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coreyb

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Just wondering,

My dentist says I need a crown because I've a cracked filling. The cost is $750. Is that about normal??? I don't want to seem like a cheapskate, but my insurance only covers 40%, and I don't have $450 just sitting around.

Oh, I am in Vancouver Washington (for regional price differences).

Thanks in advance!

:)
 

groundhog

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Not too far off the mark for your area if it is a molar. Low end is about $600.00. If you need a root canal first, expect to add on another $800.00 or so.
 

omsres

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Try a dental school if cost is a problem, the work will be just as good.
 
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DrJeff

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The range that I've seen across the US is from a low of around $350 all the way upto $2000+:wow:

Just remember that a crown is a custom crafted restoration to protect your tooth and prevent that crack in it from being able to flex apart and cause you discomfort when you bite on it:eek: With proper home care on your part, it's not at all uncommon for that crown to last 20 to 30 YEARS:wow: :clap: I've also had patients that have horrendous home care and dietary habits that have had crowns fail in less than 2 years:mad:

If you do you're part at taking care of that crown, over it's lifetime it will likely only cost pennies a day:clap:
 

blankguy

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Root canal $1300
Post $450
Crown $1260
Satisfaction that the cavity is gone. Priceless
 

blankguy

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Originally posted by Comet208
I love post $ crowns... (loved watching the procedures at least) they bring in so much $$ too!

You want to specialize in crowns?:D
 

DrJeff

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Originally posted by Barry20
Dr. Jeff,

Great sales pitch. I'll have to jot that one down in my notes.:clap:

What I tell all the students of the class that I teach, is that you HAVE TO be able to explain all the basic things that you see on a daily basis (i.e. caries, perio disease, fractured teeth, crowns, implants, endo, and dentures) in a way that any non-dental person can understand 110%. If you can educate your patients as to what their problem is, then they'll be asking you what you can do to fix it, and you've suddenly sold the treatment without really trying to:clap:
 

DrJeff

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Originally posted by blankguy
You want to specialize in crowns?:D

Don't just limit yourself to the crown part only. You want to be able to do the endo(if the tooth needs it to) and keep that fee in your office also. For most folks also, I include the build up fee in the crown fee since many insurance companies won't pay for a build up. I then explain to the patients as I'm talking about the crown before I do it that all the work to "get the tooth ready" for the crown is included in the fee for the crwon and that there won't be any additonal charges to "build the tooth up" that the insurance company won't pay for.

My office used to to charge about $200 for a build up(with or without a post), now we just add $100 to our crown fees (since about 1/2 of our crowns require build ups), and patients are very happy and haven't said a thing about the fees. We've also realized that its a good thing to tell the patients when you cut the crown prep that there is no fee for cementing the crown a few weeks later, since some people thought that there would be an additional fee for the cementation and wouldn't come in for a while, and we'd either have to do alot of adjusting, or even remake the crown due to fit issues:wow: :mad: The other great way to make sure that the patient comes back to cement the permanent crown is to either make the shade of the temporay just a bit off(works great for an anterior tooth), or leave a moderate grit on the lingual surface of the temporary(this second one is great since it really, realy makes the permanent one feel amazingly smooth to their tongue;) :D )
 

PERFECT3435

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the dentist that i work for charges $450 for the root canal and $450 for crowns.

yep, very competitive.

btw, the lab charges us $60 for the crown. i can't believe dentists out there charge 700 or 800 for a crown. no wonder the cost of dental medicine keeps growing and growing.
 

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By the rule of thumb then for crown pricing, the dentist that you work for would be OVERCHARGING:wow: The rule fo thumb for crown pricing is 5 to 6 times the lab fee. The 2 labs I use for crown and bridge charge me between $140 to $150 per unit. I've tried less expensive labs, but I just didn't like the finished product either esthetically or on the consistency of the fit (when I get a crown back from the lab, if anything all I expect to have to do before cementing is lightly adjust the contacts and maybe round out a transverse or marginal ridge, 3 to 5 minutes of chairtime tops). I've also tried more expensive labs, and frankly the finished product while very nice, wasn't any huge difference between what my regular labs give me.

On the lab thing, my personal preference is a lab where when I'm talking to them, the lab tech can actually picture my face and knows about my preferences since they've met me and see alot of my work. This way, the lab tech knows that if they have any questions or suggestions as to how we as a team can get a better result for the patient, they won't hesitate to call and tell me. With some of the huge labs out there, unless you're either subsidized by them because your on the lecture circuit, or give them 150+ units per month average(i.e. you're paying them over $10,000 a month in lab fees), you're basically nothing more than an account number, and various lab tech will work on your cases with various results. I'd much rather pay an extra $30 to $40 a unit over what the huge volume labs charge to know that 98% of the time when I have a patient in the chair for a 30 minute appointment to cement a crown that the cement will be set and the patient out the door 30 minutes after their seated, and I'm not still adjusting contacts or occlussion.
 

PERFECT3435

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Originally posted by DrJeff
By the rule of thumb then for crown pricing, the dentist that you work for would be OVERCHARGING:wow: The rule fo thumb for crown pricing is 5 to 6 times the lab fee.


you have a really good point there. but the thing is, i know there are couple of his friends who use the same lab tech and charge 600 for the crowns. as far as i know, he is very happy with this lab tech. i have worked there for a little over a year now and honestly we have had maybe 2-3 crowns that needed some more work (adding porcelain or redoing the crown etc). most of the ones we get fit near perfect or with very little adjustment.


my point is, it is possible to find a lab tech that is very good at his jon and yet affordable.
 

omsres

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If the rule of thumb is 5 to 6 times the lab fee, wouldn't it behoove the dentist to use the most expensive lab possible for the largest profit margin? If you spend $100 on lab, and charge $600, why not spend $200 and charge $1200, you will net double. By this logic you wouldn't be overcharging. This is the greatest rule of thumb ever!
 

DrJeff

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If you've taken the time to properly educate the patient about why the tooth needs the crown in the first place, the fees more often than not are actually a non-issue:clap: It's when the patient doesn't understand why the tooth (or teeth) in question need a crown, that's when the fees generally do become an issue.

I 100% feel that if you take the time to explain things to your patients in "normal" (i.e. non dental technical) language and treat them like you'd want to be treated while your in the chair, that the financial side of dentistry becomes a very small factor in the patient's acceptance(or denial) of your treatment plans.
 

PERFECT3435

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DrJeff,

do you get any of those patients who never show up for the crown delivery?

where i work, we normally collect 1/2 of the cost when we start the treatnment and then the other 1/2 when we are cementing the final crown.

i can't begin to tell yo uhow many cases i have seen in the past year or so where the patient just never calls, or comes back for the final crown. they just go on with the temporary and so don't pay any $$.
 

gryffindor

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Dr. Jeff, do you use typodonts with examples of crown preps & crowns or bridges to explain to your patients what a crown is and why it is necessary? I do this with my patients at school and they are much more accepting of the crowns in the treatment plan, but was wondering if dentists in the real world still do this sort of explaining.

I also have a huge poster showing a cross section of a tooth and how decay progresses to the pulp. It's FANTASTIC - I use it all the time to explain about cavities hitting the pulp, what a root canal is, what's the difference between enamel & dentin, why crown lengthening is sometimes needed, what is meant by "periodontally mobile" teeth, and I could go on. I'll check on Monday to see who makes the poster. If you are allowed to hang posters in your operatory, this one is worth the $15.
 

DrJeff

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Originally posted by PERFECT3435
DrJeff,

do you get any of those patients who never show up for the crown delivery?

where i work, we normally collect 1/2 of the cost when we start the treatnment and then the other 1/2 when we are cementing the final crown.

i can't begin to tell yo uhow many cases i have seen in the past year or so where the patient just never calls, or comes back for the final crown. they just go on with the temporary and so don't pay any $$.

We bill the full fee on the prep day in my office, so if they don't come back, they've been charged already. If they try and avoid paying, after 90 days of non payment on their account that account is sent to a collection agency and if nothing happens the after 30 days, the patient is taken to court by the collection agency, their wages may be withhold to collect the payment , and it goes on theor credit report. I know it sounds harsh, but it almost never goes that far. To be honest with you, if the patients that we send to collections set up something with my front office, even to the extent of paying $10 bucks a month, as long as they make that payment each month (to show a sign of good faith on the account), they won't be sent to collections. If you ignore the charge, then the colection agency gets involved.:wow:
 

DrJeff

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Originally posted by griffin04
Dr. Jeff, do you use typodonts with examples of crown preps & crowns or bridges to explain to your patients what a crown is and why it is necessary? I do this with my patients at school and they are much more accepting of the crowns in the treatment plan, but was wondering if dentists in the real world still do this sort of explaining.

I also have a huge poster showing a cross section of a tooth and how decay progresses to the pulp. It's FANTASTIC - I use it all the time to explain about cavities hitting the pulp, what a root canal is, what's the difference between enamel & dentin, why crown lengthening is sometimes needed, what is meant by "periodontally mobile" teeth, and I could go on. I'll check on Monday to see who makes the poster. If you are allowed to hang posters in your operatory, this one is worth the $15.

Most of the time, I'll actually pick up a piece of paper and some colored pens and actually draw (or atleast attempt to draw) what I'm trying to explain. The patients really seem to appreciate the "personalized" narrative as I'm drawing, and my staff loves to confiscate the drawings and use them against me at various office parties each year(especially when I'm trying to draw a 1 canaled tooth with a big apical lesion, lets just say that my staff has quite a perverse imagination:eek: :wow: ) I also have a few laminated photo charts up in the operatories-mainly of perio disease(I still think that someone needs to make a "scratch and sniff" perio disease chart, since if patients could smell that lovely anaerobe aroma of advanced perio disease, nobody would have it!).

For crown models, I'll typically just grab a case that's back from the lab and waiting to be cemented. I'll also typically grab 2 or 3 cases of differeing shades to convey the ability we have as dentists to deliver the perfect match to them shade wise.

Use whatever works well with your style of patient interaction. And as long as you can explain your visual aides crystal clear to your patients, you'll be amazed at how much dentistry you can sell, without even trying to sell it:wow: :clap:
 
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