Is Your Dentist Ripping You Off?

A person near and dear to me came home from the dentist with an ugly diagnosis. He has two cracked crowns and needs replacements. I’m not sure what’s more painful — what’s been going on in his mouth or the bite out of the family finances.

Cost of the crowns: $1,395 apiece. Cost of foundation fillings, or “cores” to put the crowns on: $326 apiece. Total bill, if you’re scoring at home: $3,442.

His dentist sold him membership into an office savings plan for $319 for the year. So that saves him 20% on all dental procedures and gives him two free cleanings. Knock off 20% (but add back in the $319) and we’re down to $3072.60 on this bit of drilling.

When I look at this bill, I wonder why I obsess about the weekly price fluctuations of Cheerios or the shrinking size of a can of tuna. All

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