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Old 01-25-2014, 10:33 AM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,527 posts, read 29,240,196 times
Reputation: 21263

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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankTheTank2 View Post
Here is the backstory:

My wife needs a dental implant for a single tooth. Her primary dentist recommended a specialist and setup a "consultation visit" for her to meet the specialist and get a cost estimate with treatment plan.

I made the mistake of assuming it would be a free consultation but my wife told me they charged her $97 for the visit and told her the total procedure would be $3,895 (ins. does not cover it).

Is it customary for these specialists to charge upfront for a consultation visit? It seems a little petty to charge people just to tell them how much you are going to be charged in the future.

We already knew exactly what the problem was and exactly what needed to be done from our primary dentist so there was nothing medical that took place during the consultation visit.

Any thoughts?
You don't know how lucky you are to be able to have a consultation. I have called a dozen different dentists trying to get a consultation and nobody even knows what I am talking about.

Are you sure they didn't take xrays? They usually do on the first visit.

20yrsinBranson
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Old 01-26-2014, 06:19 PM
 
85 posts, read 115,918 times
Reputation: 110
Depends on the doctor. Some give free consultations because they assume it would lead to an actual appointment. If people show up solely for the consultation and then go elsewhere, then they would obviously have to start charging for such services to cover lost opportunity and not be working for free.
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Old 01-26-2014, 06:34 PM
 
Location: Florida -
8,238 posts, read 9,998,349 times
Reputation: 15087
Quote:
Originally Posted by lizcharlene View Post
Depends on the doctor. Some give free consultations because they assume it would lead to an actual appointment. If people show up solely for the consultation and then go elsewhere, then they would obviously have to start charging for such services to cover lost opportunity and not be working for free.
- This only makes sense! --- Consider this: If you went to the same dentist and he spent the same amount of time as a consultation, filling a tooth ... would you expect to pay for it? (Of course!) - The dentist is selling his time and knowledge ... otherwise, you could go to the local auto repair shop and get a mechanic to give you an opinion regarding your dental work!

By the same token, many auto repair shops also charge for 'estimates' ... when they must first spend time to determine exactly what the problem is, before providing an estimate. Of course, you can simply go in and ask them for the cost of the specific work you want done - and get that for 'free.' But, if you do that and discover additional work is required, you won't be able to get that additional work done for free or an 'all inclusive price.'

Whether it is a specific line-item or not, the cost of 'free estimates' (like anything else 'free') ... is always included in the price, whether you realize it or not.
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Old 01-26-2014, 06:41 PM
MJ7
 
6,221 posts, read 8,196,741 times
Reputation: 6487
Depends on how jacked up the teeth are.
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Old 01-28-2014, 07:20 AM
Status: "When is MY time?" (set 4 days ago)
 
Location: in the miseries
3,276 posts, read 3,392,688 times
Reputation: 3769
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyonpa View Post
I Can understand the fee for consultation, you did take his time, That said, I would ask for it to be credit for that amount to be deducted from the $3895 amount. Also ask for the 'CASH' rate, you should get a 40% discount off the 'Full' price. Ins discounts tend to be in the 40-60% Range. And the doctor has to wait 2 months or so to get the money. Cash Should get you a discount.
My dentist does all procedures, though that said insists on upfront cash before drilling and splicing.
Won't even make an appt without cash, but no consultation fee.
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Old 07-19-2014, 07:05 PM
 
3 posts, read 6,403 times
Reputation: 10
At a local dental school, I am told that I will need to pay $300 up front for consult fee. I am there because I am poor (plus I have bad teeth). They can ask for anything they want, because they know people in my situation are relatively helpless. I called to ask what the fee would cover, and got nowhere. I queried some megabucks dental practices, and even they only charge $125-$175. It somehow doesn't seem fair to me... also, not sure I can get a payment plan for the rest of it. I did find out that some insurance companies allow $300 for a consult fee, so I guess if dentists can get away with it, that's what they do!
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Old 07-20-2014, 09:01 AM
 
14,649 posts, read 29,700,640 times
Reputation: 17216
There usually has to be a fee for dental consultation BECAUSE they are going to have to take X-rays or other procedures to determine what needs to be done. Now, if you are shopping around for 2nd opinions, and already have current x-rays etc. there likely will be either no fee or nominal fee. That's how my dentist works anyway.
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Old 07-23-2014, 01:38 AM
 
3 posts, read 6,403 times
Reputation: 10
I thought it would be for x-rays, too. But no, I called (not going to divulge who I finally talked with), and discovered that x-rays aren't included in the fee. In fact, nothing is! It's just for me to walk in the door.

Also, there is no payment plan, to speak of.

I also discovered that at a certain level, dental schools are just as competitive as private practices. That is, they may be cheaper for routine procedures, but not if your mouth is in bad shape. Buyer beware!

Not only that, but they conveniently LOST my old x-rays!

They are not really doing anything illegal, so it's not like I can report their greed and negligence. That's just how things are, nowadays.

I don't want to say too much more on this subject... nothing more to say (not sure how secure this site is re: Google, etc.) I was just venting.

I'll just have to shop around, or forget about my teeth.


Thanks anyway.
Over and out.
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Old 07-06-2017, 11:35 AM
 
1 posts, read 431 times
Reputation: 10
When you visit a new doctor/ dentist/ specialist you're going to have to pay a consultation fee regardless. Even though you may know what the issue is, and the previous dentist knows what the issue is. Why? Because the new dentist/doctor/specialist DOESN'T know what the issue is, that person should be conducting a NEW exam on you to reach the same conclusion as the previous doctor. WHY do you need to do this? Because it ensures that the DIAGNOSIS the previous doctor made is CORRECT and that they're not performing the wrong or unnecessary treatment. Ideally your doctor/dentist has sent you to someone MORE KNOWLEDGEABLE about the issue. This shouldn't be about capitalist mentality or a "contractor doesn't do this", it's your body, likely any treatment done is irreversible, you want to get it done right the FIRST TIME. not the 2nd, 3rd, 4th etc. I'd rather pay an extra "$120" to have another doctor tell me the he agrees with the treatment, than to have had a wrong treatment done for more $$$ and be told after the fact. A second opinion never hurts.

TL;DR
All new visits will charge a consultation fee. Because the doctors themselves want to reach their own DIAGNOSIS. Without proper a diagnosis or wrong diagnosis, you may be undergoing treatment that is unnecessary not ideal. A second opinion never hurts, especially when it comes to your body.
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Old 07-06-2017, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
13,433 posts, read 24,210,764 times
Reputation: 24745
It's an office visit! I don't know where you live but take a look outside the US. Los Algodones, MX comes to mind right away and they are right across the border from Yuma. The place runs on providing less expensive dental and vision care than what's available in the US. Yuma is always full of people coming and going from Las Algodones.
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