Monday, May 17, 2010

Cost of Dental Work; Is This a Ripoff?

Today I went to a dentist I found on a list of providers from my insurance carrier because I felt as though I had broken a tooth and I also know that I need work done. The dentist told me that although I have beautiful teeth, I need extensive work and would need to be referred to her associates who are not in my plan (endo and perio doctors) for some perio work and several root canals and crowns I would need. I asked for a ball park figure of what this would cost as I was prepared to pay it. She said with the insurance coverage (which she first said that my insurance company may or may not pay), it would cost close to $4,000.00. After a small gasp, I said "ok". I was then given a dental plan, which looked extremely extensive (19 entries listed) with a total cost of $5,800.00 at the bottom of the list a place and a place for my signature as "Authorizing Services". Then, I found out that this did not even include the perio surgery. Am I being ripped off?

Cost of Dental Work; Is This a Ripoff?
Dental work is really expensive I'm having 2 front teeth implants %26amp; that is costing me £3,500 plus I've already paid £200 for takig the fractured teeth out %26amp; false ones for now so grand total £3,700 thats £s not $s
Reply:Don't get me started on dentists and their fees! You are obviously in the States, but they are the same here in the UK. Dental work costs an arm and a leg here, and it's a rip-off. And some of those guys are butchers, who will rip your tooth out and then proceed to rip the money right out of your wallet! And I'm pretty certain some of them are sadists!
Reply:Ekks..I think you need to be careful when the dentist throws out to "see my associates". Many dentists are quit honest and want the best for their patients,then some actually need to meet a monthly quota.Can you believe that! I'm not saying the dental office you were at is ripping you off but I hope you didn't sign that paper..

If you can seek another opinion? If not here are a couple of my ideas for you.

1)Can your dentist show you an ex ray or screen picture that would clarify this decision?can you see a big problem that needs attention now?

2)ask your dentist only to do the crown,that is if you had a broken tooth

3)Sometimes if you have a bad tooth that needs a root canal it don't always need a crown,at least not right away.

4)is the perio work needed now or can it wait till you can save more money

5)If you could get a discount for paying cash,then do one thing at a time

Remember,you get to make the choice if it is cosmetic then wait,just fix the painful cavities and cracks now
Reply:If you have extensive work, yes, it could cost that much. That is the result of putting off dental work. can get second opinions too. And if you cannot afford it, call the local Salvation Army and see if they have any service for dental care...they do in a town here near me....or you could go to a dental school and be worked on by students and pay about half.
Reply:Actually from what you described it sounds like a good deal. Dentists/dental professionals have patients sign a release form for various reasons. 1. they want your permission to bill insurance for future services rendered 2. they want you to be aware of the treatment planned for you, by signing the tx plan you are saying I am aware of what needs to be done. (if you are not comfortable or don't understand something about your treatment don't sign it until you do understand) 3. this protects you, the dentist can't go back and add anything to the treatment plan without letting you know about it first. 4. treatment plans are drawn up with the doctor who is providing the service to you, the other doctors (Periodontist, Endodontist) will have their own tx plan for you to look over.

You are not being ripped off from what you describe, not in my opinion anyway. Your treatment plan sounds very reasonable. Compare your treatment with some of our patients who spend upwards of 10 to 20 grand, yours is the bargain. However at our office we offer cosmetic dentistry which can cost significantly more. Ask someone at your dentists office to go over the tx plan with you in detail so you understand it. If they are not willing or seem rude because you ask this than find someone else to do the work. You are a consumer and as such you have the right to understand what you are paying for.

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