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Old 02-03-2011, 07:50 AM
1,253 posts, read 4,057,654 times
Reputation: 619


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?
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Old 02-03-2011, 08:13 AM
Location: MMU->ABE->ATL->ASH
9,002 posts, read 16,118,243 times
Reputation: 9676
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.
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Old 02-03-2011, 08:18 AM
Location: San Antonio/Houston
33,542 posts, read 51,750,301 times
Reputation: 82961
^^^ This! Yes, there is a fee. The doctor spent time with her and there is no guarantee that she will come back to do the procedure. However I would ask to remove the fee when she get the work done. Cash always get a better rate
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Old 02-03-2011, 11:50 AM
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,523,609 times
Reputation: 35864
Originally Posted by flyonpa View Post
I Can understand the fee for consultation, you did take his time,

Even attorneys don't even have the gall to charge for that.
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Old 02-03-2011, 11:57 AM
Location: Middle America
35,817 posts, read 39,334,463 times
Reputation: 48613
I was charged for a pre-root canal/crown procedure visit because two x-rays were needed to assess the damage and plan the course of action. It was an office visit like any other, and there was a charge for the x-rays. I also was prescribed an antibiotic for the infection and painkillers to take while waiting for the infection to go down and have the procedure done.
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Old 02-03-2011, 12:05 PM
48,519 posts, read 80,998,062 times
Reputation: 17978
I can't imaginewhay anyone would assume a dentist would nopt charge for a serviceto determine if a procedure is need. Lawyers in the end get a fee even if you are not the one paying because they reject your case.I a dentist case is is a determination for work for insurnace or indivduals o know what the charge will be for work needed.The a longer procedure will be schedulked for the work depending on if approved or perosn wnats it at the cost.
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Old 02-03-2011, 09:30 PM
Location: Phoenix
354 posts, read 1,044,178 times
Reputation: 426
It should all be covered by the what you agree to pay for the procedure. There is no way this oral surgeon should plan on performing the procedure before he sees the patient for an evaluation and since he can't be sure you would follow through with this and have this work done the pre-op exam fee is appropriate.

If all you needed to know was a budgetary estimate of what the procedure would cost maybe there was another route you could have gone.

I paid a flat rate for a root canal the first part of this year and it took four visits to complete it because of the infection without which they are often completed in one sitting.
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Old 01-21-2014, 05:56 PM
1 posts, read 29,557 times
Reputation: 31
Its pretty obvious most of you who answered are dentists. So according to dentists logic. If I go to 3 oral surgeons for an estimate on work to be performed on my teeth; I should pay each one of them $125 or more just because I decided to shop around for a better price or a better plan of action. So even before I get any work done I am paying $375 to various dentists. Now we can look at normal peoples logic: Lets see, do contractors do that? How about lawyers? How about doctors? Maybe they should pre-pay qualified applicants for interviewing for a job. The ones who get turned down are wasting their time if they don't get hired. Maybe we should pay our politicians before they get elected.
Is this the capitalistic system at work in our democratic USofA?
Fortunately the dentist, who ultimately did the work on my teeth did not charge a consult fee. He looked at my teeth for free, X-rayed the bad tooth and sent me an estimate for the root canal. He was cheaper than the other dentist who still wants me to pay him a consult fee of $125. Here's the dentists own words in the bill he sent me, " Consultation Fee: If treatment has not been scheduled or has not been completed within 30 days of your initial visit, we will charge for the consultation. If you have insurance, we will bill them and keep you informed on the status of that payment. If you do not have insurance, we will bill you directly." He never tells me that the insurance company does not pay any consultation fees. He never does tells me that there is a consult fee of $125. This was given to me after the fact. Would you ever go to this dentist?
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Old 01-21-2014, 06:11 PM
Location: southwestern PA
20,426 posts, read 35,696,560 times
Reputation: 38829
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Old 01-21-2014, 07:30 PM
Location: Brawndo-Thirst-Mutilator-Nation
15,145 posts, read 15,198,298 times
Reputation: 10872
HUM, when did ANY doctor/dentist visits start being free???????
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