Dentistry & Photography have a lot in common

This x-ray I got on-line in creative commons of a dental implant that also had a sinus lift. I am going through that process right now.

The tooth to the right with a post inside the tooth after a root canal is what failed and started the process. Because they had to pull it I asked to be put to sleep so in case the tooth cracked even more and they had to dig out the parts I wouldn’t even know that was going on.

Now the oral surgeon asks what do you want do after you have the tooth removed. Do you want a bridge where they grind down a tooth on either side and they then put a tooth between supported by those teeth or you can have an implant. That is what the screw is in the middle.

I went with the implant plan. So to have the tooth pulled, put in bone graft and be put to sleep was around $1,200.

Four months later I came back they x-rayed and discovered there was not enough thickness of bone for an implant. They recommended a sinus lift. They put in more bone graft and you wait another four months and then they put in the implant. After another four months they put in a Abutment which a couple weeks later then you go to your dentist to have a crown attached.

To get the sinus lift, the implant and Abutment was another $5,000. I still will have to see what the final cost of the crown will be, but I am thinking $1,500 – $1,800.

Right now my cost has totaled what is close to a Nikon D5. I have spent $6,200.

Togo, West Africa

While we all cringe on prices, I am still surprised as to how much people often cringe at a photographer’s estimate.

Most all the costs for the dental implant are for labor and not the actual materials. I doubt seriously if the actual cost of a implant, Abutment and the crown are more than $100 in raw materials. You are paying for the expertise of the medical professionals to craft it and put it safely into your mouth.

We do know that if you cross the border to have medical work done you can get it for a fraction of the cost due to the most expensive part of medicine–labor costs.

The reason we spend money on our teeth like we do is for two reasons. Being able to chew our food and to look good.

Photographers need to remind themselves that the costs to produce great quality work so that your clients or their products look good is like the medical profession. Sure we have expensive gear like doctors use, but the largest expense is often our labor.

Your labor costs that you build into your prices determine the lifestyle you want to live. Price yourself to thrive rather than just get by or worse losing money.