One Dentist is $500 Less

I need a dental crown so I started calling around. I’ve called three dentists. One of them is significantly less than the others, by like $500! It seems like a great deal but I’m wondering how he can be so much less. Are the other two just hiking their price up?


Dear Fran,

We all want a good deal, don’t we? The thing to be aware of is there is a difference between affordable dentistry and cheap dentistry. You didn’t mention the two different prices, just that they were $500 apart. Let’s say for argument’s sake the less expensive dentist is $400 for a dental crown but the other dentists you called are $900.

You asked a great question earlier about how he could afford to charge so much less for their dental crowns. Usually, when one dentist is significantly less expensive than other dentists in the area there are usually one of three reasons:

They are a Brand New Practice

Maybe this dentist is fresh out of dental school and he needs experience. He lowers his prices to barely above cost to draw in patients. We all start somewhere and if you are willing to give the new guy a chance with the hope of saving money, then go for it.

They Have Trouble Keeping Patients

Like in every field, you will have some dentists who are terrible at their job. Maybe they barely passed dental school and don’t apply themselves to improving. Maybe they have a terrible chairside manner and patients just don’t enjoy being around them.

When you keep losing patients, you have to find ways to constantly draw in new ones. You can certainly do that by having your prices several hundred dollars less than everybody else.

If they’re not a new dentist, I would certainly check their reviews to see what type of experience other patients have had with them.

They Use Cheap Materials

It is hard for a dentist to pay for their overhead if their prices are barely above cost. Do make up profits, some dentists will purchase cheaper materials in order to make money. The one who suffers in those cases are the patients.

Is It Really Cheaper?

Let’s say you go with one of the last two dentists to save money. You get a dental crown for $400. It seems like a good deal, but only lasts you three years before you have to replace it. You get another one for $400, plus the cost of time off work. It only lasts you another three years. Again, $400. You’ve now paid $1200 and lost work three times.

Compare that will a dentist who initially charges $900 but his crowns last you $15 years. In this case, you have actually saved $600 by originally going to the dentist who costs more.

I’m not saying you have to go with a more expensive dentist to get quality. I am just saying do your homework on the dentist to make sure you are getting affordable and not cheap.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Hillary Peck.

Dental Flipper for a Toddler

My son, who is 3 years old fell and lost his two front teeth as a result. I spoke with my pediatric dentist about getting him a dental flipper and he refused. I looked online for the do it yourself kind, but they only make those for adults. What would you recommend for me to get him a flipper? I am worried about his teeth shifting.


Dear Morgan,

young boy smiling with toothbrush

I wish your pediatric dentist would have explained things rather than just refuse. Parents are always better off knowing the reasoning behind the recommendations and decisions their child’s caregiver is putting forth.

Reasons Children Can’t Have a Dental Flipper

You noticed that there were only DIY flippers for adults. That is because it is dangerous for children to use a Dental Flipper.

First, they are removable. Just as we are careful with the size of toys we let our children play with, we try to do the same thing with any type of removable device. Otherwise, it is a choking hazard.

Second, they are removable. No, I didn’t make a mistake typing that twice. It is a rare toddler or even older child who will keep in an orthotic device. It is much more likely it will be removed and lost in a short period of time.

Third, they stay in by clasping onto other teeth. Your son’s jaws and teeth are in a constant state of growth right now. This means he will outgrow the flipper quickly and often.

The Really Good News

I know you are worried about your son’s teeth shifting which can lead to overcrowding of his adult teeth. That shows you pay attention to your son’s dental health. The good news is, with his front teeth that won’t be an issue.

When we talk about the importance of tooth retention in children, it is with their baby molars. This is because the adult molars don’t come in until the child is around 12-years-old. In that amount of time and given the placement, the teeth will shift.

If it ever happens that a child of yours does need to have a molar removed, getting a space maintainer will be important.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Hillary Peck.