yeah they are a rip off, unfortunately supply and demand ya need your teeth and well people know it is somehtignt hat will be paid for because f that fact. I just hate it when you are referred to another more specialised dental area for whatever reason and you have to have a 'consultatio' with the referred office and its costs, why cant you get it for free seeing as you will obviously be paying for the subsequent treatments.
I got charge over $300 for filling one tooth and then a surcharge because I have TMJ and she had to devote extra time to my case allowing me time to rest off and on. Get serious. She said I took extra time in her chair so I had to make up for it. Now I have I think serious cavities infecting my mouth and I can't afford the dentist's cause it's too insanely expensive!
dentists are crazy, how can someone charge a patient extra due to the fact that their particular procedure took extra time, the patient nor the Dr can predict this so how can you ethically charge for such a thing.
I went for my wisdom teeth consoltation yesterday, and i was nicely infomred that once i got to the office signed in etc that it would be an upfront billing and I would have to file my insurance also that thye had to take new x rays so instead of say a 60 dollar appointment it turned into roughly 105 dollars out of my own pocket,, Not a huge huge expense right off but i hadnt budgeted for having to pay it myself so im now very low on funds.
Also i have to have the 4 wisdom teetheth removed within a month at a so far estimated cost of $ 1800 cash up front Ok cash cheque or credit up front.
I cant afford that right now but what do ya do, let teeth grow in th ewrong place, fall apart in your mouth, affect other teeth or the rest of your body, we are all stuck and dentists know this.
They seem to think that because they went to dental schools they are heart surgeons and shouuld be paid accordingly.
There's also the tendency becasue they read that a Park Avenue dentist charged $$$$$, that dentists in Dumb***, Alabama should charge the same!
Part of the problem is the invention of Dental Insurance which goves them a bunch of people who don't question charges becasue "the insurance will pay it." That really puts the screws to us who DON'T have the insurance.
For a reality check, all dentistry used to be done by BARBERS!
"Shave and extraction, sir?"
At least the barbers usually got the haircut right...many dentists cannot make that same claim.
i searched high and low for an honest dentist when mine of many years passed away. found one i thought would work. she charged my insurance co. alot of money for work that she didn;t do. before i was aware of this i sent my daughter there who has no dental insurance. WOW!!!!!!!! what a price tag. charged her more than me for some of the same work knowing she didn't have insurance. when questioned the answer was "well that's what happens to people without insurance" so it's a punishment? when i found out what she did with my insurance co. i caleled them and they went after the dentist for payment in full back. what a disgrace.
I brush 3 to 4 time a day and I still had teeth to chip and get cavities in them brcause I grind my teeth at night when I sleep. Did I want to chip my teeth no! Also I ran high fevers when I was a baby so that caused my anamal to be weak.
I feel your pain when it comes to dentists being rip offs. I just finished paying over 500 on one tooth. Now they are saying insurance is not paying and I owe anothe 350 plus if I want to have the crown put on that they say I need it will be another 500 or more up front. The dentist office said tha they got all this preapproved with my insurance co. Guess what they lied. Now I am verry depressed about the bill. Things all already really thight.
thats crazy the kind of dentist there that pops up in the news every blue moon, I have insurance thankfully, but even then i still end up out of pocket especially when i am told i have to pay up front.
i hear you. yes the insurance co. got all the money back. they admitted to not doing the work but said they billed for it because they planned on it. only thing was everytime i had an appt they called at the last minute and cancelled and said someone died. i could have believed this but when i called to reschedule one day i offered my condolences and the girl who answered starting laughing and had no idea what the h--- i was talking about and assured me no one had died. that really made me mad. here i am at the dentist urgence having all sorts of root canals and crowns put on teeth that i would have preferred to just have pulled and had a bridge made. BUT NO. that's not what she wanted to do. so she started the work, billed the insurance co. for it and then had no intentions of seeing me again to finish it. well she depleted my yearly allottment which is quite a bit. my insurance co. was right on it. it took less than a week to get the money back. sad part of it is it cost my daughter $2000 out of her pocket before we realized what was going on. then they started cancelling her appt. and sending her a bill the next day. LOL what idiots. how long did they think it would take for someone to realize what they were doing. and then have their own employee dime them out. my dentist starting asking me at 22 if i was a diabetic. i am now at 52. that's why i have so many gum and teeth problems not because i don't eat right, floss and brush. diabetes is also diet controlled so there.LOL
[Please do not use cuss/slang words. Thanks - Well-come Moderator.]
I agree that the "progressive" advent of Insurance is at the root. It must be so wonderful to sell products to people who couldn't care less about cost. Then, of course, everybody else has a little piece of plastic in his or her wallet. And there is a sort of honor among all thieves... so no one will undercut the others. And pretty soon a provider starts to believe he actually DESERVES the insane fees.
And regarding "fault," is it the dentits's entitlement to dish out punishment for profit? If they actually start to believe that, they truly do think they are gods.
Every tooth in my mouth that is a disaster (or is missing) is a disaster precisely BECAUSE of poor dental treatment.
Had I never HEARD the word dentist, my teeth would be better then they are now.
I think bad dentistry is the orerarching cause of bad teeth. I wish someone had told me that when I was 10! It has been a very expensive and painful learning curve on my own over the years!
If they put fluoride in EVERY water supply and taught kids how to brush in kindergarten, they could bury all the dentists in the slag heap of historical anomalies...like the doctors (and barbers) who did leeching and judged health by the shape of the feces.
I know there are a lot of bad dentists out there, but not all of them. You should look for a dentist who pratices, "Caries Risk assessment", and "minimally invasive" dentistry. Believe it or not, there are some dentists out there who are genuinely concerned for the health of their patients and the longevity of their teeth.
When you select a dentist, be very picky! Get referals from friends you trust. Try calling the faculty and professors at the nearest dental school and ask if they can recommend a talented doctor in your area. They usually know who is good and who is not.
For those of you who think that dental fees are outragous, here is some food for thought. The average dentist actually gets to keep, (BEFORE taxes) only 25-30% of what they charge. The rest goes to pay for the materials and lab fees. (What lab fees? When a dentist does a procedure, and takes an impression, he sends the impression out to a lab to fabricate a crown, or a bridge, or a denture, etc.) Lab fees are REALLY expensive. In addition to those, that little tube of impression material? $20. The bur he (or she) used to cut your teeth? $5-7. The box of gloves, about $7. The lidocaine he used to get you numb, the napkin around your neck, all the plastic stuff to keep the area clean and make sure there is no cross contamination, the platic tubes to suck out the spit so you don't choke, the list goes on forever.
The mouth is one of the most hostile environments known to man. Temperatures constantly change, pH levels vary all over the place, hundreds of pounds per square inch of pressure being put on restorations. THe materials that a dentist places in your mouth have to be extremely specific and well manufactured to stand up to the abuse. This means they are very expensive. A kit of materials for doing 40-50 tooth colored restorations - several hundred to a thousand dollars.
Lets say a dentist does a crown, and to make the math easy, we'll say he charges $1000 (which is more than average). The lab fee for that crown is about $200, if it is a simple crown. (complex cases are more expensive). Then there is all the materials I listed above (infection control, numbing medicine, special burs for teeth, special dental drills, lights, electricity, water, phone, rent, the salaries of employees, etc.) After all that is paid, lets be generous and say he is left with $350. Keep in mind he went through four years of gruelling schooling, AFTER 4+ years of college, paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in tuition, to gain the expertise needed diagnose oral disease, determine a proper course of action, and then to restore your tooth so accurately that it can be measured to the width of a human hair. After all that, he keeps $350, and then has to give about 33% of it to the government, which means he keeps about $230 for all that work and exptertise (its really more like $150-200). Maybe some of you still think that is too much. I don't know.
Materials make up the main bulk of an expensive dental procedure.
Then after all that, sometimes the patient doesn't pay the bill, and the dentist ends up with a $700 loss. Which is why most dentist charge up front.
If a barber could do all that, if a barber could give you your smile back, if a barber could help you eat again, then people would still be going to barbers.
Find a really good dentist, and stick with them. Form a relationship and you will have a great experience. Some dentists get caught up in the "drill 'em, fill 'em, and bill 'em" cycle, and forget to treat the patient, and to treat the disease. Try to avoid that dentist. Find one who cares about your health and the way you feel about your smile. Good luck! It isn't always easy.
thanks for entering into this discussion. i have been lucky enough to find a gentle caring competent dentis. Finally after my dentist of many years passed away i have tried 5 different ones(all recommended byt friends or family) that didn't have a good fit. This man is wondeful. i have been told his only "fault" is being slow. I have found he is aperfectionist and wants hsi job done right. certainly no harm in that. The last time i saw him everytime he put the chair back my throat closed and i couldn't swallow or breathe. turns out i have an enlarged thyroid and other problems causing this. instead of being annoyed that he ahd already numbed me he sat with me until we decided if this work was going to happen on that day or be rescheduled. we both agreed in the end to reschedule when this swallowing problem was handled. .
Last edited by Administrator; 08-04-2006 at 03:37 PM.
I really do believe that a lot of dentists are caring health providers who are concerned with their patients health, their confidence, and their oral care. My dentist is wonderful, and has never tried to sell me anything. If fact, he has talked me out of spending money on things, money that would have gone into his pocket. I also believe that there are some dentists out there who are more concerned about making the mortgage on their new 5000 sq. ft. house and upgrading their Lexus to the latest model. My dentist drives a Toyota Corolla, and his wife drives a mini-van. Not all dentists are out there to sell you something. But you are right, some are.
That is why I tried to give a few tips on ways to find a good one, and encouraged you to be very selective.
If your dentures are so ill fitting, you have either had them for a very long time, you had temporary dentures (aka immediate dentures) made and placed immediately after extractions, or they were poorly made. If they were done recently, and are just poorly made, go back and ask for them to be adjusted, remade, or refunded. You shouldn't have to suffer because of poor workmanship.
But perhaps you just don't like dentists. I don’t know what to say to you if that is the case.
I would like to respond to what you said about paying for dental school, and about extractions. The tuition at the school near you may be $40,000, but what about the equipment? What about all the instruments, and drills, and trays, etc.? What about the rent each month, and groceries, gas, health insurance, etc? Do you think all the students work 8-5pm to pay their living expenses? They are in school 40-80 hours a week, depending on the school and the term. Tuition may be $40,000, but they also have to buy all the equipment, and they also have to pay all of their living expenses. But even if you don't count those things, don't you think $160,000 is a lot of money? I do!!
When I gave examples of what goes into a dentist's overhead, I gave examples of things people commonly see when they go to an office. Taking my words out of context and saying that all the money goes to pay for "plastic" is a little bit rude, and I don't appreciate it. In the case of a crown, or a denture, a lot of the fee goes to the lab. In other procedures, maybe less goes to materials. You notice that the cost of an extraction is not $1000. In the case of your extractions, what do you think the dentist does with the teeth? Do you think the state or county will allow him to throw those in the garbage with everything else? What about the amalgam that was removed when an old filling was replaced. What about the needle that was used to allow you not to be in pain the entire procedure? All those things have to be disposed of using specific guidelines mandated by law. Special services have to be hired to come and cart away "Biohazard" waste. Special systems have to be installed in the water lines so that all amalgam fragments are caught and recycled. A special service has to be called to dispose of sharps and needles so nobody gets a needle stick when disposing of the garbage. And the DEA license your dentist has to renew every year so he can give you local anesthetic, prescribe pain pills for you for after your surgery, and antibiotics if you get an infection, do you know how much the fee is to renew it every year? And the Continuing education classes that every dentist must take every year to maintain their license. Do you know how much those cost? I gave a VERY, VERY abbreviated list. This is STILL a very abbreviated list.
In the end, you are paying for expertise. The dentist charges what he needs to cover expenses, plus what he feels his expertise is worth. If you don't feel the expertise is worth that much, then find somebody who has less expertise, and charges less. Usually, the more training and expertise a dentist has, the more they charge. Dentists who try and charge a lot for lousy work usually aren't in business very long, as ICC pointed out, "How long did they think they could get away with that?"
Some dentists use a popular method for deciding how much to charge. They take all the monthly expenses, and the find out how much it costs per hour of chair time. So for example, it might cost them $200 of overhead for every chair, for every hour the office is open. So if you take longer in the chair, those dentists allocate more of the overhead to you, and charge you more. By the same thinking, if you miss an appointment, you still have the empty chair allocated to you, and they charge you for a broken appointment. This is just one example that people use to decide how much to charge. There are others with different systems. There are others who don’t have a system. Everybody is different.
Unfortunately, many people have had such a terrible experience at the dentist, or have such deeply held emotions about dentists, that nothing I say here is going to change long held opinions. For everybody else, I hope that this has shed a little light on things.
One last note: When you go to the dentist, there are several kind of procedures. There are emergency procedures (aka infection with pain or an abscessed tooth), there are urgent procedures (getting a biopsy of a suspected cancer lesion, getting a root canal, scaling and root planing), there are needed procedures (a cleaning, a filling, a crown on a tooth with a lot of caries), and there are elective procedures (veneers, aesthetic crowns, orthodontics sometimes are elective, bleaching, etc.). Some people only go to the dentist when it is an emergency, some always get everything on the list, right down to the custom bleaching trays. It is important to understand that different dentists will look at the same problem, and recommend different treatments. And some classify things differently. One person might see a missing tooth, and say, “Oh well. Leave it alone. It’s not worth the money to put something there. If it causes a problem, we’ll take care of it then” Another might see a missing tooth, and say “You have a big space there! You have to get a bridge or implant or else all your teeth are going to shift and your whole bite will change!” You could go to five different dentists and get five different answers. This is because different dentists have different levels of expertise, see urgent/necessary/elective differently, and have different opinions about prevention versus restoration (some say lets fix it before it becomes a problem, and some say lets fix it if/when it becomes a problem.) You have to find a dentist who thinks like you. If you like to take care of things before they cause problems, you'll want a dentist who does the same. If you are a "if it ain't broke don't fix it" kind of person, you'll be very unhappy with a prevention focused dentist.
I really do believe there are really talented dentists, who charge a fee to share their wealth of experience and expertise with you, but do it in a manner that is centered on your health and well being. And, unfortunately, there are others who do not do that. It is the same in any profession. People search out good schools, good doctors, mechanics, hair dressers, plumbers, etc. You have to search out a good dentist. Looking in the yellow pages isn’t going to cut it.
Good luck to everybody in their search.
Last edited by moderator2; 08-06-2006 at 03:54 PM.
Reason: to remove reference to an inappropriate post - report bad posts, do not react to them
I agree 100% with that statement and what irks patients to the point of FURY is that, by and large, they are not GETTING ANY expertise...just ham-handed, shoddy, EXTREMELY OVERPRICED treatment over and over.
Crying the blues over school costs? Inflation guarantees this scenario: Any dentist or doctor, once he has reached his forties and fifties is charging his patients the ENTIRE cost of his education every month or two that he practices. That 60 year old dentist paid less than $2,000 a year for his education...and is charging $2 grand for that root canal post and crown that will probably fail a couple years down the road because it was improperly done.
In the end we are OVERPAYING for EXTREMELY limited expertise...your car mechanic probably has as much or more.
A average dentist was probably the marginal student who hoped for med school but wasn't nearly good enough.
That's been what I've experienced with the hacks I've dealt with. If there's a genius out there with the hands and eyes of a DaVinci, I sure haven't met him...he may exist somewhere???
The BEST dentist I ever had was blind in one eye...the WORST might as well have been blind in BOTH!
As a child I even experienced torture that might have qualified for an Inquisition when a sadistic monster pulled a molar without anaesthesia and said "A little pain never hurt anyone."
Fifty years have gone by and I can STILL hear his words...although his face has been blotted from my memory, probably from the unutterably hideous pain!
1. It is a highly stressful job
2. they generally have a God complex
3. They base their fees on what the other guy is charging, just like your local gas stations
4. Because they can.
5. It's a neccessity, just like gasoline.
Just do what you can to find a dentist who gives you what you need and nothing more. A conservative dentist is usually a better bet than an aggressive one.