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NADL’s Thoughts on Medical Device Tax for Dental Offices

Dental offices have been waiting to hear if crowns, partials and dentures will be subject to the Medical Device Tax that takes effect in January 2013. The National Association of Dental Laboratories has an analysis that concludes that dental products that start out in the lab will likely not be subjected to the tax. Phew!

Imagine what would happen if everything was subjected to tax? The prices will shoot up and make the dental procedures much more expensive than what it is today. People are already debating about the needs for dental checkups and regular procedures. They think they can get away with brushing and flossing and need to spend a penny on dentists. Of such people were told they will have to set aside a major part of their monthly budget for a particular procedure? Well, you can be sure you will never see them around the dentist’s clinic until it’s too late.

Why This Perception?

Well, people have money and they have plans that cover up all their expenses. When they are ready to spend on health insurance and car insurance, why not dental? Well, it is a simple logic. They feel teeth is under their control and proper brushing techniques with the right materials will do the trick. People who are more conscious, tend to avoid sugary foods and colored foods that may increase the plaque formation or discolor the teeth.

Unlike the heart, limbs or other organs, the teeth are in plain sight and you are expected to care for it yourself. If there is trouble with the wrist or if one is suffering from varicose veins, they would not hesitate to check with the doctor. Though there are some who would resort to the use of Varikosette and never check with the doctor, because this solution gives immense relief.

The general notion is to get it checked by a professional for the fear of something going wrong or the situation getting worse. This urgency is not there when it comes to dentists. However, there are quite a few who are very concerned and conscious about their oral health and would like to visit the dentist at least twice a year. For such people, different dental plans will have different values and will benefit them immensely.

Crowns are changed on a regular basis. A dentist will have to change existing implanted crowns or put in new ones, almost every single day. If the prices were to go up, the dentists will have to spend a major part of their time explaining to their patients, as to why this simple procedure has suddenly become so expensive.

Now that they are tax free, the dentists will not see a drop in the demand from their patients. It is these procedures that earn them good money and were that to be affected; you are bound to see many dentists’ businesses suffer to absorb the initial shock. Though one cannot get away with a damaged crown and will have to get it replaced eventually, there will be a slight setback in the business, until people finally come to terms with the new price.



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About The Blog Author

Teresa Duncan received a degree of Master of Science in Healthcare Management from Marymount University. With over 22 years of healthcare experience (15 in dental), she has unique insight into the world of dentistry. Her specialty is helping dentists and managers increase revenue. By focusing on accounts receivable and insurance management, she helps dentists increase the value of their practice. As a member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, she has a special interest in helping dentists identify and safeguard against employee embezzlement.

Teresa is founder and president of Odyssey Management.

She is a Fellow and Educator for the ICOI’s Association of Dental Implant Auxiliaries. Look for more articles from her regarding practice management, dental implants and oral health care news. She was named 2010’s ADIA Educator of the Year.

Teresa is a member-at-large on the board of the Academy of Dental Management Consultants.

Teresa is a Trustee for the auxiliary education-focused DALE Foundation.


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