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Question
Hi Jonathan,

From reading your profile, it looks like you have a lot more experience with dental specialist than I do. I hope you can answer my question, but totally understand if you're not able to.

I've noticed that some dentist charge new patients $69 for digital x-rays, cleaning, and exam.  My dentist charges $75 for the cleaning and $110 for the digital X-rays.  So I wonder if the dentists that only charge $69 will make up the difference by jacking up the price for any extractions or fillings that they will need to do to make up for the low introductory $69 price.  Do you have any experience with this?  Hope you can answer my question. Thank you

Regards,
Mary

Answer
Hi Mary,

Yes, $69 seems rather cheap.  But I really don't know how how dentists make up the difference in cost.

Do I think your dentist is going to jack up the fees on other procedures to counter an inexpensive X-ray?  I don't know.  It's anybody's guess as to how they rationalize the balance of their costs and fees.

Someone once told me that some dentists love to do X-rays because it's all profit for them.   

This is what I would suggest to help minimize X-ray costs.  Try and do fewer of them.  For example, it every year your dentist wants to do an X-ray at the same time he cleans your teeth, ask them if this is really necessary.  Perhaps you might let them do an X-ray....ever other year.  If your teeth are relatively healthy, then every other year might work.  If you have a lot of problems, then just bite the bullet and do them as often as needed.

Another tip.....if you get referred to another dentist for some reason.....you can let them know that you just had x-rays a few months ago.  Ask if they can call your original dentist and have the x-rays you already had done to be sent over.  Why pay for them twice right?

If your dentist charges $41 more than other dentists introductory x-ray deal, it's not really a deal breaker.  Don't let introductory come on's sway you from the big picture.....which is to have a trusting relationship with a competent dentist.  In fact, if it were me, then introductory X-ray deals would rub me the wrong way.  I don't like to think of my dentist in the same way I think of wireless cell phone carriers, that bait you into switching for one time up front promotions. It's a red flag. Don't fall for it.

Thanks for your question.

Best Regards,
Jonathan
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Dentistry

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Jonathan at PatientBabble

Expertise

My area of expertise from the patients point of view would be Dentistry/TMJ plus the speech challenges that these jaw and bite problems sometimes represent. Over the years I have seen a multitude of dentists, orthodontists, oral surgeons, speech therapists, neurologists and other health professionals who all had an opinion about my TMJ/bite problem. I AM NOT A DOCTOR...but would purely be a patients point of view type person. I "get it" when people say they tried to explain to their dentist what their TMJ/bite problem is and that they are misunderstood. I can listen to people's trials and tribulations and there is a good chance I have been down that road before. I can make suggestions as to what people can do at home, or what questions to ask their doctor or dentist when they visit. I will try and recall information or experiences that may be helpful to you.

Experience

About 25 years ago, I had my wisdom teeth out and since then my bite has never felt "normal." For whatever reason, the first sensation I remember was not that my bite was off.....but rather that my normal tongue and speech patterns had been impeded. I spent years going to different dentists, who lumped me into their generic version of what they knew about TMJ. The majority of dentists believe they can treat TMJ, but only those whose primary focus is TMJ treatment, are really any good at it. Any dentist, can take an impression of your teeth, send that impression off to the lab and have them make a night guard. That is the easy part. The tricky part is what the dentist does with the night guard, once receiving it from the lab. The dentist has to do a "fitting" where they tailor the night guard to be evenly balanced and comfortable in your mouth. Sometimes it can take a few visits, because further adjustments need to be made to the night guard appliance, to get it just right. I have found that dentists, who have had the most practice, do a better job at fitting your appliance. It's almost like an art form.

Organizations
Jonathan's Blog is: https://patientbabble.squarespace.com/jonathans-blog

Education/Credentials
College Graduate with Bachelor of Arts Degree

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