The cost of medical or dental procedures are ever-increasing. Indeed, so costly has it become to visit a dentist that more and more people are questioning, why is dental work so expensive? As it turns out, the elevated costs are the product of a number of interlinked factors.
Dentists are Highly Trained Professionals
Dentistry is a service which is provided by highly trained professionals. Hence, the fees charged by dentists reflect the fact that they are experts in their chosen field. Similarly, the fees are also indicative of the fact that dentists are limited in the number of patients they can see in any given day. Since dentists only earn money when they are actively tending to patients and given that patient turnover is limited, it, therefore, follows that fees are high.
Dentistry is Highly Regulated
Dentistry is a highly regulated field in which a premium is necessarily placed on upholding the highest professional standards. Although such regulations offer the important advantage of safeguarding patient health, they also tend to inflate prices.
Dental equipment is highly specialized and as such is expensive both to purchase and maintain. For example, where a film X-ray machine can cost in excess of $20,000, a slightly more modern digital equivalent could set a dentist back by $35,000. Even purchasing a dental chair entails a significant financial outlay of $10,000.
Dental devices, such as dental crowns and dentures, are generally supplied to dentists either by third-party laboratories or by companies specializing in dental products. However, since in relative terms dentistry represents quite a niche market, in order for these suppliers to recoup their substantial investments in research and development it becomes necessary to charge elevated prices. Moreover, the standard of these dental devices can vary substantially, with some more prone to fail than others. Since for a dentist device failure can entail costs related to reputation and labor, as a safeguard they often opt for the more expensive options.
Insurance premiums for dentists are sky-high. In addition to paying regular business insurance, they’re also obligated to fork out significant sums to cover malpractice insurance.
Dental clinics face many of the same overheads as other businesses do. Taxes, wages, and marketing costs all have to be met. It also needs to be appreciated that since a dental clinic requires a relatively large workspace that mortgage or rent costs can exceed those of many other businesses.
Why is Dental Work so Expensive?
Of the fee paid by the patient, up to 80% of it can go to covering the costs of running a modern dental clinic. The reason, therefore, that dental work is so expensive is that from equipment prices to insurance premiums dentistry is an expensive business all-round.