A survey conducted by the Sunday Tribune has shown a 35% difference in the price of dental surgery in Northern Irish surgeries compared to their southern counterparts.
Whereas one clinic, the Jordan Dental Care Surgery in Belfast, charges a maximum of €1,733 for a dental implant, another clinic in Dalkey, Co Dublin, has a hefty price tag of €3,000 for the same procedure.
The AppleTree Dental Practice in Newry prices a crown at €346 while the same procedure in the Canal View Dental Surgery in Dublin would demand a whopping €675.
James Doorley of the Consumers Association of Ireland has slammed the huge price gap stating, "There is no justification for the fact that Irish customers must pay more for their dentistry than their counterparts in Northern Ireland. They would be mad not to avail of the cheaper prices at the same quality.
"This has been going on for over a decade at this stage and a shake-up both on a governmental level and on a professional level is needed now more than ever," he said.
But spokesman for the Irish Dental Association of Ireland Ray Gordon disputed that it would be better value for Irish customers to make the trip up north, instead saying consumers should "shop around in the Republic".
"There will always be those who head to Northern Ireland to try and get better deals. However, a lot of those clinics who charge substantially less are using substandard materials," says Gordon.
When questioned on the clear disparity in the pricing between clinics, Gordon said: "All costs in the Republic are more expensive than those in the North. But it is the quality of the services here in the Republic which should really be focused on."
Gordon also stated that he had received complaints from Irish customers who visited dentists outside the Republic and who ran into difficulty.
"We have had cases where there have been problems with dentists that are further away than the immediate ones here in the south of Ireland. Then when customers encounter problems they are told they will have to make a visit once every six months for three years, and it becomes more of a hindrance."
Speaking at the MacGill summer school in Glenties last week, Tánaiste Mary Coughlan, specifically addressing "engineers, architects, the legal profession, dentists and others" said that certain professions had not yet divulged how they planned on reducing their costs bases and were guilty of "economic conceit".
Head To Head: Republic Versus The North
Altmore Dental Practice, Co Tyrone
Dental Implant: €2,080
Root Canal: €265
Appletree Dental Practice, Newry
Dental Implant: €2,253
Root Canal: €173
Jordan Dental Care, Belfast
Dental Implant: €1,733
Root Canal: €115
Belmore Dental, Co Fermanagh
Dental Implant: €2,253
Root Canal: €115-€347
Republic of Ireland
Orthocosmetics Dental Surgery, Howth, Dublin
Dental Implant: € 1,700
Crown: € 570
Root Canal: €270-770
Canal View Dental Surgery, Rathmines, Dublin
Consultation: € 60
Dental Implant: € 1,900
Crown: € 675
Root Canal: € 300 -525
Dalkey Dental Clinic
Consultation: € 65
Dental Implant: €3,000
Root Canal: €230-750
Seapoint Clinic, Blackrock, Co Dublin
Dental Implant: €2,500
Root Canal: €600-1,200