Sunday, March 01, 2009

Why Does Dentistry Cost So Much?

How much does a filling cost? How much to "pull" a tooth? These are important questions. However, because the cost of everything medical related is rising faster than the general rate of inflation, you need to ask yourself what are you getting for your money. This is not a product oriented business. You can't go online and get it cheaper. Dentistry is part of the service industry. It is important to provide good compassionate care for these children.

What if I told you I could give you a filling for $10? What a great "deal"! So, I hand you the material we use for fillings (costs about $10 for that little blob of filling material). Are you happy? Now, wait a minute. Most of the cost of a dental procedure is not the materials (although that can be high enough sometimes). What you are paying for is Time and Expertise.

In order for a dentist to provide a service, he must stock the materials, buy the instruments to put in the filling and do the surgery, buy fancy dental chairs and equipment, hire skilled assistants and front office staff, and buy copiers and all the other stuff most businesses require to operate. In addition he must pay large insurance premiums, and buy very expensive x-ray machines. Then you obviously want someone qualified to do surgery. This is not your car, it's you; (or your child).

Expertise--Dental school takes four years after college, plus a few more years of specialty residency if needed. Most dentists are in debt up to their eyeballs when they enter the workforce. They have invested in the training and education to become proficient. He has become an expert. That's the guy you want working on your tooth.

Time--Have you ever noticed how little time the medical doctor spends with you? The nurses and office personnel do a lot and the M.D. is in and out in two minutes. Why? Time is money. The market demands less reimbursement, so the patient gets what he pays for. Although sometimes visits are short, dentists spend way more time with their patients especially during a filling or surgical procedure than do physicians.

Also, in the last decade insurance companies have influenced the market so much that a dentist often writes off much of the work he does. One often overlooked aspect of dentistry is the charity work done for free. I'm not making excuses or trying to make is all a bed of roses. If a dentist's fees are too low, he will eventually go out of business. Dentistry is a business and it is expensive. But all things considered, it's a bargain.You may just keep those teeth the rest of your life.

So, next time you wonder why it is so much. Remember: Time and Expertise.

Here is an interesting link:
Why Is Dentistry So Expensive?

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