General chatter - The dentist!




View Full Version : The dentist!


stacylambert
10-16-2008, 01:58 PM
So last week I had a toothache and went to the dentist. They took a look and said that I had a crack in one of my teeth. Ouch. Anyway they sent me home with an antibiotic prescription and an appointment for this week. I went back in yesterday thinking they were going to do the crown. Nope! They just did an exam! I now have two appointments next week (first for cleaning and some scaling on the bottom, second for the crown and one filling). They also laid out my "plan" and since they're doing the scaling they want me to come back for a 6 week checkup and then 4 more spaced out by three months. Even with our insurance its all going to cost $1,700 for a year! That doesn't even count if I get my wisdom teeth removed or braces which I would like to do. I always had really straight teeth (ok, ok, I had a little overbite) but my wisdom teeth started crowding the rest and I'm getting some overlapping. Ugh. Do dentists really cost this much? I don't want to go somewhere inferior and get bad results. Am I just having "sticker shock" because up until now I've only ever needed one filling?

Sorry so long :(


JulieJ08
10-16-2008, 02:36 PM
Definitely call and make sure they're only scheduling you for what's necessary to fix the cracked tooth that hurts. The other stuff is important too, but one thing at a time.

peachcake
10-16-2008, 02:57 PM
Call other dentists and get estimates, get some referrals from family and friends of dentists they used a liked and call them to get an idea of what everyone charges.


shantroy
10-16-2008, 04:18 PM
If that was coming from my denist, I'd that seem reasonable (if not cheap) my cleanings are usually about $375-$4725 depending on how long it's been since I was last there. I went for a a consultation (I need to have my upper and lower jaws, broken and reset to correct a major bite problem) the 40 minute consulation was $578! Thank-god my blue-cross covers the majority of my dental bills or I'd be broke...

nelie
10-16-2008, 04:23 PM
Dentists are expensive.

Do you have the ability to do a health care spending account? When I knew I had major dental work to do, I upped my dental insurance to the highest level and put money into my health care spending account so that at least what I paid would be tax free.

modkittn
10-16-2008, 04:29 PM
Dentists are expensive.

Do you have the ability to do a health care spending account? When I knew I had major dental work to do, I upped my dental insurance to the highest level and put money into my health care spending account so that at least what I paid would be tax free.

Well luckily we are coming up on open season for the flexible spending accounts. At least the one I have... you set the amount for the year and unless you have a "life changing event" (have a baby, get married, get divorced) then you can't change that amount during the year. I LOVE my FSA though and recommend that everyone put their money in one.

Smiling_Sara
10-16-2008, 05:21 PM
If there is a dental school nearby, I've heard it is way cheaper there to have the students work on you, a lic dentist always watchs over the student.

just an idea

stacylambert
10-16-2008, 06:30 PM
Unfortunately I can't do anything about our coverage. My husband works for the state and there's only one or two times a year when we can change our plan (medical, vision, or dental). Supposedly we have a really good plan and those are very discounted rates. She told what a couple of the services would be without the insurance, but that a lot of the things they want to do aren't covered including the 5 re-checks and the antibiotic irrigation. Then there's the "upgrades" for ceramic (or porcelain? not up on my dental lingo ;) ) instead of the metal.

I know my father-in-law had a lot of work done recently so I'm going to ask him how his dentist was and how the rates were. Luckily my husband does have a great job and I'll be able to pay for it (no financing or anything) despite the rough times right now. I just can't believe I went in for a toothache and am spending so much. Sheesh.

mandalinn82
10-16-2008, 06:37 PM
Did they explain why they want to do the rechecks? I've never seen ANY dentist recommend 5 rechecks on what is probably a root canal. I'd make the dentist explain why they want to do it.

I went to a local dentist and was quoted $5400 worth of dental work (and yes, that's AFTER insurance). The dentist I saw said I needed work on almost all of my teeth, including 3 root canals and 8 crowns.

I went to my dentist I've seen since I was 5, who has treated my family for years, and who advertises himself and considers himself to be a conservative dentist - he does any treatment needed to keep teeth intact and healthy, but doesn't, as he said, "fill in every spot he sees because it just isn't necessary".

Total cost with him? $600, for one root canal and crown, and one filling. Everything else he said was completely fine.

The point is - second opinions are your friend! If you think its more work than you need? Go with that gut and get a recommendation from a friend.

stacylambert
10-16-2008, 06:43 PM
Thanks mandalinn, your post is definitely reassuring (not that everyone else's wasn't ;) ). They just have this way of scaring you into thinking that if you don't do everything they say that all your teeth will fall out. I believe they said the rechecks were for my gums, because I have "early stages" of periodontal disease on the lower, inner gums. I can understand a recheck after the work is done, but four more at $150 a piece? Seems a little crazy. I'll definitely get a second opinion.

txnikita
10-16-2008, 07:08 PM
okay, my thoughts......
now that you know about what needs to be done you can always call around to other dentists and see what they charge for the similar type of treatment if you insurance covers x%. Ask them if they think all those check ups are necessary. If the office staff gives you any hassle then you know that it is an office to avoid anyway. If you find a price you like then ask them if they can do a free consultation. I tried this a few years ago and found a great dentist that way. Of course it was a lot of work and time.

It seems that dentistry is getting expensive as a whole no matter which dentist or plan you have. It is ironic that you posted this today. At 0900 AM I just had two wisdom teeth removed and two other broken root tips taken out. Thank goodness for pain pills.

I would recommend to anyone to have their wisdom teeth taken out while they are young. Mine were supposed to be removed at 17 years but I never made it to that appointment. Now they can't remove my bottom wisdom teeth because the are entangled in my nerve and to remove them would cause permanent lip damage.

Bottom line, take care of the little things while they are still little and sometimes your insurance company can also recommend good dentists at reasonable prices.....:bat:

ddc
10-17-2008, 10:26 PM
Does that price include a crown? If it does, it's probably about right.
My husband's dentist charges $1000 for a crown and our insurance only covers 50%.
Most other dental work is covered at 80%, but crowns are different for some reason.
It doesn't hurt to get a second opinion. When my son needed some work, I got 3 opinions and went with the one I felt the most comfortable with (not necessarily the cheapest, either).

I go to a dentist in a smaller town (that I grew up in) and my dentist doesn't charge as much for a crown. My husband's dentist is in an expensive part of a big town and he charges more, so it may depend on what part of town your dentist is in also (and what kind of car he drives-haha).

Good luck :)

ddc
10-19-2008, 11:36 AM
I just had another thought.
When I got braces, I had to have teeth pulled (4-one on each side, upper and lower, plus my wisdom teeth).
So, you might want to get an orthodontia (sp?) consult before you spend any money on that tooth.
They might need to pull it anyway.

Wolf Goddess
10-19-2008, 05:57 PM
I just had another thought.
When I got braces, I had to have teeth pulled (4-one on each side, upper and lower, plus my wisdom teeth).
So, you might want to get an orthodontia (sp?) consult before you spend any money on that tooth.
They might need to pull it anyway.

I agree; see an orthodontist. I had to have a total of five of my teeth pulled before I had braces put in, and one of them had been chipped.

If it makes you feel any better, I need four tooth implants, each around $2,000, not to add to the cost of $6,000 that's been paid for the braces, $300 for clipping the tissue between my two front teeth (otherwise they start to drift apart), and $900 for the pullings.