Several years ago I decided to take a trip to the dentist after skipping multiple appointments for over 15 years. I truly had a dental anxiety and had a hard time getting over my fears. Thankfully, my dental visit went smoothly with only four cavities identified. What I did find from this dental visit was that there was a great deal of new information and technology that I had been missing out on. Laser-based technology and digital imaging are just a few examples. With this blog, I want you to understand that you can get over your fears and learn about this new technology like I did, so enjoy the information.
After a quick trip to the dentist you may be shocked to see your dental bill. Depending on how thorough your insurance coverage is, you may have to save up for more serious treatments like root canals and bridges, or you may have to work out a payment plan with your dental office. Before you start to resent your dentist for the cost of his or her work, you should take some time to consider the real cost of treatment.
What You Are Really Paying For
In the United States, dental patients are usually seen in clean, well-lit offices. They are worked on by highly trained professionals using quality equipment. All of this comes with a price tag, which can sometimes be quite surprising.
Education for dentists can cost as much or more than medical school. Your dentist most likely has at least two years of university classes, although it is more common for them to have a bachelor's degree, followed by four years of dental school. This leads to an average of $241,000 in student debt.
When you go to your dentist's office, you are not only seen by your dentist though. You may be seen by a hygienist, who has either a degree or technical certification costing between $30,000 and $45,000. A dental assistant may assist your dentist or hygienist, and they probably spent between $3000 and $9000 in training. Finally, there is usually a receptionist to help file your paperwork and lab technicians creating crowns, in-lays, and other dental prosthetics.
Besides the people who are working with you, there are costs to purchase working dental equipment and supplies, utilities, and office rental, which can add up quickly.
What You Get For Your Money
While there is logic behind the high cost of dental care, you may still wonder what you are getting out of it. Would it be better to participate in dental tourism to a country where the cost of becoming a dentist and setting up an office is not as much as it is in the United States?
When you receive dental care in the United States, you receive care from professionals who are held to high standards by their state licensing boards. These standards include extensive training, the use of quality materials, and measures against the spread of infectious diseases. While you could get a similar standard of care for less in another country, it is not guaranteed, and you can not always know what your experience will be like when you go abroad.
All of this adds up to you having a greater peace of mind when you get your dental care done by a certified dentist in your state.
How Can You Reduce Your Costs?
Believe it or not, your dentist's prices are not set in stone. While you may not walk out of the office with a free visit, there are ways that you can reduce your bill.
First, try negotiating for a better price. This is most effective when done before the procedure, and if you have quotes from other dentists in the area. While you are negotiating, you should ask for discounts for paying up front, or getting multiple procedures done at once.
Once you have negotiated an affordable price for your treatment, think of ways you can shave off even more. For instance, many people do not require anesthesia for surface cavities, and it can save you a bit of money if you opt out of it.
The final way to really save money on your dental bill is to regularly maintain your teeth. Brushing twice a day and avoiding sugary foods can help prevent major problems. Also, going to the dentist's office, like Artistic Dentistry by Gerard Wasselle, DMD, once a year for a professional cleaning and exam will cost less than major treatments that result from neglecting your teeth.Share
18 November 2014