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Dentistry/new patent intro fee


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


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 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,
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Jonathan at PatientBabble


My area of expertise from the patients point of view would be 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 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 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 come from a family of dentists. My first house growing up was one of those residential/dentist combination homes and I was around the dental practice all the time. My teeth had always been perfect, and in many respects they still are. I have never had a cavity and my teeth are straight. About 25 years ago, I had my wisdom teeth out and since then my bite has never felt "normal." I have learned a lot over the years as I tried to figure out my problem from the Dentists, Speech Pathologists and assorted doctors that I have visited. I will try and recall information or experiences that may be helpful to you.


Twenty-Five years ago after my wisdom teeth were removed, my bite did not feel right and then had trouble speaking. 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. The years of searching for proper treatment has underscored the importance of understanding the relationship between dental and speech methodologies.///// To this end, and to further my research, I recently attended the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention (ASHA) in Atlanta. At ASHA I learned about a specialty within Speech Pathology termed “Orofacial Myology”. In laymen's terms Orofacial Myology Disorder (OMD) deals with the establishment of correct functional activities of the tongue, lips and jaw. OMD is a motor speech disorder that impacts the normal flow of speech, chewing or swallowing.///// If you believe that your struggles with your teeth also present speech, chewing or swallowing challenges, you may want to seek out a licensed Speech Language Pathologist.....preferably one that has training with Orofacial Myology Disorder.

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Abridged Version of a Letter I Sent to a Health Care Professional (3/14/13): "..In my early 20's I had my wisdom teeth out. Almost immediately within a few days, something did not feel right in my mouth. I had trouble speaking. When I raised my tongue to try and touch my palate, I felt mostly just teeth. It is very cumbersome to talk and my bite also became a little bit off. If feels almost as if someone put a fork in my mouth and said "now try and speak." Very difficult. My articulation is fine, so to an observer I sound normal. But it takes a monumental effort, so I hate situations like talking on the phone or when somebody asks me to "tell them a story." ..I spent years going to different dentists, who lumped me into their generic version of what they knew about TMJ. They just automatically gravitate to what they have heard about TMJ and assume I am either stressed, or just imagining it. Years later, I look back at all those dentists and doctors and I am amazed at how little they really knew about my condition. I have seen the best dentists, including my dad who is a Orthodontist in New York, to TMJ Dentists in Atlanta and Florida. No one ever suggested that Speech Pathology may be a direction I should explore. ..And I was frustrated by the fact that several MRI's over the years, showed nothing. How could the MRI’s show nothing, and at the same time, I know something does not feel right? I do wear a night guard to sleep in, but it does not fix the trouble that I have when I try to talk. ..I went with a Speech Pathologist friend of mine to the American Speech Language Hearing (ASHA) Convention last October in Atlanta...There was a Speech Pathologist at ASHA who was saying that sometimes when you have your Wisdom Teeth taken out "late" that it could possibly cause damage to the Trigeminal Nerve and surrounding muscles.” POSTSCRIPT: At ASHA, I discovered OROFACIAL MYOLOGY (OMD) which is a specialty in Speech Pathology that addresses Oral Muscular Issues.

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