How much should dentistry cost?
Dental care is not a commodity, it is a professional service that is both art and science. As a dentist I had to spend many hours outside of the office taking course work to perfect the procedures.
Anywhere from 60 to 80% of the costs involved go toward the overhead of running and maintaining a modern dental practice - rent, payroll, health care benefits, dental supplies, insurances, equipment & technology. The profit margin can be quite small.
Laboratory work is sent out to various technicians who I have screened for competence. Their work can be costly to the office and must be figured into the cost of procedures when required.
Dental Insurance is really not insurance but more of an assistance to patients who have it. It will often cover the preventative maintenance of cleanings and x-rays, but will only cover a percentage of restorative work. A person's yearly maximum benefit of $1000 to $1500 has not changed in the 50 years since dental insurance became available. Understanding insurance benefits and claim requirements is the most complicated aspect for the dental practice. In this ever changing environment of dental insurance, we will strive to help you understand your coverages and limitations. We ask that you, our patients, also play an active role in this understanding.
So how much do you value your teeth? Do you plan to have them for your lifetime? Do you understand that the health of your mouth is directly linked to your general health? With time and understanding, one can realize that "shopping" for dental care can be complicated. You will get the best results and have the best long-term satisfaction getting dental care from someone you trust. And the most cost effective care begins with regularly scheduled maintenance visits through one's lifetime.