Your Fees are high, but…

Composite build-up placed and final prep. Laser troughing for impression.

This will be a short blog post.

Today, a long-time patient was in the chair for a crown delivery.  None of these photos are of this particular case.

As is usually the case, the crown dropped in with perfect contacts… and a tiny bit of occlusal adjustment.  The patient was satisfied with the esthetics and gave the nod to cement it.

After cementation and clean-up, I sat the patient up and asked her to make sure it still feels good. (Some patients’ occlusion changes when I sit them up after adjusting in while supine in the chair.)

She confirmed it felt good and then said:

“Your crowns are not cheap.  (They aren’t!)  But, they are always very good.  At previous dentists, my crowns were always difficult and needed a lot of adjustments.  Your temporary crowns always stay in – this one was in for 6 weeks.  And, your crowns always fit without adjustments.”

I was wearing a mask, so she couldn’t see me grinning.

This wasn’t the first time someone prefaced their compliment by mentioning my fees being relatively high.  And, I love it.  I’m not ashamed of my high fees.  I’m proud of them.  I know what my services are worth.

We had a little conversation, and I mentioned that I work with a great lab (which is not cheap, either).  I went on that attention to every detail adds up to great results.  From the tooth preparation to the impression to the temporary. 

A lot of little things add up to a big thing.

When it comes to what I send the lab… “garbage in gets you garbage out.”  I always try to send the best possible impression with clear margins.  The lab can only give you as good as you give them.  But, I trim the die(s) for every case under a lab microscope, as well.  Yep… sure do.  Call me crazy.  I also make the temps.

Many dentists proudly proclaim (when asked), My fees are average for the area.”  There’s certainly nothing wrong with that.  But, I submit there’s an implied or subliminal message, “My dentistry is average for the area.” Or, “I’m just like all the other dentists.”

You’re all the same!  Right?

A lot of the public is under the impression that a dentist is a dentist is a dentist.  And, a crown is a crown is a crown.  But, there are some that know the difference and notice the different levels of service.  Ultimately, it’s about where you feel comfortable in the spectrum of dentistry.

My patient’s comment made my day.  Basically, she said, “You’re expensive, but you’re worth it.”  It doesn’t get better than that.

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6 Responses to Your Fees are high, but…

  1. Ed Reifman says:

    Crown prep photo looks good! Well, I’ve been retired for almost 9 months now (when Covid 19 started). Just turned 71, and although I do miss crown preps/fillings/etc., I am actually getting used to retirement. Lots of things to do, but I still have pleasant dreams that I am practicing dentistry. Mike, the stress is definitely less than when working. Playing pickleball, going on the elliptical, and joining local clubs, social events, etc. fill up my day. However, one thing will never change: I still get up early, but instead of showering and getting dressed for work, I take the dog out early for a walk to pee, poop, sniff, then I exercise. Keep up the great crown work, Mike!

    • The Dental Warrior says:

      Hi Ed! Glad to hear you’re enjoying retirement. I honestly cannot imagine retiring from the job I love. At least not yet! 🙂

      Just one question… who is doing the peeing, pooping, and sniffing? You or the dog? 😉

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. Sheryll D Bonilla says:

    Or a lawyer is a lawyer is a lawyer, for that matter.
    Yesterday a client treated me and my staff to a lovely lunch. Other clients have brought Christmas and other gifts, taken me and my staff to lunch at nice restaurants, given me gift cards and fruit, given tips after paying in full. Most important — they’ve referred others to me and retained me for other legal matters.
    Service is important to clients — that they’ve been heard, the advocacy they received has been thorough and beyond the call of duty, and their legal matters resolved to their satisfaction with the relief that comes with a dedicated lawyer.

    You keep up that great service to your patients, Mike!

    • The Dental Warrior says:

      Exactly! Unfortunately, it seems the number of people seeking quality service over low price is growing thinner. Yet, I cannot change who I am. My motivation to provide excellent service is as much to satisfy ME as it is to benefit my patients.

      Aloha and mahalo! 🙂

  3. Brenda says:

    I recently spent most of my limited savings to go to what I heard was the “best” dentist in my area – a holistic dentist. I had tried many others and in the past 6-8 years I was becoming increasingly fearful of dentists because they could not numb my molars. I thought it must be the dentist and so I bit the bullet and paid out a lot of money for this holistic dentist because I wanted to get the mercury out of my mouth – I’m dealing with some health issues and figured that could be part of the cause. Anyways, I only made it through one tooth but I have not been the same since. I cringe every time I have to floss that tooth because I feel pain pulling out the floss. I don’t know what they did but it was the worst experience of all my dental history because not only the residual pain I’m feeling a year later but also they gave the normal-for-me 4 or 5 injections and they still could not get me numb. So much for the saying “you get what you paid for!” 🙁

    • The Dental Warrior says:

      I don’t intend for this blog to become a consumer resource… It’s intended for an audience of dentists.

      That said, sorry to hear about your experience. Your tooth should not be sensitive – at least not long term. That’s not normal. I’ll just say that.

      I like the saying, “You don’t always get what you pay for. But, you never get what you don’t pay for.” 🙂

      Good luck finding the right dentist. They’re out there.

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