Why Your Dentist Costs So Much

Last Updated Jul 29, 2011 12:18 PM EDT

Back in April I wrote about a person near and dear to me -- yes, my husband -- who needed two new crowns for $3,442. I published his experience in a post, Is Your Dentist Ripping You Off? Dentists howled in protest at the provocative headline, though most agreed with the content of the story.

Patients howled too, about the high cost of dental work, and the feeling that they've encountered dentists who don't have their best interests at heart. Here's a typical letter: "My wife saw a dentist who quoted her $750. Then halfway through the job, when she was numb and had a big hole in her mouth, he told her he misquoted the price and it was goin