Dentistry-The Biggest Bargain in Health Care

We are pleased to present the fifth annual Dental Economics` Survey of Dental Fees. Each year we are amazed at the cooperation we receive from our readers. This year, 31 percent of the dentists surveyed took the time to send us their fees for 46 office procedures, an excellent response that allows us to make valid national and regional comparisons.

May 1st, 1996

Dick Hale

Editor/Publisher

dickh@pennwell.com

We are pleased to present the fifth annual Dental Economics` Survey of Dental Fees. Each year we are amazed at the cooperation we receive from our readers. This year, 31 percent of the dentists surveyed took the time to send us their fees for 46 office procedures, an excellent response that allows us to make valid national and regional comparisons.

Several things are apparent from the survey. The most significant: Dental care is affordable. Another obvious fact that emerges from studying the individual responses: While there are only minor differences in regional averages, there is a great differential from practice to practice. Very few dentists are average!

Perhaps that last statement requires clarification. We have taken several individual dentists` fee schedules and analyzed them to see where their fees fall compared with regional and national averages. There is almost always a wide variance up and down the line of dental procedures. Some differences are significant, but rarely is one dentist high or low on all procedures. For this reason, you should not use our survey to set your fees. Keep in mind that the "averages" reflect a wide range of charges for each procedure listed.

Does this mean that some dentists charge too much and some don`t charge enough for specific services? Possibly. But each practice is different, and that is one of the positive aspects of the profession-you don`t have to practice, or establish fees, the same way other dentists practice or set fees. Top-quality dental work varies from case to case. Charge the fees that enable you to do your best for each individual patient.

Establish fees that fit your locale and your style of practice. Hold your head high. Dentistry is the biggest bargain on the health-care scene. High-quality dentistry warrants fair fees.

Correspondent Deserves Recognition

We announced in February that we had a new Washington correspondent for Capitol Gram. Judi Hasson has stepped right in where longtime correspondent D`Vera Cohn left off, providing concise and timely reports from the nation`s capitol. Unfortunately, we left D`Vera`s name in the artwork on the column through April. Sorry about that Judi. Just keep up the good work and we`ll get the byline right from now on.

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