When dentists and dental specialists speak with us about investing in a dental microscope for their practice, the conversation invariably turns to cost. After all, you want your purchase to be the best value for your money. And, it’s important that you’re getting all of the details regarding included features, warranty, and accessories in order to make an apples-to-apples comparison of the different brands and models available. 

In this article, we’ll outline what you can expect to pay for a dental microscope, provide a few questions to think about while doing your research, and discuss warranty considerations that may impact your microscope’s long-term cost of ownership.

The Average Cost of a Dental Microscope 

Depending on the brand and model, the cost of a dental microscope can range anywhere from $13,000 – $70,000. Like any other technology, there are entry-level microscope brands that have few premium options along with higher-end models with tons of bells and whistles. In our experience, the industry “sweet spot” for a dental microscope with a nice mix of features and value is between $19,000 – $30,000 depending on your desired options.

Many manufacturers offer a wide variety of customizations and accessories that can greatly affect the price you will end up paying. And still, other brands have an “all or nothing” approach where you have to buy a fully loaded scope regardless of your current or future needs. Ultimately, you’ll have to decide what works best for you and your practice. Here are some questions to consider as you begin your research:

  • What’s your budget?
  • What microscope do fellow dentists you know use in their practice? 
  • What’s your experience level with a dental microscope? 
  • What procedures will you be using the microscope for? 
  • How much available space do you have in your operatory?
  • Will you have an assistant working with you during these procedures?
  • Do you need photography/video capture?

Considerations That Impact Cost

Dental Microscope Options

Buying a microscope can be a lot like shopping for a car. Some car shoppers (like me) want every available option, while other people choose less options for a lower purchase price. The key is the ability to choose the options that are important to you. Microscopes are very similar.

For example, our Global Surgical microscopes offer the following options/upgrades:  

  • lens magnification
  • inclinable/non-inclinable binoculars/eyepieces
  • binocular extender for improved ergonomics
  • laser filter
  • beamsplitter for attaching an HD video/SLR camera or co-observation unit
  • multifocal lens attachment
  • several varieties of mounts
  • A full catalog of accessories

You get to choose the level of customization you want at a price that fits your budget. And, in the case of Global Surgical microscopes, you can always add on any of these features in the future.

Future Upgrades 

There is nothing worse than buying a technology that is obsolete in just a few years. I think back to media formats that didn’t catch on and were quickly relegated to history. Somewhere, there’s a person that bought their entire film library as HD DVD discs only to have the format disappear from the market over a very short period. 

I look at it this way – there’s a difference in value when you invest in a technology that will be around for the long-term. Paying $20,000 for a microscope that cannot be upgraded presents much less value over the lifetime of the product than a $20,000 microscope that can be augmented with a variety of modules and features in the future. Upgradeability shouldn’t impact your upfront cost but it can certainly be a considerable benefit a few years down the road. Do your best to future-proof your investment. 

Warranty 

Warranty is often overlooked when considering the cost of a dental microscope but it’s an aspect of your purchase that definitely deserves attention. In our experience, the length of warranty provided by microscope manufacturers ranges from 1 year up to lifetime coverage. You will want to ask what is covered under the terms of the warranty and if there is a deductible charged for submitting a claim. For brands that do not offer lifetime warranty coverage, you may want to ask about extended warranty options, which would likely be an additional expense that impacts your total cost of ownership. 

Don’t Forget About Service 

While customer service doesn’t directly impact upfront cost, it’s definitely something you should consider over the long term. Make sure you purchase your microscope from a company with a solid track record of providing great service. A memorable customer experience and a positive service relationship with the manufacturer are key value-adds that won’t be reflected on your initial invoice but will be among the most important features you can get with your new microscope.

Also keep in mind where the microscope and parts are manufactured. With current supply chain challenges, getting service or replacement parts from overseas manufacturers may be an issue that could lead to extended downtime. This wasn’t as much of a concern in the past, but the current state of logistics and the international supply chain have increased wait time (in many cases quite considerably) for receiving internationally manufactured parts. 

The Cost of a Dental Microscope

As you can see, the cost of a dental microscope varies quite a bit based upon brand, features and warranty. At Global Surgical, our goal is to provide the best value in dental microscopes through customization, modular/upgradeable designs, and our exclusive lifetime warranty – but don’t take our word for it . . . ask around for feedback on Global microscopes. When you do your research, we think you’ll like what you find. We are also proud to be the only manufacturer that builds microscopes right here in the U.S. 

If you want more information on microscope pricing, available features, or you just want to learn about the benefits of dental microscopy, please feel free to reach out to our team. We are always happy to help!