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The Reason Why a Tooth Extraction Cost 25 Cents in 1902

Posted on: July 20th, 2020 | Posted by | Posted in Uncategorized

A dentist's trade card from 1902

One of the first questions we get from patients regarding their dental procedure, whether it’s dental fillings, dental implants, or anything in between, is how much the dental procedure cost. There is never a simple answer, and patients will need to see a dentist before a proper assessment can be made. However, this was not the case in 1902 when this ‘trade-card’ was produced. In those days, if you asked for a tooth to be extracted, you had it extracted right away, and you hoped whoever was doing it extracted the right one.

Over the years, the standards of care have increased and with it the cost. Here are some reasons why you can no longer get your teeth pulled for twenty-five cents:

Dental training – These days dentists in the US need at least 5 years of education and training before they start practicing and then continuing education in order to maintain their license. Back in 1900, only about 60% of people practicing dentistry had even gone to school for dentistry, and as dentistry became more regulated, some of these schools were found to not offer proper education.

Increased regulation – Many aspects of dentistry are now regulated, especially regarding safety. Did you know that a dental office has a whole section used just for sterilizing equipment to the highest degree of cleanliness? But in addition to safety regulations, there are now also labor laws that ensure fair treatment and pay of workers, patient privacy, and higher quality of products used in dentistry. Many of these regulations had yet to be created or enforced in 1902.

Improved technology – Although dental imaging and other technologies are becoming faster, safer, and more efficient, the improved benefits that come with this technology come at a higher price. In 1902, the X-ray had yet to be popularized in dentistry.

At Nashua Dental Group, we’re proud to be able to offer the highest quality of care by top-notch dentists in a regulated and safe environment. We’re excited by how far dentistry has come in the past 120 years and are looking forward to where it will go in the future.


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