So you see an offer of $49.95 for an exam & x-ray. Is it a lost leader? It just depends on the practice. If it’s a mature practice you might want to question why they are giving away services. Is it a loss leader used to get you in and pressure you into other dental procedures?
On the other hand, 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.
A teeth cleaning charge is going to range somewhere around $65 to $89. Often dental insurance will cover some or all of this cost for a specific number of cleanings per year, usually no more than two. The doctor’s 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). These are also often covered by dental insurance.
The main goal is to prevent gum disease, which is the primary cause of tooth loss. Dental hygiene is imperative, and cleaning your teeth is the first step towards preserving them. In a standard cleaning, a dental hygienist removes soft plaque and hard tartar from above and below the gum line on all the teeth. The process requires one office visit and usually takes about 30 to 60 minutes.
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’.
Again, your goal is a healthy mouth which an integral part of your overall health. Oh, and by the way, just because you had your teeth cleaned professionally, the jobs not done. 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. As a part of our services, we offer additional consultation and oversight by our in-house periodontist. Our goal here is to create an informed healthy patient.
Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC
290 Carpenter Drive, 200A
Atlanta, GA 30328
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 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.