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Why is Dental Treatment So Expensive in North America?

According to a 2018 report from the Journal of the American Medical Association, the US spends double what other countries spend during a healthcare visit.

And a visit to your local dentist is no exception.

You may wonder: why is dental treatment so expensive? And what can you do to cut down the cost of dental treatment? We’re answering those questions today with this quick guide to the cost of healthcare in the US.

Curious to know why you fork out more at the doctor or dentist than do patients in other countries? Then check out the three most commonly cited reasons for high healthcare costs in the US.

Inflated Pricing

Another reason for higher costs at the dentist is the price inflation of healthcare products and services throughout the country.

Physicians are paid higher salaries in the US. Administrative expenses cost American healthcare systems alarmingly more. And the average cost per capita of pharmaceuticals is over $1,400.

Meanwhile, the cost of medical products and services are much pricier than in other countries. A lot of this has to do with a higher rate of innovation and more competition in the US healthcare market. But some of it also has to do with the way insurance companies operate.

Necessary vs Unnecessary Medical Procedures

Dental treatment is also pricier in the US for another reason. And that reason is that many cosmetic dental services aren’t deemed medically necessary.

This distinction may not seem important to you, but insurance companies decide whether to pay for the care you receive based on the necessity of the procedure.

For example, veneers cost a dental patient between $1,000 and $2,500 per tooth. Because this procedure more than likely isn’t deemed medically necessary, you pay that cost completely out of pocket.

But why is there a distinction between necessary and unnecessary procedures in the first place? Because the US has an extremely complex payment infrastructure. And that, as you’ll see next, allows insurance companies and other healthcare industry players to hike up the cost of care.

Complex Payment Infrastructure

Unlike the other countries on the AMA’s list, the US has a multi-payer system instead of a single-payer system.

A single-payer system is the same as it sounds. One individual or entity is responsible for the entire cost of care.

This entity is usually the government, which spreads out a pooled healthcare budget to apply equally to all of its citizens.

In a multi-payer system, things are much more complex. That’s because the government isn’t the only entity paying for care. Insurance companies, employers, and even providers all get in on the action, which leads to significant increases in healthcare costs.

Where to Find Affordable Dental Treatment

While politicians deal with the issues that arise from a multi-payer healthcare system and economic experts debate the pros and cons of inflated medical costs, there’s something you can do to get the affordable dental treatment you deserve.

Englewood Dentistry provides the affordable dentistry you’ve been searching for. Contact us or book an appointment online today to find out how we combine quality services at low prices.