The Problem is Caring to Access, Not Access to Care

I’m tired of hearing solutions to problems that don’t exist.  The problem isn’t that patients can’t afford dental care.  The problem is that patients don’t value dental care.

Graduating more dentists doesn’t solve that problem.  Insurance carriers reducing fee schedules doesn’t solve that problem.  Creating a mid-level provider class doesn’t solve that problem.

Dentists on a national, regional, and local level donate and discount their care to help those most in need.  We provide dentistry for free at “Missions of Mercy” and the ADA’s “Give Kids a Smile.”  The underprivileged have many opportunities for care to be accessed.

My beef is with those who are not truly in poverty yet still complain that dentistry is too expensive.  Really?  They have a pack of cigarettes in one pocket and an iPhone in the other.  They can afford dentistry, they just don’t value it. They value vacations and gadgets above their own health care.  It does not cost $10,000 for a filling.  It costs $200 on average for a composite resin filling if a patient doesn’t have insurance.  If a patient truly can’t afford that then we have programs available to make it work.  So what the hell is the problem?  I think some have the means and fail to pay for it because they think dentistry should be free.

There is no Access to Care problem.  Some patients just don’t Care to Access what is available and affordable.

Watch this amazing commercial from the Wisconsin Dental Association:

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Please note that I can no longer answer questions from the public regarding their personal dental care. I am unable to properly diagnose or recommend treatment over the Internet. If you are looking for a dentist, please visit the "Find A Dentist" feature on healthysmiles.org