Save With Dentist Introductory Specials, But Watch Out

I’ve found in recent years that you can really save money when you take advantage of dental introductory special, but keep in mind that you have to pay attention. There’s often a reason the price is so cheap.

Here are two examples of dental introductory specials that didn’t work out for me.

The first involves the large Monarch Dental chain. I have good teeth and don’t need to go to the dentist as often as some, but when I want my teeth cleaned, I expect them to be cleaned the day I make the appointment. When I scheduled the Monarch Dental $29 special, I immediately had second thoughts.

As it turns out, the company will examine and clean your teeth for that price, but the cleaning does not necessarily happen on the day of the initial exam. You have to come back for that another time. Fortunately, I found out about this in advance, called to verify that this was the practice and then cancelled.

Another strange occurrence involved a local dentist with a $49 special advertised in the newspaper. It turns out that some dentists are looking for new clients because they’ve run off all their old ones. This guy’s office looked like a time warp with equipment that was at least 20 years old. Still, he was able to clean my teeth and fix a small sharp edge that had been bothering me.

But I was the only one there. And he mentioned something about his former partners and an ex-wife. So I think something bad had happened recently.

If you have good teeth and only need a simple cleaning, consider trying:

  • local dental schools, which offer special pricing
  • big chains with intro pricing if you can attend multiple appointments, or
  • independent dentists who need more business.

Often dentists run introductory specials because they’re new in business or have moved. But make sure the special you sign up for includes a cleaning and x-rays, not just an exam. And then don’t go through with it or don’t go back if anything makes you uncomfortable.

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