Finding the best quality dentists with the best prices

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How can you find a great dentist with quality care without spending a fortune? (WPVI)

Many people avoid a trip to the dentist like the plague but finding a reasonably priced dentist who also offers quality care isn't as hard as you might think.

So how can you find a great dentist with quality care without spending a fortune?

The cover story of CHECKBOOK magazine's latest issue is everything you need to know to find the right dentist at the right price.

If your smile need help - call and shop around.

"Our mystery shoppers checked prices on over a dozen procedures and we found some dentists charge 3 times as much as their nearby competitors," said Kevin Brasler from CHECKBOOK Magazine.

A comprehensive oral exam for a new adult patient ranged from $85 to $272.

For a new child patient prices ranged from $74 to $223.

A filling on an adult molar ranged from $90 to $412!

And according to CHECKBOOK - quality care doesn't have to cost more.

"The dentist that charged high fees were just as likely to have high ratings as dentists who have low fees," said Brasler.

Another big surprise?

"Kind of the dirty little secret of dental care is there are more dentists but fewer patients to treat," said Brasler.

And that has led to a buyer beware.

Brasler says, "The problem is we hear from a lot of consumers that a dentist said they needed a lot of work but I went to a second dentist and that dentist said none of that work is necessary."

So get a second opinion!

Your dentist should transfer all your records and x-rays to another provider or give them to you so you can take them to someone else.

"Millions of consumers now have dental insurance for their kids that they didn't have before," said Brasler.

Under the Affordable Care Act - all individual and small-group health plans must provide basic dental coverage for children under 19.

Also remember - it never hurts to negotiate. Ask your dentist for a lower price before agreeing to have work done.

And good news - for the next two weeks, 6abc viewers have free access to CHECKBOOK's full report and ratings of 167 Delaware Valley dentists.

Click here for the full report: http://www.checkbook.org/WPVI/enter.cfm

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