When I first started in the dental field (14 years ago) I was a receptionist. One of the most common questions that I would get asked when answering the phone was “What is your dental cleaning cost?” This was the one question that I dreaded to hear because people did not like to hear the answer. This question, to me, is compared to someone calling a restaurant and asking “How much is dinner?” Well, what are you having for dinner? How many people? How hungry are you? All these answers will make the price for “dinner” different. It is just the same with a dental cleaning.
Here are questions to consider when looking into a dental cleaning cost
- Are you an established patient? Most places have an additional fee for the first time “Initial Exam” compared to an established patient exam.
- How long has it been since you have seen a dentist? If it has been years, then a typical “dental cleaning” may not apply for you.
- Do you have current x-rays (on film) or images (digital radiographs)? These are CRUTIAL in identifying dental diseases and cavities. Some are taken yearly while others are taken every 5-7 years.
- Have you been treated or currently have gingivitis or periodontal (gum) disease?
- Does the dental office give you options for your appointment? Some offices consider Fluoride treatments optional.
- Do you have any teeth bothering you? Additional steps may need to be taken.
Believe it or not, but depending on the answers to these few questions can make your dental cleaning cost something that would originally be around $200 go up to over $1000. Making sure that you are up front and honest when setting the appointment up will help someone give you a more accurate cost to what you can expect to pay for your visit. Also, a good dental office will make sure that anything above and beyond what you are expecting to pay is thoroughly discussed AND approved BEFORE the treatment is done. Hopefully this will help anyone that is calling around and trying to find a new dental home. Giving all this information to the receptionist will help you get a better estimate on what your dental cleaning cost could be.