Everyone has seen the ads regarding dental insurance:  cheaper than a Starbucks coffee,  cheaper than a Big Mac meal, cheaper than a movie ticket. We know the price of insurance, but at what cost to your health?

Dental insurance is changing the field of dental care and these changes will have a long-term impact on peoples dental health. Patient’s are allowing their dental insurance to dictate their care, either by limiting where they may go for care or reducing coverage of needed care. These changes are for the benefit of reducing the obligations of the insurance to pay and to increase their profit. Insurance is not in the business to provide care, their business is to be profitable and make money. It’s as simple as that.

People often interchange price and cost, but it’s important to recognize the significant difference between the two. Remember the old adage, “Beware the cost of the lowest price”? Well, it rings true. Just because a healthcare provider is less expensive than its competitors’, doesn’t mean you save money in the long run. Sometimes, perhaps most times, you end up spending more in part because of time and efficiency lost to mediocre care. Or, you could potentially spend twice as much as you’d originally hoped because you have to pay for redoing the  first treatment. Ouch.

So what’s the difference between ‘cost’ and ‘price’?


Price = The sticker price of what you’re buying.

Cost = What you stand to lose in time, efficiency, post treatment problems, loss of consumer confidence, etc. if you don’t consider your desirable treatment outcome (return-on-investment ).

And that’s what it comes down to for most major healthcare decisions: DESIRABLE TREATMENT OUTCOME. Where do you stand to gain the biggest bang for your buck? For healthcare,  the point of purchasing services should be based on how it improves your health and well being, both physically and emotionally. In the end, if there is significant risk of increased cost from mediocre and impersonal health care, it’s worth the extra money up front for the long-term benefits.

My practice is in south Eugene, but we serve the whole community of Eugene and Lane county. It’s not a franchise or large group practice, by design I have kept it small so that I can focus on your individual care and treatment needs and create a greater value to the cost of care.



Donald R. Dexter, Jr., DMD