Dental discounts at local schools

  • Article by: JOHN EWOLDT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 1, 2010 - 2:52 PM

Deals on preventive services at schools for dental hygienists and assistants are even better than at the U of M's School of Dentistry.

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jo1glexMar. 29, 1010:54 PM

I had all 4 of my wisdom teeth pulled at the U about 25 years ago. The professor gave me sodium pentothal, and told me it would make me "a little goofy." I considered myself something of an expert on that state of mind at that time and I felt no effect at all.

The prof fiddled around in my mouth for what seemed like forever, putting in little spacers and clamps, and whatnot. I kept waiting to feel the effects of the anesthetic. I figured if I didn't feel anything before he started pulling teeth I'd better tell him.

After a while there was a tap on the door, and the prof asked me if I minded if a student came in to watch. I nodded, "Sure," and the kid came in.

Then I tried to shake hands and introduce myself to the kid. He kind of recoiled. I didn't understand that, until I caught a glimpse of my face in the mirror. My mouth was all stretched open with the spreader equipment, and blood was running down my chin.

The professor had already pulled 2 wisdom teeth and I hadn't even noticed. I guess the sodium pentothal did, in fact, make me "a little goofy."

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pfbramMar. 29, 1011:50 PM

Our problem, of course, is that we equate insurance with health care. The insurance industry can't make a dime unless it denies treatment or over-bills its subscribers. We should run this anti-industry out of the US. If we don't, we'll find ourselves paying our medical professionals with chickens again, like the Banana Republic we've reverting to.

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summer22Mar. 30, 10 6:11 AM

Interesting that no hard numbers are ever given?? What dooes it cost??

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ewoldjrMar. 30, 10 6:43 AM

Click on the "where to save" sidebar for costs at the six schools. John Ewoldt

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equalizerMar. 30, 10 8:20 AM

Now we have found ways to take business away from dentists and dental hygenists, what industry will be next? If you talk with your dentist they will work with you to keep the costs down and match prices - they are feeling the effects of the economy also. Some offices are down to 4 or 3 days per week. The more business they lose, more jobs will be lost. Don't be afraid to talk to your dentist - or anyone in any profession. They will work with you. We have to continue to use the businesses that are our there or we will never get out of this recession.

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lvittoriMar. 30, 10 8:58 AM

Dentists have for the most part dodged the public outcry about high prices that the medical profession is seeing. Unfortunately it is not because they have set fair and realistic prices. I had a 3 tooth bridge put in in the 1990's priced about $400 per tooth. Recently after the bridge started disintegrating the same office claimed it would be a 4 tooth bridge and the price was $800 per tooth. Why is that? Because dentists think they are entitled to work short hours and make huge incomes after they enter private practice. So I went to a dentist with old x-ray machines, old equipment and a practice she purchased from her father years before. Guess what...same price. Her defense was that they subscribe to a service that surveys local dentists so they can all charge the same outrageous fees. They are simply greedy money grubbing gold diggers taking advantage of the public. They don't negotiate, they only want to give you options to finance your contrubtion to satisfying their out of control greed.

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equalizerMar. 30, 10 9:39 AM

You did exactly what you should have done, compare prices and choose your best alternative. My point waas not as much about dentists but that as consumers we need to talk to our providers in any area and tell them that we can't afford a certain price and if they can't help, we will go elsewhere. You proved that they are not all greedy money grubbing gold diggers, and we need to support the ones that are willing to work with consumers. If everyone does that, businesses will have to change to be competitive.

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gusta127Mar. 30, 1010:13 AM

Dentistry is no different than any other small business. The costs are associated with OVERHEAD!!!. The lab that make your crown/bridge has had their costs sky-rocket with gold prices. They also have to pay their staff, of course you could have you crown/bridge shipped off to an overseas lab...and be subject to their standards.. crowns with lead in them from overseas labs surfaced last year. Oh, your dentist probably employs friends and neighbors also...I guess they could lower their costs by using shoddy labs and laying off their staff....but how does that help the economy

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ChrisCMar. 30, 1010:25 AM

equalizer - They are not taking business away from dentist as much as training future dental professionals by suggesting a lower cost way for people without dental insurance to get the work done. It is a good thing. People save money who do not have insurance and the people doing the work get the experience they need before going to work in an office after graduation their program.

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stde0003Mar. 30, 1010:42 AM

It's all about the business costs. The people angry about dentist salaries need to look into what it costs to run a practice. Think about the rent on the office, the heat/electric, insurance (both liability and malpractice), staffing costs, materials...The list is long and not cheap. Then you could take into consideration that most people graduate from dental school $100-200k in debt. This is after giving up 4 of their prime earning years to pay to learn. That is why it is expensive. If dentists are "greedy gold diggers", then so are attorneys, plumbers, mechanics, hair stylists, florists, and just about anyone that runs their own busness taking a margin over their costs. Another thought, if you don't like the price, you could just go without the service and see how that works?

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