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Another reason people get fillings.

edited July 2006 in Everything Else
Dentistry is very competitive. It's almost as bad as car sales. A dentist on his own has to pay rent and financing on equipment. This means: 1) more fillings, 2) more braces and 3) more wisdom tooth extraction. A person with normal teeth has to be very careful going to the dentist otherwise he or she could end up spending a lot of money on unnecessary things so the Dentist's kids can go to college. This is not to say all dentists are that way, but there are plenty of ways to be scammed.


  • I wouldn't ascribe ignoble motives to an entire group of people, particularly those in the medical field. However, the fucker who charged $250 for ten minutes work to remove my tooth last week can rot in the deepest, darkest, foulest pit of hell for all I fucking care, the fucker.
  • Doctors are just people. Yes, some of them are very smart, but intelligence does not equal morality. Arguably, you have to watch doctors even more because of the disparity between your health knowledge and theirs. Do your homework and don't be afraid to question. It's your health. Other people seldom have your best interests at heart.
  • My uncle is a dentist. I think what he did is after dental school he worked under an existing dentist. When that guy retired, he took over the practice. He's an old 50+ year old unmarried guy, but he always has a girlfriend. While I can't really compare his rates to those of other dentists, he's loaded. He owns more cars than me, Rym and my family combined. Also, his custom-built house has a room full of pinball machines among other luxuries.

    My childhood dentist, who was not my uncle, was a local dentist all the kids went to. He had a family and kids a few years younger than me. He, also, is pretty well off, but I think the way he did it is quantity. My uncle works 3 or 4 days a week with terrificly convenient hours for himself. There are never more than one or two people in the waiting room. At the other dentist's office it is always packed with kids, and there is an army of hygenists working all the time. My childhood orthodontist was the same way, with the quantity.

    Using these two ethical dentists as examples I can see how another dentist might be unethical. If my childhood dentist or orthodontist were somehow unable to get the quantity of patients they had, they would be forced to find new jobs, move or jack up prices.
  • Do dentists/orthodontists take the Hippocratic oath? Just wondering.
  • You know, I don't actually know. I'd assume they do.
  • At my university, the department of dentistry is a part of the Faculty of Medicine, so I would assume so as well. If they didn't, it would be very off-putting.
  • I think most dentists make money from shear volume of patients. I know my family dentist probably has anywhere from 5-10 appointments a day, 5 days a week, and I'd guess about 45 weeks of the year.

    This comes out to about 1575 appointments a year (avg 7 a day). Now, I'm not sure on rates so I don't think I can accurately say how much an average appointments costs. Between fillings, root canals, pulling teeth, routine check-ups and simple teeth cleanings, there would seem to be a large variation of fees.

    For shits and giggles, let's say the average appointment is $200. That would leave the dentistry making about $315,000 a year. This must get split into buying equipment, paying for rent/utilities of the office, and paying for the staff. Most dentists have a small staff, and teh salary difference between secretary and dentist I imagine is huge.

    At any rate, let's imagine upkeep of a dentistry office costs $35,000 a year. My dentistry consists of only 5 employees: 2 sceretary/recptionists, 2 assistances, and the dentist. So with our remaining $280,000 let's divy up salary.

    A good salary in my area is $35k+. So let's take out $70,000 for the 2 recptionists.
    Out of $210,000 now, let's pay each assistant $50,000.

    So my local dentist then makes a $110,000 salary. That's nice.

    My math may be fuzzy, and I have no gauge to base my # of appointments or costs of appointments on. But, I do know $110,000 is double what I'll expect to be earning for the first few years out of college. If I'm lucky.
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