Why Does Dentistry Cost So Much? Part 1
I’m going to do a series on my blog about the cost of dentistry and why it costs what it does. Dentistry is a professional service, not a trip to the grocery store. I cringe inside when patients say things like “well, I guess I’m paying for your new car”…I’m positive that the general public does not understand the costs involved to 1)get a dental education and 2)run a practice.
Let’s start with the cost of a dental education and what that entails. You are required to go 4 years of undergraduate at an accredited college or university. You have to take many difficult and time consuming courses that are heavily science based like organic chemistry and physics with their associated labs. I was not able to do much of anything outside of studying in college because I had to focus on getting a high GPA in very difficult courses to get into professional school. You are also required to take the DAT, Dental Admission Test, and score well on it to apply and have any chance of being accepted into Dental School. The cost of an undergraduate education is approximately $100,000 (and that’s for in state tuition) or more.
If and when you are accepted to Dental School, let’s use the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine as an example since this is the school I went to, the cost is approximately $56,000 per year for 4 years. If you do a residency program, which are on average 2 years, it’s an additional $30,000 per year for that.
So, to summarize, the cost of the education alone is approximately $320,000-$380,000 depending on what field you go into and where you attend school. Some schools cost more than that! Your debt load is HUGE coming out of school. I’m sure you can imagine the amount of money a dentist needs to make in order to service that debt alone, not counting the cost of buying or opening a practice from scratch…just food for thought:)