“The Cost of Doing Business”: Technology Doesn’t Have to Cost the Consumer

//“The Cost of Doing Business”: Technology Doesn’t Have to Cost the Consumer

Health care costs in the United States have been rising at a rapid rate for more than a decade now. Dentistry is no exception. While the reasons for cost increases are multi-fold, unquestionably a significant factor is the increased costs associated with advancements in technology. Every doctor and dentist will tell you that they greatly appreciate the diagnostic and treatment enhancements afforded to us by modern technology, but all this comes with a cost.

In orthodontics, the progress in the last 25 years has been outstanding and mind-boggling! {Hey, the PC was just coming of age when I graduated from orthodontic school in 1988}! To list just some of the more significant technological advancements:

  • Digital photography
  • Digital radiography
  • 3-D radiograph
  • Custom-made computer-generated braces and arch wires

  • Custom computer-generated clear aligners (Invisalign Treatment)

The computer age has enabled us to provide quality treatment in ways never foreseen before the turn of the last century. It has enabled orthodontists to treat faster, more efficiently and with less discomfort than ever before. Gone are the ugly and painful braces that had to be worn in the 70’s! {I still remember those painful bands and spacers}! : – [

Why does new technology raise the cost of operating an orthodontic practice?

To take one example, the old “film” x-ray machines used to cost around $30,000 and would last 25 years or longer. Today, a 3-D digital x-ray machine can cost more than twice that and won’t last half as long!

Another example: Invisalign, probably one of the most revolutionary products to come along in orthodontics in the last century, costs thousands of dollars to produce and obliges the orthodontist to purchase expensive 3-D scanners [about the cost of a luxury automobile]. And if you own more than one office, all those costs are multiplied by the number of offices owned!

But lest someone think this is a complaint—it’s not! At Bubon Orthodontics we accept that it’s just the “cost of doing business” in today’s technologically advanced world. We prefer to look at the treatment advantages and not the cost disadvantages. In fact, at Bubon Orthodontics, we have taken pains not to raise our fees at the rate our overhead is increasing. We choose rather to rely on the increased efficiencies that computer and 3-D technology give us to help keep our costs low compared to other high-quality practices.

So we hope when you come to our office and see the latest in equipment technology, you appreciate as much as we do the wonderful changes in our industry and that we are not asking our clients to pay for those advancements! It’s our goal and pleasure to make beautiful smiles affordable!