We have reopened for regular dental appointments. In light of Covid-19 public health concerns, there will be some changes to our usual protocols. Click here to learn more.


Patchwork dentistry, or cheaping out in Barrie does not work.

For one reason or another, people often have a hard time understanding dental fees.  A perception that dental care in Barrie is expensive can often lead people to seek out the cheapest option, whether it be whatever is covered by their dental insurance, or some sort of patchwork dentistry.  Read on, and find out why anyone doing this will only shortchange him/herself.

Dentistry is more of a service than a product, but people often confuse the two.  Usually, when you buy something, you get something that you can touch: you buy a countertop, you can carry it home.  When you “buy” the services of a dentist in Barrie, you receive the training (from dental school and all of the hours of pricey continuing education), the staff, the technology, equipment, supplies, and the other office overhead (licenses, rent, utilities, etc) needed to provide you that service.  The “thing” that you leave with is not so much a physical object, but a healthier mouth.  This explains why $5 worth of dental materials becomes a $200 filling, or why a root canal can cost upwards of $1000.

Still, there are some who think they can outsmart the dentist or outsmart nature, and get away with the cheapest dental treatment possible.  Instead of a comprehensive dental exam, they will get teeth looked at as they perceive the need.  Instead of regular dental hygiene visits, they will only go when some tooth hurts or is broken.  And when that visit comes, they will choose an extraction over a root canal, or a large filling instead of a crown.  Spaces that are missing teeth do not get replaced with prosthetic teeth, and surrounding teeth are left to tip and wear down.

Dentists call this style of dentistry “patchwork dentistry”, and it does not work.  Dentistry is not a do-it-yourself home renovation project.  When you visit a Barrie dentist, you are getting the experience and advice of someone who can steer you clear of problems down the road.  When you are given professional dental advice, there may be many different opinions, and as we’ve written here before, often they are all correct.  This is why you are given the best options- you need to know what will work the best.

The best dentistry is evidence-based dentistry.  This means that the recommendations do not come only from that dentist’s personal experience or opinion, but it is backed up by research data.

If given an evidence-based professional dental recommendation and it is ignored, it is the patient who will pay the price.  The best options are not always the most expensive; they are recommended because they are the best for your long term dental health.  Patchwork dentistry is a short-term mentality to a long-term issue.

Why is Dr. Wong so adamant that this style of dentistry is to be avoided?  Dr. Wong has done it.  He has worked in an office where that was what was demanded of him by the patients.  And in the short time that he was there, not only did he see lots of dentistry fail, he saw lots of recent dentistry fail.  It is a method of oral care that fails to meet expectations, and we can do better.

For advice on how to maintain long-term health in your mouth, contact us!  We’d love to be your dentist in Barrie.

Dr. Elston Wong Portrait

About Dr. Elston Wong

Dr. Elston Wong completed his dental degree at The University of Toronto in 1999 before arriving in Barrie in 2002. After graduating, he continued to learn everything he could about dentistry. Now he has taken the time to share important information for anyone to read.

Meet The Whole Team

Ready to bring your smile back to glory?

Our Team is Ready to Guide You to Long-Lasting Oral Health