We thank our advertisers who help fund this site.
Thank you for providing all the dental cost information.
I wonder if Dentists would be willing to post their dental cost on their website so that we don’t waste their time by not being able to afford their fee. Western Dental post their fees online. I love it because I can compare prices before I make an appointment.
Gilroy from California
As you’ve noticed, some dentists do post cost information on their website. But most don’t.
The reason is that most dentists aren’t angling for the “cheap dental care” market. They know how to trim costs, use cheaper materials, do procedures faster—all of these would enable them to charge cheaper fees. They just don’t want to practice dentistry that way.
If that is what you’re looking for, I would look for that cost information online, because those will be the dentists who want to compete on price. But I wouldn’t recommend that, even if you’re looking to save money. Which is cheaper, a $150 filling that lasts 5 years, or a $220 filling that lasts 25 years? Now, I’m not implying that the higher fee dentist is necessarily better. But I’m pretty sure that the cheapest dentist isn’t going to use the best materials and the most careful technique.
I do think that it’s smart to avoid dentists with exorbitant fees. I will tell you what I did when I moved to a new city and was trying to size up my options in selecting a dentist. I called the office and asked for fees for a couple of common procedures, to see if they were excessive. I was prepared to pay more than the going rate, but I didn’t want a dentist who was going to charge, say, double. To me, dentists like that aren’t the most caring, and that’s what I wanted to avoid. I would suggest asking for the fees for:
• a routine cleaning
• a two-surface composite filling on a back tooth
• a crown on a back tooth
Comparing those fees should give you an idea of the going rate in your community and help you know where each particular dentist stands as far as affordability.
– Dr. Hall
Do you have a comment or a question or anything else to add? We’d love to hear from you. Enter your comment below.
Click here to ask Dr. Hall a question of your own.
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.
A friend of mine went for the “cheap” dentist but ended up with a serious infection from the materials he used. I had her get a second opinion from my dentist. It turns out he used a post from outside of the US to save himself a lot of money. He charged less, but almost cost my friend her jaw.
What if they don’t give you cost information when you call? Are they obligated to disclose that info, even if you aren’t a patient?
Response by Dr. Hall
There are dental offices that absolutely won’t give you cost information on anything over the phone, and they don’t have to. And, of course, you don’t have to go to them, either.
It’s been my experience that dentists post their prices just to get you in the door so they can up-sell you on treatments you don’t need.
On major work, I like to get a referral from a happy patient, and a written estimate that I can submit to my insurance. A second opinion can always validate the prescribed care and cost too.
I’ve never thought to call and see what prices the dentist charges for common procedures. I wish I would have thought of that years ago!