Are all dentists the same?

The dental industry has taken on many different myths, with one of them being that all dentists are the same. “Dental care near me” is used very literally in that majority of patients are simply looking for is a dentist near them, rather than finding the right dentist because all dentists are the same, right? They’ve all went to dental school, studied the same thing, and are all certified and licensed dentists. And since the mouth is presumed to be a relatively simple area of medicinal treatment, it’s assumed that there are a minimal amount of treatments and procedures that all dentists know how to master. However, that is not true (hence being called a myth).

Of course all dentists go to an accredited dental school, but not all individuals learn in the same manner, and there’s also the fact that all schools vary in quality of education. With thousands of individuals in their pursuit to becomes dentists, it’s inevitable that each person will have varying outcomes in terms of knowledge.

There’s also the recent advent of the commodification of dental care in which dentists are using various marketing tactics that are naturally appealing to patients. These tactics include advertising cheaper rates, free exams, and having an appealing interior design to their clinics. This isn’t to say dentists marketing their business is unethical per se, but on the patient’s end, it can become challenging to distinguish between dentists that will provide quality care without over charging and dentists that do the opposite. One example of this is Whittier Dental Center, who claim that their dental implants cost is a mere $399, yet patients end up with a bill much higher than that amount – and that’s without touching on their quality of care.

So, how to distinguish between dentists that charge fair prices with quality care and those who don’t?

Look for dentists who don’t advertise discounts

Dentists that are constantly advertising discounts are in dire need of patients, while patients aren’t booking with them for a reason. This may be representative of their prices, their customer service, and/or the quality of their dental care. Rather, search “dental care near me” and find a dentist that doesn’t advertise discounts, then negotiate treatment costs with them if needed. It’s likely they will work with your budget, and if not, Zentist can help in finding quality dental care with your budget in mind.

Meet with the staff and address your concerns

This is a very important step, and it requires you to be proactive about it. If you don’t communicate your expectations and concerns, your dentist won’t ask you about them either – that will lead to uncertainty about pricing and quality. Talk to the dentist and ensure that they are listening and productively answering your questions, and you’ll be able to have a better sixth sense about whether they are the right dentist or not.  

Compare, compare, compare

Looking up a dentist and immediately committing to one is never a good idea. Without having the knowledge of the wide spectrum of prices for procedures, you can easily be overcharged. To avoid this, make sure to compare the prices from a few different dentists. On the down side, this can be a lengthy and time consuming process. To speed this up, Zentist has a tool to find hundreds of dentists near you with price quotes for the procedure you want. Instead of calling clinics and setting up consultation appointments, all it takes is the click of one button.

Dentists play an important role in our lives, and since our oral health mirrors our overall health, it’s important to find a dentist that can keep a look out for any potential concerns. Remember to take your time and only go with the dentist you know is the best for you.

Happy dentist shopping!

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