Tag Archives: cheap dentist

Affordable Dentistry During Inflation

The rising costs of everything have been eating away at the worth of my husband’s paycheck. He already works so hard so I can raise our four young children and I’m worried that we won’t be able to afford the dentist this entire year. Our dentist’s prices went up again this year. I don’t blame him. He’s dealing with inflation just like the rest of the country. But, I haven’t been able to afford their last appointment and I’m worried about the children’s teeth. Are there ways to find affordable dentistry in this climate?


Dear Gina,

Dollar sign hatching from an egg
There is a difference between affordable and cheep dentistry

I understand what you are going through. Everyone seems to be feeling this pinch, which is causing a vicious cycle of rising costs. I have some things that may help, even if it doesn’t solve all of your problems.

What You Can Do At Home

While most parents know and do the obvious things, such as brushing and flossing their children’s teeth daily, there are a couple of things that seem to surprise people. In case your pediatric dentist hasn’t told you about them, here they are:

First, limit snacks. Believe it or not, one of the best defenses against decay is actually saliva, which contains bacteria fighting minerals. However, the more your children snack, the less chance their saliva has to do its job. I know growing children are always hungry, but if you can limit them to one snack a day it will go a LONG way to fighting cavity causing bacteria. Plus, you will have the additional benefit of them actually being hungry enough to eat the food you lovingly prepare for them at their meals.

Second, know many juices contain citrus acid. This can eat away at their enamel. While some of those juices, like orange juice, can be healthy, you don’t want it to counteract what you’re trying to do for their teeth. One mistake people make is thinking brushing immediately after drinking something acidic will protect their teeth from the damage. Unfortunately, it has the opposite effect. Instead, it grinds the acid into their teeth. If you’re going to give them a juice right before bedtime when they are going to brush, have them swish some water around their mouth first, to neutralize the acid.

Finding An Affordable Dentist

Don’t confuse cheap with affordable. If a dentist is significantly lower than all other dentists in their area, it is a red flag. They could be using poor quality fixtures to keep their profits up, or they are terrible dentists who have to keep their prices super low to draw in new patients.

Sometimes an area a dental office is in can keep prices higher. Rent for office space is different depending on the real estate location. Sometimes you can save some money from going to a dentist that is just outside of an expensive area. You can get high quality care with slightly lower prices because the dentist’s overhead is lower.

Do an internet search using the term “affordable dentist” and the area you are looking. Often dentists who strive to keep their prices down will have a web page devoted to how they strive to make things easier for families. Just be certain to check their reviews to make sure the quality of care is what you want for your children.

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

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.