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FLP: Not a Fan of Dentists (Part 2)

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  • FLP: Not a Fan of Dentists (Part 2)

    After reading the thread ("FLP: not a fan of dentists"), the endodontist had the fatlittlepig exactly where he wanted: back in the recliner for a root canal.

    Rewind one day prior the root canal- something was troubling Fatlittlepig, he seemed to recall that his employer provided "excellent" dental coverage.. then why pray tell was the expected bill for a root canal + crown $500? Fatlittlepig logged onto the dental insurance website and there is was in black in white: Endodontic procedures covered 100%, Crown restoration procedures covered 100%... FLP then placed a phone call to the dental office inquiring about the discrepancy. Turns out the endodontist wanted to utilize something called a bio-pure solution for the root canal (additional change $150) and the crown was going be milled in the dental office (the same day) thereby an additional 350 charge, a regular crown would have been covered and free of charge to me. The person explaining this to me seemed annoyed that I was asking these questions even though I was exceedingly pleasant in my inquiry. Seems like something like this should have been explained prior to arranging the appointment...I guess I was naive to assume that dentists would go out of their way to utilize insurance as much as possible and avoid patient charges, true a 500 dollar charge for FLP isn't a big deal but what about the other patients? As for the root canal, it was not pleasant, and surprisingly the crown procedure was even more so... And this was for a tooth that was asymptomatic...



  • #2
    for reference, part 1 of the saga https://www.whitecoatinvestor.com/fo...an-of-dentists

    sorry FLP but I’ll admit I’m finding this entertaining, reading about your frustration. I encourage more posts along this line

    Comment


    • xraygoggles
      xraygoggles commented
      Editing a comment
      schadenfreude i believe is the word you are looking for, and i concur.

  • #3
    I know someone who quit dentistry because without doing a ton of upselling and cosmetic work, it just wasn't making much money. He took insurance and it barely covered his lab costs, overhead, etc.

    Comment


    • #4
      FWIW not having to deal with a temp crown and spend another afternoon driving to the dentist to place the mail in crown is probably worth 350.

      in terms of coverage, I have the discussion nearly daily with patients who have no idea that there insurance doesn't work at xyz hospital or that they have a deductible etc etc

      Comment


      • #5
        The fact that you got an answer on where the charges came from is amazing. That never happens for my doctor visits. They never seem to know since there are so many different insurance plans. I believe all charges should be explained upfront whether it is a dentist or doctor and the reason for them. I have so far avoided root canals in my life. Thank goodness and knock on wood.
        Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary. -- Isaiah 40:31

        Comment


        • The White Coat Investor
          The White Coat Investor commented
          Editing a comment
          Exactly. I find my dental charges way more transparent than my medical ones, including the ones sent out on my behalf!

      • #6
        I wouldn’t use round numbers for the additional services, makes it seem arbitrary

        Comment


        • #7
          Now that I no longer have dental insurance, if I ever need a root canal (knock on wood) I may look into going to Mexico for it. I think there is a ChooseFI podcast on this.

          One "hack" that may help me get away with imperfect oral care is using the Prevadent (high fluoride) toothpaste. It seems well worth the $8 and easily lasts 4 months.

          Comment


          • #8
            There are ethical, well trained dentists in Mexico. However, they aren’t the ones advertising bargain basement pricing on gaudy billboards. Surely you don’t think doctors, lawyers, and business executives in Mexico are going to the cheapest dentists in Mexico, do you?

            As for “U.S. trained” dentists practicing in Mexico, they often are practicing in Mexico because they lost their U.S. license. Lots of re-work in San Diego from questionable dentistry south of the border. You don’t save money by paying for the procedure once in TJ and again back in the States.

            Comment


            • xraygoggles
              xraygoggles commented
              Editing a comment
              i know of a few people who go down to TJ for cosmetic work (boob jobs, lipo) and it seems to be okay. not sure about dental work though.

          • #9
            Originally posted by Hank View Post
            There are ethical, well trained dentists in Mexico. However, they aren’t the ones advertising bargain basement pricing on gaudy billboards. Surely you don’t think doctors, lawyers, and business executives in Mexico are going to the cheapest dentists in Mexico, do you?

            As for “U.S. trained” dentists practicing in Mexico, they often are practicing in Mexico because they lost their U.S. license. Lots of re-work in San Diego from questionable dentistry south of the border. You don’t save money by paying for the procedure once in TJ and again back in the States.
            Agree with avoiding the bargain basement dentist in Mexico, but I would imagine that even a top of the line dentist in Mexico is cheaper than a bargain basement dentist in the United States. And there is plenty of questionable dentistry in the United States.

            Comment


            • #10
              I think you got a good deal. Patients in my office that speak in the 3rd person get the PIA discount, 3X. Right along with patients who are allergic to Local Anesthesia, Epinephrine and have a photosensitivity.

              I'm all about going to Mexico for dentistry. I make a living off of bad dentistry. Win/Win. I remove all the teeth, you never have to see a dentist again, except for denture adjustments.

              Comment


              • #11
                I don't trust dentists because I've seen how medicine works. "Just because we can, we should."

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                • #12
                  So basically “Not a fan of dentists Part 2” confirmed all of the preconceptions elucidated in the “not fan of dentists Part 1” thread.

                  So even if you have platinum dental coverage (see pictures attached) the dentist will find a way to charge you... I’m assuming most people don’t check their benefits. Oh yes by the way the teeth scaling and root planing they are asking me to have done is not covered under the gum treatment which the insurance website states is 100% covered.
                  Attached Files

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                  • #13
                    I have mixed feelings. I want to trust them to do what I need to keep me healthy. I do not like to make waves for no reason. I can think of many times where someone has come in with a bp of 180 and felt fine. Then argues with me about the importance of the tests and not wanting to take a pill every day. However I know the evidence is on my side and I truly want what is best for the patient. I hope that is what I get at the dentist as well.

                    Comment


                    • #14
                      Originally posted by Lordosis View Post
                      I have mixed feelings. I want to trust them to do what I need to keep me healthy. I do not like to make waves for no reason. I can think of many times where someone has come in with a bp of 180 and felt fine. Then argues with me about the importance of the tests and not wanting to take a pill every day. However I know the evidence is on my side and I truly want what is best for the patient. I hope that is what I get at the dentist as well.
                      True, I have gathered some leads on "good" dentists in the area who do not do unnecessary things and work within the confines of insurance.

                      Comment


                      • #15
                        Originally posted by uteomfs View Post
                        I think you got a good deal. Patients in my office that speak in the 3rd person get the PIA discount, 3X. Right along with patients who are allergic to Local Anesthesia, Epinephrine and have a photosensitivity.

                        I'm all about going to Mexico for dentistry. I make a living off of bad dentistry. Win/Win. I remove all the teeth, you never have to see a dentist again, except for denture adjustments.
                        So you admit to overcharging your patients?
                        speaking of being allergic to local anesthesia, the endodontist had difficulty getting the tooth numb and had to do a "intraseptal?" block, fun times..

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