By Anna Fong
There are differences in the amount that dentists can charge patients.
Lefebure was shocked when she received a bill from a dentist she saw on Main Street who charged her $400 to remove a single impacted tooth.
Regular tooth extraction costs $93 according to the 2007 BC Dental Fee guide, “but impacted tooth extractions can cost more because a dental surgeon is required to do the work,” said Alex Chawick, a dentist at a Vancouver dental clinic.
Most dentists follow the fee guide but there are no set limits for how much a dentist can charge a patient, said Lillian Della-Savia, certified dental assistant at a low cost dental clinic in Vancouver.
“Dentists are all private practices so they can charge higher because it’s their own personal preference,” said Della-Savia.
According to the 2007 Dental Fee guide, a metal crown costs about $800 but porcelain crowns can cost $50 more because of the additional preparation time.
It costs more to run a clinic when there is more staff. Expenses increase according to the number of staff and how much they pay for staff travel time.
“People stereotype dentists and say they ‘make lots of money’ but the cost for supplies and staff is in dentistry is quite high,” said Della-Savia.