I Think I've Been Scammed With LANAP
Today I went to a new dentist in NY, because I was long overdue for checkup and I believed that I had a few cavities. I also recently changed my dental insurance policy (previously linked with my parents) to the policy offered by the company I work for. After filling out some paper work the woman in the front (who also turns out to be the assistant!) let me know that just x-rays and examination of my teeth would be an estimated $300. At first I thought this was pretty steep but she let me know that my insurance would most likely cover the rest of the work being done that day, so I handed over my CC. After the dentist’s examination, she let me know that I had some gums that were inflamed and that I had “pockets” inside my teeth that measured about 5-6mm which is very unhealthy and that I also have a few cavities.
Afterwards, she explained to me that before she could work on the cavities she would need to “strengthen my gums, because like a house, if you have a poor foundation, anything you put on top will just break down,” and that I would require something called the periodontal laser surgery. I wasn’t really sure I needed this procedure but she was pretty convincing (and hey, she’s the dentist right?) so I OK’d for them to start the paperwork. So the assistant comes back with some documents and the total tab was $7,000. I thought to myself that this was quite an extraordinary price especially given that I had already wrote down that my annual salary is only about 40k. She reassured me that my insurance will take most of the hit, and that I can pay off the rest of the bill monthly. I asked if this would cover all the dental work needed (including cavities) and she said it would be.
I signed the forms for monthly payments and they start right away by putting a blue gel inside my gums that numb my mouth. I have a slight anxiety attack realizing that I might actually be scammed at that moment, that I have no way that I can pay off the 7k bill. I explained to the assistant of my financial worries and that I also wanted a second opinion but she said that it was too late and the paperwork had already been processed. She again reassures me of the monthly payments that can be made. The procedure takes about an hour and half and they keep talking about their previous clients and how the laser is such a revolutionary thing. When it’s done, I get to the front for payment and the assistant now tells me the insurance will only cover up to $1000 and that there is a 6 month hold.
I also notice that they’ve only put me down for the “laser treatment” and xrays. At this point, I’ve already signed the papers that said I would pay the bill and I’m in such a shock that I just walk out (of course afterwards I curse myself for not arguing). Now I’m sickly worried about the bill and what makes worse, I’m not even sure if the procedure worked.
I mean how can I tell if the mm in my pockets will fill up? I’ve read online that usually people that opt for this type of surgery have a swollen face or some type of bleeding or at least some type of discomfort, however, I’ve had no such side effects, nothing at all has changed, leading me to believe that the dentist hasn’t in fact done anything at all!
I feel incredible stupid and I feel like I’ve been scammed. What should I do?