So you see an offer of $49.95 for a teeth cleaning, exam & x-ray come through your mailbox. Is it a lost leader? It just depends on the practice. Is it a loss leader used to get you in and pressure you into other dental procedures?
If it’s a new practice, then providing discounted services is one of the few methods a new practice has to introduce itself to the surrounding community, no different than a new restaurant trying to showcase its menu. The genuine intent is to build a relationship by showcasing the practice. If it’s a mature practice, then there is probably going to be pressure to accept other services.
A teeth cleaning is going to range somewhere around $65 to $89. Often dental insurance will cover some or all of the cost of at least two. The doctor’s oral exam is $45 to $55 and the 4 basic bite wing x-rays are around $59 to $72. Depending on your insurance this might be covered anywhere from 60 to 100% after a small deductible is met. Periodic X-rays ($32 -$135) are needed to see if any problems are developing inside the teeth or around the jaw bone, and are generally required before cleaning the teeth of a new patient (which is why some practices offer coupons to defray the initial cost of a first visit). Usually this is covered by dental insurance.
Your main goal should be to prevent gum disease, which if not examined and treated when necessary will result in greater costs, including tooth loss. Dental hygiene is imperative, and cleaning your teeth is the first step towards preserving them.
If you’ve neglected to take care of your teeth, you may be at higher risk for losing them and require a deep cleaning. This more extensive process called scaling and root planing is done by quadrants (upper right, upper left, lower right, lower left) at a cost of about $100 -$400 per quadrant depending on the severity of the problem or $400 -$1,600 for the entire mouth. This is where you run into problems with ‘couponing dentists’. Often that coupon patient is pressured into being that scaling and root planing patient.
Your goal and our goal is a healthy mouth which is part of your overall health. The mouth is connected to the body. You have to do your part by brushing and flossing daily if you want to keep them. If you have additional questions, feel free to email or call our office. Our goal here is to create an informed healthy patient.
ZoAnna Scheinfeld, M.S., D.M.D.
290 Carpenter Drive, 200A
Atlanta, GA 30328
 However, depending on how long it’s been since you have been to the dentist and what extent your oral healthcare has been neglected, it can be more if there’s a need to do a full mouth root scaling.