for them to be distinguished from the genuine article. Consequently, dental materials and instruments have been known to reach treatment rooms posing a significant risk to health and safety. The MHRA warns practitioners to remain vigilant, advises them think very carefully about where they obtain medical devices and medicines from and to check that products are CE marked and authorised by a notable body.


The old saying, “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is” is a wise one. A good deal or a bargain could end up costing you or your business far more than just a few pounds. For instance, some practices might be tempted to cut costs on consumables or disposable items that they use in high volume. However, products such as single-use gloves should also be purchased from a reputable supplier with certification to ensure that they are fully compliant with the relevant regulations in the UK. Cheaply manufactured gloves could potentially rip, leak or fail on application and pose significant risks to health and safety as well as your professionalism. Similarly, gloves that have not been manufactured or processed properly could cause a reaction or skin irritation leading to downtime and loss of revenue.


On the other hand, if you order your examination gloves from Unigloves you will have the reassurance that they have been manufactured by experts that believe in delivering safety through quality. The Vitality Range from Unigloves may not be the cheapest, but they could be the most cost effective. These single-use gloves are of premium quality, specifically designed for the dental sector to provide unrivalled barrier protection, strength and comfort. Furthermore, Unigloves employ additional steps and stringent standards to ensure that every glove complies with all the relevant parts of the Medical Devices Directive and the Personal Protective Equipment Directive.


Don’t be enticed into buying cheap products or consumables as not only could you end up buying twice, it could also end up costing you dearly in terms of hygiene, protection and safety as well as your clinical reputation. Dental practices that keep standards consistently high and provide safe, quality dental care are the ones that are most likely to keep their doors open and maintain a healthy client base.


For further information about Unigloves products, please visit www.unigloves.co.uk


[1] Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. 2015. Press Release: UK leads the way with £15.8 million seizure in global operation targeting counterfeit and unlicensed medicines and devices. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-leads-the-way-with-158-million-seizure-in-global-operation-targeting-counterfeit-and-unlicensed-medicines-and-devices {Accessed 5th April 2017]




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