For 25 years, I religiously visited the dentist every six months. Even with dental insurance, it didn’t come cheap. I paid around $90 per visit. It was a price I was happy to pay. I was devoted to excellent oral hygiene. But then life happened. I had a dentist appointment scheduled for three days after my son was born. Naturally, I skipped that appointment. But I never re-scheduled it.

Then I moved across the country. Six months dragged on. A reminder to make a dental appointment popped up on my Google Calendar. I ignored it. Another six months passed, then another — and another. I felt guilty, like a Catholic who hadn’t attended mass or confession in years. I knew the gods of oral hygiene frowned upon me, and I feared gingivitis, cavities, and gum erosion.

Finally I had to take action. So I polled friends and asked for the best dentist in the area. After receiving a recommendation, I called to make an appointment. Almost as an afterthought, I asked, “How much will this cost?”


“Seriously?” I gasped.

“We have a $60 new customer discount. Would you like me to apply that?”

I thanked the secretary for the discount and hung up in stunned silence. When did dental care become so expensive?

I couldn’t believe that I was going to pay over $500 per year just to get my teeth cleaned.

I briefly considered buying an electric toothbrush and forgoing sugar, cold beverages, and even coffee for the rest of my life. Taking these measures, I figured, would extend my time between dental appointments.

A few weeks later, I found myself in the dentist’s chair. It felt good to have my teeth cleaned after two and a half years. But the whole time, I thought of just one thing: how much the cleaning cost me.

I drove home with cleaned teeth and $212 less to my name. I had to find a cheaper option.

Finding a Groupon Dental Deal

Five months later, I started searching for “Cheap dental care, Raleigh,” and a Groupon portal topped the search results. The Groupon dentist deal advertised $39 for a cleaning, exam, and X-rays. I bought the deal and made the appointment immediately.

Honestly, I didn’t even think about whether the dentist might have been a fraud. He could have advertised that he was a back-alley quack, and I still would’ve made the appointment. But my husband, Rob, wasn’t as enthusiastic.

“Are you sure that he’s, you know, a dentist?” he asked.

I’ve watched enough Law & Order for Rob’s question to make me nervous. I wasn’t sure whether he was really a dentist. I wasn’t sure about anything. But I felt that I’d better check before I signed away my teeth (or my life) to save $170.

I asked my friends on Facebook, but none of them had heard of the dentist. Thankfully, one dentist friend suggested that I check the credentials on the North Carolina Dental Board. It turns out that every state has a dental licensing board. In order to practice, dentists must register with the state. North Carolina allows anyone to search the registry using first and last name, as do most other states. So I searched the database and found the dentist, all his credentials, and all his infractions (he had none). The guy was legit.

A few weeks later, I paid him a visit. I had my teeth cleaned, my mouth examined, and my teeth x-rayed for the low price of $39. It wasn’t a spectacular experience, but it was cheap. I even had a follow-up appointment that cost $90.

The Bottom Line on Groupon Dentist Deals

My Groupon dentist experience was perfectly adequate. I’m not writing rave reviews, but I never raved about my dental appointments before now, either. Now whenever friends ask for recommendations, I recommend checking Groupon for dentist deals first. Admittedly, if you’ve got problems with your teeth or gums, you might need a specialist. But most people just want to save money and are happy to visit just about any dentist who charges a reasonable price.

Now that I know that I can check a dentist’s credentials online, I will always look to Groupon to find the cheapest dentist in the area.

It’s worth checking out dental insurance as an option for more extensive work. Some dental plans, like those from Spirit Dental, where you can also get a free quote, may have better rates for you to stay insured, versus expensive work for a more extensive procedure. Take a look at all options, and make sure you’re finding the strategy that works best for you!