Patients expect the price on a treatment plan to be the absolute final price for their treatment, which makes perfect sense from their point of view. After all, when I get a bill for an amount, I expect to be paying that amount and not anything less or more. So when going to a private dentist, and paying for a service, should you not expect this same kind of pricing? What are all of these “hidden fees” anyway?
Please consider the following scenario: when asking for the price of an extraction, the dentist gives you a price. Upon consultation, they notice that the tooth next to the one you want to get extracted also needs work done, or it may not survive the extraction itself. You also did not think about replacing the tooth you extracted, because you are not a medical professional, but extraction will cause the loss of the adjacent teeth as well. So to keep your teeth in your mouth, which is the job of the dentist, your bill just went up significantly. This is why “hidden fees” exist, because medical science is not an exact science, and each case, and each mouth, is different, and many times these differences only make themselves apparent once the procedure is already underway.
What can affect price
- Time: The longer you have been away from a dentist, the more you are going to pay when you see one.
- Gum health: The condition of your teeth and your periodontium is the single most significant factor when determining price. Certain procedures require a strong periodontium, and this means you may have to take antibiotics, or get some kind of hygiene session to clean out your gums and soft tissues before being able to embark upon the treatment you need.
- Bone health: For dental implants and certain oral surgeries, it is necessary for your jaw to have proper bone density and to be in good health. If your alveolus is deteriorated or you have frail bones, you may need a bone graft, which will drive prices up.
- Deterioration: Certain conditions like diabetes and osteoporosis may make your oral health deteriorate much faster than expected. In these cases, your treatment plan may need to be updated even from your last session, and you may need more work done the next time you come around.
All of the issues should become apparent at a consultation session, after a panoramic dental x-ray. It may still be the case that certain things are not, and they come up during the procedure you have chosen for yourself, but you should be well aware of it ahead of time.