Health care is often very expensive. Dental procedures are no exception. However, it is not uncommon for companies to offer health plans but not dental benefits to their employees. If they do offer them they are very very stingy. A low cost option that seems to be increasingly popular because of the economy is getting work done at dental schools. I had a recent experience at Tufts Dental. Here is what I learned.
First of, the prices are at a very big discount. Procedures typically cost a half to a third of other dental clinics. Many dental procedures run into thousands of dollars and are not covered by any health plan. To those on a limited budget these savings can be a godsend. Price will probably be the primary reason to get your work done with a teaching school.
Getting dental work done by a student makes many people nervous. But the work is constantly and repeatedly examined by a supervising doctor. So often the quality of care is higher than normal clinics because everything must be looked at by a second pair of eyes before proceeding.
There are some drawbacks however. The facility at Tufts was bare-bones. Patients did not have privacy because work was done in cubicles instead of private rooms. Students were not dressed very professionally. They wore sneakers because they were going to class.
This may also not be the best option for those with limited time. Since the student is getting graduated and everything needs to be supervised, everything is drawn out. There are multiple sessions and each session takes several hours.
Getting work done with a dental clinic can save you a lot of money. However, you need to be aware of several issues. The lack of professionalism and the time requirement can outweigh the savings for some people.