The right dental laboratory is an important element in achieving the level of smile makeover results most consumers "really" want. While everyone wants to pay as little as possible, dental patients expect their dentistry to last. Going the other direction (lower quality to hit a price point) in too many cases just exacerbates the low value view they have about dentistry.
Of course, it is not easy to overcome the low value issue when they want to pay less because they don't believe that there is value in doing more. Obviously, if you suggest more than the dental insurance industry covers, you are "selling" them a bill of goods.
The insurance companies are only looking out for their policy holders--would never steer them in the wrong direction. A dentist who is trying to heal patients has to be the bad person when they do more than an insurance company. Four years of dental school, a residency, thousands of hours of continuing education and many years of experience are merely a ploy to oversell their patients on some crazy idea of comprehensive health.
The dental insurance provider that covers $1,000 per year in dental work -- which pays for one or two restorations - has to be thinking only about the patient's long-term health. Their altruism is rock solid and is based on the best interests of their patients. That is the only way to think about it, right?
Then again, if you think about how most of us (dental consumers) access dentistry, which is usually haphazardly or only at the point of complete dental deterioration (see your state's edentulous stats here) then you might see how the $1,000/year is actually very problematic.
Imagine going five years without seeing the dentist. You can't get your $5,000 back from the insurance company (if you even have insurance). Plus your dental health probably has declined significantly. That $1,000/year might have covered things if we as dental consumers used it each year. But now you probably need to double it to correct what you have done to your smile.
So you are now up to $10,000 or let's say just $7,500. Maybe it has been 10 years since you have visited the dentist. Then it might be 2.5 to 3 times what it cost if you would have been a model preventive care patient so $25,000 to $30,000. Now who is snookering whom in this situation: the assertive dentist who actually has the expertise or the patient in denial with their insurance company with their paltry $1,000 handout?
Yes, $10,000 is a lot of money, and paying your dentist $30,000 might even seem obscene to some. Then again it was all the rage to pay a huge sum for a Harley chopper, but for some reason having a healthy set of choppers is worth so much less.
There might be a few Bernie Madoff dentists out there - but before you label every dentist in that vein - look in the mirror and see how well you can smile without one in your life.