If you don’t have dental insurance or a Discount Dental Plan, you know how expensive dental care can be. Hopefully, despite the cost, you’re still visiting the dentist regularly, since skipping your regular dental appointments can have a serious impact on the health of your teeth. You may have asked yourself: “Why is the dentist so expensive?” If you have, you’re not alone- the 100 million Americans who don’t have dental coverage have likely thought that as well. Luckily, there are answers to this tough question.
- Serious Overhead Costs
CBS News spoke to two dentists, who asked to be called Dr. M and Dr. W, who explained that one of the reasons why your trip to the dental care professional is so expensive is the massive overhead costs. According to the dentists, 60 to 80 percent of what you pay the dentist goes to covering the costs of running a dental office – which are extensive. They said that dentists pay for payroll for hygienists, office managers and receptionists, health insurance costs, new technologies and rent for their office space. Furthermore, many dentists are still paying off loans they took out for dental school.
- Dental Insurance is Pricey on Both Ends
It’s not just patients that need dental insurance- dentists do too. The Huffington Post’s Thomas Connelly, D.D.S., who explained that just like physicians, dentists need to purchase malpractice insurance, and it’s extremely expensive. If something goes wrong during a dental procedure, dentists need to make sure that they are protected against any potential lawsuits, just like a surgeon.
- Not All Labs Are Created Equal
Dr. M explained to CBS that dental labs differ in the quality of dental appliance they produce, and some dentists cost more because they use the best labs.
“In my view, you always want to use a good lab,” Dr. M. told the news source, “because if the crown breaks, I’m the one stuck redoing the thing for another hour and a half for free. It’s important to make sure I’m putting good stuff in people’s mouths, because the last thing anyone wants to deal with is a redo. It doesn’t make me look good, the patients get angry, insurance doesn’t cover it and it’s a waste of time. You want to do a good job.”
- Dental Insurance Doesn’t Cover Everything
Dr. Connelly told The Huffington Post that most insurance doesn’t even come close to covering the cost of dental care. The dentist explained that people need to understand that while they may feel as though they pay a lot for their insurance, the money the dentist receives usually does not cover everything that has been spent on the procedure- from the cost of materials to labor.
- People Aren’t Caring for Their Teeth Properly
Finally, if you take good care of your teeth, which means brushing twice a day and flossing at least once, then your dental visits should cost less than those of people who don’t. If you don’t care for your teeth, then you’ll end up needing to have cavities filled and root canals performed, which is where the really expensive work comes in. Treat your teeth well, and they’ll go easier on your wallet.
Clearly, there are many reasons why dental care is expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. With a Discount Dental Plan, you’ll be able to get the care you need at a price that both you and your dentist can agree on.
Are you a dentist with some insight into the expenses of running a dentistry practice? Let us know below!