Why Is Dental Work So Expensive?

Americans’ oral health has improved tremendously in recent years. Over the past decade, tooth decay has decreased by 15% in children, and just a quarter of adults over 60 have lost all their teeth, down from one-third. Dentists attribute the improvement to such advances as fluoridation and better oral hygiene at an early age.
Dr. Ergun Senay.

Ergun Senay, a Turkish dentist who has practiced in Manhattan for over 20 years, points out that the importance of dental treatment should be taught by families and schools at the same time.
He says, “Dental treatment and tooth brushing are fundamentally important in the U.S. You may see some people on the street that may not have a good appearance, but if you pay attention to their teeth, you will recognize that the teeth look great. Families in the U.S. educate their children about the importance of their teeth from pre-school on up.”

Dr. Ergun Senay graduated from the Department of Denistry of Istanbul University in 1982. After graduation, without having any business experience, he came to the U.S. He continued his dentistry studies at New York University.  

First, he started to work for a clinic in New York, then he opened his own clinic in 1988. At the clinic, three doctors work with Dr. Senay and 30 percent of his patients are Turkish.

Most people complain about paying very high bills for dental treatment. Dr. Senay explains that, “America is more expensive than other countries for dental care because the cost of service is expensive, such as labor, lab costs, and technology, etc. We spend more time on teeth and we use different technologies. Advancements in dental technology can offer patients modern solutions to traditional dental problems. It is expensive but the quality, professional service, qualified technicians, and superior equipment for diagnosis and treatment are excellent in the U.S. This makes the price higher than in other countries.”

According to Dr. Senay, there are many differences between Turkey and the U.S. in terms of dentistry. The most important thing is the economic difference. In the U.S., the quality of dental service is much higher than any other country.

Dr. Senay stressed that there are many good dental service places in Turkey but they can’t offer certain treatments because of economic reasons.

“For example we use equipment for dental veneers. This equipment makes great plating in an hour but it is very expensive. It’s very normal that it causes a higher cost. Service, quality and the equipment that we use for treatment must be excellent because we want to make sure that patient will not have same problem with his or her teeth in the future,” Dr. Senay said.  

The American Dental Association recommends that patients visit their dentist and dental hygienist a minimum of twice a year to maintain proper dental hygiene. 

Most private companies offer medical insurance to cover their employees’ medical care but sometimes, in order to reduce medical benefits, they don’t cover dental treatment at all. If a person wants to have his own insurance for dental care, the insurance cost will be more expensive for that individual.

A survey of 321 companies carried out by HSA found that 65% of employers believed their staff would most value dental insurance contributions as a benefit. Despite this, 67% of companies said they would not consider implementing dental benefits as they perceive them to be too expensive.

For instance, in 2001, 33 companies on Fortune Magazine’s list of America's very best employers were paying 100% of  their employees' health-care premiums. In 2006, this number dropped to only 14 employers.

Dr. Ergun says new developing in dental treatment increases the costs of treatment and companies don’t want to pay employees’ health care bills because of the high costs. He adds, “In this way, patients have higher bills.”

- According to the American Dental Association, more than 12,000 dentists and 32,000 dental team volunteers will provide free dental services to approximately half a million children in need at more than 1,600 locations nationwide.
- Winners of an American poll for the greatest looking teeth were Hollywood actors Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts.
- 32% of Americans cite bad breath as the least attractive trait of their co-workers.
- An average American spends 38.5 total days brushing his or her teeth over a lifetime.
- A survey by Louis Harris and Associates reported that 83 percent of American adults were very satisfied with the services received from their dentists. A recent Gallup Poll also reported that 92 percent of the respondents stated that they would recommend their dentist to someone else.
Last modified onSaturday, 06 May 2017 10:07