When is Dental Care Expensive?
- A. Vandiveer Strait, BA, DDS, FAGD
After 30+ years of dental practice and after examining and observing thousands of dental patients we can state with confidence that your Dental Care is Expensive when the dental care you receive is not excellent and when you do not have a truly effective preventive program provided for you.
Unfortunately the number of dental offices who are delivering excellence and a truly effective preventive program is going down, not up. It may seem to you as it does to us that recent financial forces in our economy over the past 20 years along with the demand of people who want dental care to be affordable would encourage dental care that in the long run is less expensive for you and keeps you healthy. BUT the reverse is true. BECAUSE the average person is unable to judge what good dental care is and because the EXPECTATIONS of the average person are low, it is very easy for shoddy dental care and ineffective preventive care to pass as good care! AND THIS IS THE REAL PROBLEM. The fact is that if you receive excellent dental care and truly effective prevention people you will not need much, if any, dental care.
If the general public could realize that when a dentist accepts or has a low fee such as is required in order to sign up with an “Insurance” company he or she is in almost every case is financially prevented from doing the very best care.
In addition if a dentist depends on major dental care such as root canals, crowns , bridges, implants, etc in order to be profitable (although the public will never know) that dentist CANNOT have a truly effective preventive program. We know this because in our office the patients who are following our preventive program almost without exception NEVER need root canals, crowns and bridges or implants and actually almost never need any major care.
You may ask yourself how do we know this? Because we have tried to accept insurance and have tried at times to compete with other dentists on the basis of fees and we have realized the impossibility of the situation. Let us explain. The fact, despite what you may have heard, is that dental care is not highly profitable unless you create volume and go away from excellence and when you aim at volume you must do things faster and when you do them faster you have to cut corners in the same way fast food is different from excellent fine dining. It is VERY VERY important for you to understand that it is easy in Dentistry to cut quality of materials, instruments, staff, laboratory work, etc without you, the patient, knowing it. This is radically different than in the restaurant business where you pretty much know when they cut quality of ingredients, etc.
In conclusion, you should look for a dentist who guarantees his or her work indefinitely and who from the beginning talks about how you can get completely healthy and prevent dental disease and prevent dental problems long term.