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  • Dental cleaning or scaling/root planing?

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    Old 04-27-2004, 11:22 AM   #1
    SMB2
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    Dental cleaning or scaling/root planing?

    Hi, I visited a dental office twice in the past year, and in both cases was billed for a full scaling/root planing procedure (2 x $800). However, this process took only 20 minutes each time, and I suspect that I only received regular cleaning, not a scaling/root planing procedure. I was not given any anaesthesia, and the dentist spent no more than a few seconds on each tooth. I am trying to find out whether I had the full procedure because I know that there is a problem with my gums that needs this type of treatment, I am also concerned that my insurance yearly maximum of $2000 has almost been reached, and I am also concerned that this dental office may not be giving proper care to patients. I did not want to call the insurance company until I am more certain that I’ve been had. Has anyone else had a full scaling/root planing procedure, and how long did it take? More than 20 minutes?

    More details: First visit I had full x-rays, pocket depth was measured at up to 6mm, indicating a problem. I agreed to the scaling procedure which, as I mentioned earlier took no more than 20 minutes, followed by a 10 minute polishing by the hygienist. I had taken exceptional care in terms of flossing, mouthwash etc. after the first visit, but the 2nd visit sowed pocket depth to be about the same (but this time the measurements were taken in about 4 places only) so the “scaling/root planing” process was repeated (again less than 20 minutes) and they want me to come back to see a specialist in their office to consider further gum surgery. I am also wondering why they did a second scaling if I have to see a specialist.

    Any comments from people with experience of this procedure would be greatly appreciated.

     
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    Old 04-27-2004, 12:50 PM   #2
    PICKLE222
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    Re: Dental cleaning or scaling/root planing?

    SMB2,
    My husband had scaling/planing on 2 sections and it took over 2 hours and the cost was $600.00 by a periodiontist. Hope this helps.
    Pickle222

     
    Old 04-29-2004, 01:23 PM   #3
    espareges
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    Re: Dental cleaning or scaling/root planing?

    I'm having root planing done on two teeth at the end of next month at a new dentist. Looking at the estimate, it costs about $150 per tooth, plus another $135 for a "periodontal maintenance" - $435 in total for the two teeth. (I need my teeth cleaned first, so I'll try and ask about the root planing procedure when I go.)

     
    Old 04-29-2004, 02:06 PM   #4
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    Re: Dental cleaning or scaling/root planing?

    I'm trying to find out about the laser option also, it has been strongly recommended to me.

     
    Old 04-29-2004, 03:01 PM   #5
    zimnah
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    Re: Dental cleaning or scaling/root planing?

    I work for a dental insurance company, and this souds highly suspect. If the dentist took charting, that is what most insurance companies require in order to process the claim, but it takes a lot longer than 20 minutes, and is usually quite uncomfortable, as I've heard from many members/patients. Plus, you should have the scaling initially, then be put on a recall of 3-4 months (1-2 additional regular cleanings per year) for maintenance. You may want to contact your insurance company (if it's CIGNA, post back to me...with a 2000 max, it sounds like either traditional plan or PPO). Even if it isn't my company, post back. Fraudulent claims are more of a problem than one would think, and it's a real problem.
    The other thing is that, with the new procedure codes for 2004 (called CDT-4 codes) they now have a separate code for 3 or less teeth in each quadrant, or corner of your mouth. While your pocket depths meet the requirement (4 or more mm is usually indicative of periodontal disease), I have to wonder why you're not on a 3 month recall for perio maintenance. Check your insurance plan and see if it allows for a second opinion...ask for a problem focused exam (they usually don't take up one of your exams for the year with most insurance, unless you have a primary care dentist). I'm really nerdy about this stuff, so please let me know if I can help.
    Dawn

     
    Old 04-29-2004, 08:10 PM   #6
    martid
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    Re: Dental cleaning or scaling/root planing?

    Espareges, did you get you orthodontic dilema resolved ?? Marti

     
    Old 04-30-2004, 01:01 AM   #7
    espareges
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    Re: Dental cleaning or scaling/root planing?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by martid
    Espareges, did you get you orthodontic dilema resolved ?? Marti
    Hey.

    Not quite. I'm waiting for the records to be sent, and then get an exact estimate with the new ortho' and deal with the (money) issues/problems at the old ortho'. In the meantime, I figure that I should take care of my teeth - since I haven't been to a dentist in a looong time (I went to an orthodontist back then, but not a dentist). The dentist suggested a cleaning, root planing and scaling, and then some wisdom teeth extraction. When I get my teeth cleaned, I'll ask about my jaw and bite...

    I'll post in the other thread of any new developments in my ortho' problems.


    ---

    I read some stuff about root planing - that the gums might not heal and the tooth would appear "longer" than before. ??? Don't know if what I read was accurate, but it makes me hesitant about getting the root planing.

     
    Old 04-30-2004, 09:48 AM   #8
    SMB2
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    Re: Dental cleaning or scaling/root planing?

    Hi Dawn, Thanks for the info. I did speak to another dentist, and others who have had this scaling procedure, and it is very clear that the dentist had not provided the proper treatment that was billed for (twice). I have contacted the insurance company and they informed me that I would not be able to have the treatment done for 2 years (It is Fortis PPO). They said they would look into it and that I should also make a complaint with the Dental board of CA.

    Last edited by SMB2; 04-30-2004 at 05:16 PM.

     
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