I hope to get veneers and a crown from an excellent cosmetic dentist while avoiding paying too much. The Colonial Dental Plan has around 15 providers in its network, and I am considering buying in. It would cost me $1100 (around 20% off of $1400) per veneer for just $300 to join the plan. I am from Portsmouth, RI, and I was wondering if you knew the best cosmetic dentist to do this procedure within the Colonial network. Thank you for your time.
– Andrew from Rhode Island
(See Dr. Hall’s answer below.)
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This doesn’t sound to me like a plan that will work. I have an inbox full of stories from people who were looking for bargain cosmetic dentistry, who are wishing they had never done it, and who are now needing someone to re-do the work. You can see some of their horror stories posted on this blog under “cosmetic dentistry mistakes.” A good portion of the practices of excellent cosmetic dentists is devoted to re-doing existing dental work.
You will most likely be happier with how you look, if you are looking for a bargain, by just doing the crown. If it’s on a front tooth I would go to an (expensive) excellent cosmetic dentist and have just that crown done to match your existing teeth. That will be better and much cheaper than what you are contemplating.
But you are thinking about making your situation even worse by trying to go through this Colonial Dental Plan network. Let me tell you how these “insurance” networks work. They aren’t actually insurance at all but marketing schemes. Colonial sells you this plan, and they pocket the entire fee you pay. Then they refer you to a dentist that Colonial was able to talk into giving free exams to patients and other work for a discount. Why did these dentists agree to give patients a discount? Because Colonial told them they would bring them patients to fill their empty chairs. I know this because this sales pitch was made to me several times when I was practicing. No excellent cosmetic dentist I know would be willing to make that arrangement with Colonial. These dentists are using the best materials and the best dental laboratories and they have taken extra training and are willing to take extra pains to make sure their work looks beautiful. In dentistry, as in many other businesses, “beautiful” costs more than “ugly.” No, the dentists in this Colonial plan are dentists who are having trouble making it on the strength of their reputation.
Use good common sense and stay away from this apparent “bargain” that, over the long haul, is actually rather expensive.
– Dr. Hall
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About David A. Hall
Dr. David A. Hall was one of the first 40 accredited cosmetic dentists in the world. He practiced cosmetic dentistry in Iowa, and in 1990 earned his accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is now president of Infinity Dental Web, a company in Mesa, Arizona that does advanced internet marketing for dentists.