Why won’t dentists list their prices online?

I have four kids at home and am a stay-at-home mom. I am constantly trying to get the most bang for our buck. It drives me crazy that I can never find an affordable dentist who posts their prices online for the different procedures they perform. Why can’t they tell me how much they charge for a filling or a crown so I get the best deal? I shop around for other things, why not dentists?

Amber, Bend, Oregon

Dear Amber,

There are some patients who may think that the best way to choose a dentist is by comparing pricing for procedures, but that shouldn’t be the deciding factor. Some dentists offer procedures for less. That may mean, though, they are using cheaper material or cutting corners to complete work cheaper or faster. As with other items you shop for, you may get what you pay for.

Most dentists are more concerned with doing what is right for each patient than trying to “beat out their competitors.” For that purpose,  they don’t list their prices online. They want you to choose to have them fulfill your dental needs based on the quality of their work and the services they offer rather than choosing them based on their prices.

If you do want pricing to be part of your decision, compare costs for common procedures from dentists you are interested in. While you may not find each dentist’s prices listed online, you can call each office. Asking about prices for routine check-ups, crowns, and fillings can help you determine what is reasonable for your area. Then you can see which dentists are on the higher end of the price spectrum for the same work. Higher prices doesn’t always mean better. From there, you can determine which dentist best fits your needs.

This post is sponsored by Sedalia Dental.