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Pricing and Costs of Dental Supplies

Chad Brooks
Chad Brooks
Editor Staff
Oct 30, 2011

Find tips for cutting costs in your dental supply budget

The pricing and costs of dental supplies varies greatly. Dentists use dental products as cheap as a 1/2-cent piece of floss to an expensive $65,000 X-ray machine. Therefore, budgeting and looking for a good deal is top priority for most in the dental profession.

In addition to using a wide price range of materials, dentists also use a wide variety of types of dental products. Some products, such as dental equipment, dentists use throughout their years of dental practice. Dentists throw away other dental products with the use of each patient. Therefore, one must examine the pricing and costs of dental supplies carefully and separately according to their use. When looking for ways to save money on your dental supplies, consider the following:

1. Do you use specialty dental supplies in your practice such as orthodontics or pediatrics?

2. Do you have room for storage of excess dental supplies?

3. Do you have a partner in your practice who can share the costs of large dental equipment?

Consider used dental equipment

Many pieces of large dental equipment last for years. For example, dentists use X-ray machines and patient exam chairs with hundreds of patients each year. Most dental offices have more than one of each of these pieces of equipment. Depending on its design and purpose, a new exam chair can cost anywhere from $600 to $5000. New x-ray machines cost from $3000 to $65,000. Most companies that sell new dental equipment also offers refurbished equipment. A refurbished dental chair can cost you about half the price of a new one. Buy a used x-ray machine for as little as $2000. More technical used X-ray machines cost around $20,000. While the risk of higher maintenance costs exists on used equipment, the initial cost is considerably lower and some dealers offer up to a one-year warranty on refurbished equipment.

Buy consumable dental products in bulk

Due to good hygiene practices, dentists do not reuse many dental products. Therefore, dentists use a great deal of items such as picks, flosses, and brushes. Most dental supply companies offer discounts for purchasing these dental instruments and products in bulk. The more you buy, the more you save. Most companies will even allow free shipping on large orders. If you have storage space, buying in bulk is a great way to cut down your dental supply budget.

Contact dental supply representatives about free samples

Major dental supply companies have representatives that push and advertise their products. Most of these companies give dentists free samples in hopes of making a sale. Contact a representative and ask about samples of brushes, flosses, pastes, picks, creams, and ointments. Many dental supply manufacturers give away samples as a way to advertise their products, and these samples can help your budget.

  • When thinking about your dental supplies pricing and costs, consider your giveaway items as well as the items you use in your office. Most patients expect to leave with at least a new toothbrush. Major brand dental supply manufacturers will often give you samples or discounts to advertise their over-the-counter product.
Chad Brooks
Chad Brooks Staff
Chad Brooks is a writer and editor with more than 20 years of media of experience. He has been with Business News Daily and for the past decade, having written and edited content focused specifically on small businesses and entrepreneurship. Chad spearheads coverage of small business communication services, including business phone systems, video conferencing services and conference call solutions. His work has appeared on The Huffington Post,,, Live Science, IT Tech News Daily, Tech News Daily, Security News Daily and Laptop Mag. Chad's first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014.