Dental treatment price - Is it expensive to go to the dentist?

It is very common for us to be asked about the price of a treatment through social media. However, it is very difficult to give a budget without seeing the patient or knowing their clinical case. That is why we always invite those who contact us to do a complete review and be able to develop the treatment plan that best suits them.

Why don't we talk about dental treatment prices on social media?

The main reason for not giving prices for treatments without performing the rigorous complementary tests and examinations is the need for individualization and personalization of budgets. Let's take a simple example:

Dentist prices: a practical case

Say you have a tooth with a hole where food is retained. Contrary to what it may seem, and we are going on the basis that you don`t have periodontal disease (which would add many more factors to take into account), you may require not only a filling (of which there are several types) after the removal of caries; if it is very deep, it may need a root canal treatment and/or, for structural reasons, to be rehabilitated with an inlay (there are several types), perhaps with a previous elevation of the margin, or even a crown (there are several types).

It is possible that the pulp (commonly called “nerve”) had become necrotic and caused the loss of the periapical bone (adjacent to the root apices), thus needing the surgical removal of the affected apices (apicoectomy). But it is also possible that the decay has an extension such that the tooth is not restorable and it is necessary to proceed to its extraction. In this case, the possibility of replacing the lost tooth with an implant, abutment and crown (there are several types of each) or with a bridge (there are several types) supported by the adjacent teeth should be considered. It is also possible that there is not enough bone available for the placement of an implant, and in that case the area may need to be regenerated with grafts (indeed, there are also several types of regeneration).

A specific dental treatment for each patient

In short, the treatment must be carried out taking into account the factors of each patient: age, medical and dental history, economic and emotional situation, state of the adjacent teeth, hygienic habits... In the same way, it is also essential for the patient to visit the clinic and know the facilities and the human team, very important parts of the process.

Equally important is the follow-up and check-up program: receiving excellent treatment is of little use if you do not take care of yourself and monitor yourself periodically. With all this, in our clinic we do not limit ourselves to solving specific dental problems, but we attend to the needs of each person. Let's take another example: we have bought a car and we go for an inspection every year to change the oil, periodically replace tires, windshield wipers, etc. However, there are patients who are surprised that once they have invested money in rehabilitating their mouth, they have to continue attending periodic check-ups and adjustments, being the mouth an organ that we use 24 hours a day.

What do the prices of a dental clinic depend on?

We also cannot ignore that each clinic and each professional establishes their rates taking into account a series of factors that influence the cost of dental care. These are:

  • The training and experience of a dental professional are critical factors in determining their rates. Dentists with years of experience and additional specializations often charge higher rates due to their expertise and advanced skills.

  • The materials used in the treatments also affect the rates. Dental professionals can opt for high-quality materials that are more expensive, but offer better long-term results. For example, a dentist who uses high-end dental implants may charge more than another who uses cheaper models.

  • The quality of facilities and equipment also plays an important role in determining rates. A dental clinic with cutting-edge technology and first-class amenities can charge higher fees due to investment in infrastructure.

  • Laboratory expenses associated with many dental treatments such as prostheses, veneers, crowns... also represent an important cost that is included in the patient's dental treatment.

  • Time is the most invaluable and often the least appreciated resource. Patients often focus on the costs of dental treatments in the clinic, but there is work beyond that moment. Time outside the office is also required to properly diagnose and plan dental cases and treatment. Another frequent comment from some patients is: “But if you haven't done anything to my mouth, are you going to charge me for the visit?” after, perhaps, having dedicated an hour (or several) in the office to diagnose their case, resolve their doubts and offer all the explanations.

A simple way to explain it is by comparing it with other common businesses, such as a restaurant. The quality of the food, the experience of the chef, the location and the atmosphere influence the prices of the dishes. A high-end restaurant with a renowned chef and quality fresh ingredients may charge higher prices than a fast food establishment.

So is it expensive to go to the dentist?

It is common to hear the idea that dental services are expensive, but this perception does not take into account several important factors that demonstrate that the costs associated with dental care are justified. We often spend money on other areas, while neglecting our oral health.

A common example is spending on the latest generation smartphones. Many people do not hesitate to invest in the latest smartphone model with all the advanced features and functions. However, this device cannot be compared to the importance of maintaining good oral health. Dental problems can cause pain, affect the ability to eat and speak, and have a negative impact on quality of life.

Another example is spending on aesthetic treatments, makeup, clothing and/or frequent visits to the hairdresser. It is natural to want to look good and feel confident with your appearance, but we must not forget that a healthy and attractive smile is also an essential component. Furthermore, oral care not only influences aesthetics, but also general health. Dental disease can have repercussions throughout the body and even be linked to more serious medical conditions.

Ultimately, it is important to balance our financial priorities and recognize the importance of oral health in our daily lives, considering dental care as a long-term investment in health and well-being.
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