Why the heck is treatment of my child’s teeth so expensive?
It’s about time someone tackles the elephant in the room “why is dental treatment for children expensive”!
After all we know they are just children and it’s just baby teeth! Oh and won’t these teeth fall soon anyway!
If for every time I heard these statements, I received a coin I would be a millionaire!
I know I know I get these questions a lot in my daily dental practice in Dubai health care city for a reason…let me explain.
There are many reasons why dental treatment for children specially can be expensive, here are the top 3:
- First Reason: A dentist for children is actually a super specialist. Receiving more education after dental school. More often than not a Specialist Pediatric Dentist has received a Master’s degree in Pediatric Dentistry along with numerous certifications and extra training in child psychology and how to handle a child. Naturally enough the more specialized the doctor is and the more he is an “uber” specialist with a very unique “know how” the more expensive is the fee to get a consultation and receive treatment. From experience, if the child was seen by a non-specialized professional, parents spend a lot more money later to fix the situation! Think of it this way, you can either go to an expert mechanic that does the job in a few minutes or end up going to that same expert after having lost time and money consulting a novice first! Why should children’s dentistry be any different? Going to the expert in children’s dentistry first is the best long-term investment.
- Second Reason: The dental technology for children is a bit different. I usually get asked this question a lot especially about crowns for children. These crowns need different techniques than the ones use for adults. Some parents are surprised that Zirconia crowns (naturally looking white metal crowns that are used to restore a child’s smile back) used for children cost as much as an adult crown would cost if not more! The truth is, it is an expensive delicate technology, that is recently introduced in the market and its technicality is a bit more demanding and needs training and time! So much so that not every dentist picks it up! On the positive side though, they sparkle as bright as diamonds in a child’s mouth and they easily restore a radiant smile that was dulled by decay.
- Third Reason: It is unfortunately the case that most children would need bulk treatment! Meaning that the dentist discovers more decay cavities than one and they all need radical treatment. A Baby tooth is very small compared to an adult tooth which means that any decay experience can affect the nerves of a tooth extremely fast as compared to an adult tooth. This problem most likely compounds the costs as well and next thing you know, you end up with a bill that is costly! Not to mention if the child is traumatized by the dentist and refuses to sit on the chair. Then the only last resort is dental treatment under general anesthesia, where by the child sleeps and the dentist restores all the teeth in one hour of time according to the complexity!
You know what is more expensive though, from my humble opinion, since we are talking about costs?
Dental disease and dental decay is MIGHTY Expensive! Totally.
Do you know how can tooth decay be considered costly? In terms of needing treatment, in terms of the pain experience a child has to live through, in terms of loss of self confidence in the unlikely event a child has to remove his/her teeth before time or just because the child’s teeth look black, in terms of infection that a child is susceptible for, and at the end who can measure the effects of dental decay on a child’s quality of life!
The good news is whilst decay is expensive, prevention is dirt cheap!
It only costs a brush, a paste and going for dentist consultation every 6 months! Promise!
I am always happy to hear your thoughts, concerns or suggestions and whether or not your child needs expensive dental treatment.
For more about prevention and children’s dentistry, read some of my other blog posts.
To Healthy teeth….
DDS, HDD, MFDS Ed, Dip-Hyp CBT, MSc, IBCCES Autism
A pediatric dentist with a special mission: spreading smiles to children wherever she goes.
Currently working in MyPediaClinic in Dubai Health Care City
Decay is expensive because:
- The pain a child may go through as a result of un treated decay is a high price to pay by the child primarily and the parent seeing the child in pain
- The infection the child may live through if dental decay is untreated and is left unchecked
- Crowns are costly. Prevention is the cheapest actually! How much does a brush and a paste really cost? Even at the dentist a cleaning and a fluoride application costs 1x compared to 3x for dental fillings and crowns!
Next time someone complains about how expensive dental treatment is just hand them a brush and a paste!
To healthy happy children…
Am happy to receive your queries so keep me coming!