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A Journal on Forensic Medicine
Minerva Medicolegale 2008 September;128(3):113-25
Evaluation from a legal medical point of view of the appropriateness of dental fees after abrogation of the minimum national rate
INAIL, Sede di Udine, Udine, Italia
The abrogation of the minimum fee by Decree no. 233 dated 4 July 2006, the liberalisation and globalisation of markets, the setting up of low-cost dental centres and import-export companies dealing in dental prostheses have all contributed to expanding the range of fees for dental treatment. At the same time they have created problems for patients looking for quality dental care. In this context of an evolving “market”, the legal physician also finds himself facing new problems when it comes to identifying a suitable fee for dental treatment. The need is certainly felt for a reference parameter of minimum and maximum fees, however approximate, issued by the legislator and revalued periodically on the basis of the cost of living. In political circles themselves and among the main union representatives of dentists there would seem to prevail a consensus for the setting of such a fee, as seen in the numerous proposed laws on the reform of intellectual professions and the publication of the Fee Sheet of the National Association of Italian Dentists 2008. Pending necessary new legislative provisions on the subject, the author proposes to retain for legal medical purposes the use of the minimum fee sheet of 1992 revalued on the basis of the consumer price index for the families of white and blue collar workers as a uniform parameter for the whole national territory of the minimum costs of dental service.