You have more than likely asked your self this questions many times.
Why is Dental treatment so expensive? I agree that Dental Treatment can be
very expensive depending on the treatment you might require and choose to
have done……..That said however,

A dental graduate education, degree is very expensive. Over a 4 year period,
the average dental education can cost approximately $50,000 to $75,000 dollars
tution or more depending on the school selected. This does not include the cost
of the two or three years pre-education required prior to being accepted into an
accredited dental school.

If you do the math, the average cost of a dental graduate degree can be
$200,000 to $300,000 dollars. This figure of course includes living expenses
and other amenities depending on the students lifestyle.

Therefore a, a dental graduate will have a substantial financial dept prior to
entering private practice. In fact, if a graduate makes a decision to set up a
dental practice or buys an existing dental practice, he or she is looking at
spending another $ 200,000 to $400,000 dollars or more depending on the

As you might now surmise, setting up a privately owned practice or buying an
older, well established, existing practice is almost prohibitive for most
graduate students.

On top of that, leasehold improvements are not cheap and setting up an average
dental office now days could cost at least 250,000 to 300,000. By average, I mean
an office around 600 to 800 square feet. Enough room for two or three operating
rooms, a laboratory and sterilization area, as well as a reception area, staff room
and washroom facilities.

Each fully equipped operating room will include a dental chair, overhead operating
light, numerous hand pieces, water and air syringes, built-in vacuums
and cabinet work, could cost a minimum of $25,000 to $35,000 depending on the
individual set up and delivery system.

A minimum of two x-ray units, autoclave for sterilization, air-conditioning unit,
heating unit if applicable, are all high-end expenses for a dental office. Not to mention
light-curing devices, laser beam units, surgical instruments and a electro-surgical unit.
The list goes on and on and on!

Now depending on the location of the practice, the monthly rent will vary
considerably. When I had my own private practice in downtown Vancouver
in a new building, my rent was around $30.00 a square foot back in the 80s.

The average overhead cost for running a dental office can vary between
60% and 75% per month. That means that at the end of the day, the dentist
may take home 40 to 25 % of every dollar charged out before taxes..

I’m telling you this because many dental patients have the misconception
that when a dentist charges you $ 75.00 for a filling which took 1/2 hr to complete.
He or she gets to pocket the entire amount.

I quite vividly recall a patient one time asking where he was sending me on my
next vacation or what new car he was helping me purchase. These types of
comments were not appreciated by me and I took exception to them.

Running a dental office can be extremely expensive and stressful.We really do
not make as much money as the majority the populace think we do. A very good
income might be $150,000 to $250,000 per year before taxes. To do this, a
dentists would have to gross between 400,000 and 600,000 dollars per year.These
figures are based on a 60 % overhead. Most dental offices today, have a much higher
cost of doing business. Probably more like 65% to 70%.

The price of dental supplies and equipment appears to go up year in and year out
without being based on the average inflation rate. For example, the average rate of
inflation in Canada is approximately 2 1/2 %. For many years when I was in private
practice, the Fee Guide that most dentists use never had any increase what-so-ever
from one year to the next.

In order for a dentist to maintain a reasonable lifestyle, the increase in dental
fees should at least keep up with the rate of inflation in any jurisdiction.

New dental graduates will have such a large debt when they get out of school, it
is obvious why they choose to do high-end dentistry and thereby charge the
high-end fees as soon as they graduate because they want to pay off their bank
loans ASAP!

You really can’t blame them however that been said, most of them do not have the
skills and experience yet to do competent high- end dentistry. I suggest that
an average new graduate should have at least five years experience in general practice
before he or she offers their patients high-end dentistry like full mouth rehabilitation
treatment plan involving crowns, bridges, implant and Veneers just to mention a few
of the disciplines.

I tell my students every day that if they concentrate on doing their work to
the best of their ability and knowledge and treat their patients as they would like
to be treated………. the dollars will take care of themselves.

I also tell them that if they see $ signs every time a new patient walks into
their office, they will not have the patient’s best interests at heart and
will undoubtedly perform inferior work because they will work quickly and probably
over service their patient’s needs in the process.

Dentistry may seem expensive, but considering the long- term use of your teeth,and
the lasting quality of good dentistry, it’s probably more than worth the money. In fact, I
think it’s one of the best investments you can ever make to compliment your complete
general health status!

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