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The True Cost of Dentistry

Cost vs Value

When planning to get dentistry done, cost is always a factor. If often requires quite an investment and this takes thought and planning. That’s why cost vs. value needs to be considered when making your decision.

Cost is obviously what you pay for the service. Value is the benefits you’ve received for what you paid. You try a new dentist offering a free or $59 initial visit but are high pressured and upsold a lot of procedures you may not need. Or let’s say you shop around for and get the best price for a crown. You go to the dentist and you have to wait an hour for your appointment. The dentist is really busy seeing other patients so you are there for several hours and the staff personnel perform a lot of the steps. After you leave, the temporary is quite uncomfortable. If fact after a few days, the temporary comes off. So you have to take time off work to go back and have the temporary recemented. But it is still uncomfortable. When you go back for the definitive crown, you again wait a long time for your appointment. The staff personnel do most of the work, taking off the temporary, cleaning off the cement etc and it is quite uncomfortable because the dentist does not have time to come in to apply some anesthetic. They try on the crown and the bite does not feel right. They grind and grind and finally tell you it is fine and you leave. Over the next few days, you realize the bite is not right, in fact the tooth is pretty uncomfortable. So you have to take more time off work to go back for an adjustment...and so on...and so on.

We hear this story from new patients almost every day.

So you may have paid a low fee for that crown, but when you factor in all the problems and issues, what was the true value for what you paid? And often when we see these patients, that dentistry needs to be done over because there are problems that just won’t go away on their own. So the true cost of that initial treatment in dollars far exceeded the value. And when you factor in that most crowns can be much more conservatively managed with onlays or direct bonded composite, what is the long term cost of that tooth being aggressively managed to the pulp of the tooth and your health? And what if you are told that that uncomfortable tooth now needs a root canal?

The point is, get it done right the first time. Then the true value will far exceed the initial cost.

  • What is the value of being seen right on time?

  • What is the value of having the dentist’s undivided attention the whole time?

  • What is the value of the dentist him/herself doing all the steps in a procedure?

  • What is the value of the tooth/teeth being comfortable after you leave?

  • What is the value of never having to deal with temporaries coming off?

  • What is the value of the definitive work being comfortable and the bite being right?

  • What is the value of not having to return for post-op problems and issues?

  • What is the value of preserving and protecting the vitality of the pulp of the tooth?

  • What is the value of having the most conservative, least aggressive procedure done?

  • What is the value of that dentistry lasting years and years with minimal, if any problems?

  • What is the value of a low fee/free new patient visit if you are high pressured and upsold things you may not need?

Nobody is perfect but I can honestly say that this is the way it happens in our office 99% of the time. You may pay a little more, but the initial and long term value far exceeds the cost.


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