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Old 11-12-2015, 04:03 AM
 
350 posts, read 292,183 times
Reputation: 389

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Just thought I'd start a thread here about dental prices. I have moved so now I am in the process of looking for a dentist. I hate to spend $50/100 a consultation to interview a dentist and find out their prices for services.

If you had to pay $50/100 to go to a car dealership to look at a car to determine if you wanted to buy it - would you? Riduculous you say?

Dentists should have to post their prices (even a price range a service would help) so that you can make an informed decision before making an appointment. Currently, my first elimination criteria is to look at how many people they have working for them. If it is a cast of thousands I pass since I know that all these people have to be compensated and that means procedures - needed or not.

What do you think?
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Old 11-12-2015, 05:43 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
32,144 posts, read 58,584,816 times
Reputation: 35121
If you have to ask, you can't afford it? Seriously, they do not have to use set prices, ad can change them as they wish to fund new equipment, higher pay for their staff, or a swimming pool at their home. You can always call and ask
but in most cases they are going to require an appointment to see your problem before giving a price. At ours, the insurance coordinator is really good about scheduling to take advantage of the annual deductibles and they are willing to accept payments without interest on a large outstanding balance.
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Old 11-12-2015, 06:19 AM
 
Location: Raleigh
129 posts, read 250,542 times
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its not hard to call and ask for a price range. they wont give you exact prices because everyone is different and its only an estimate.

you wont see prices on the net because its a great way for competitors to gauge what to charge.
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Old 11-12-2015, 07:25 AM
 
350 posts, read 292,183 times
Reputation: 389
There are vast differences in prices. I've had an implant placed by an oral surgeon for $1200 and another oral surgeon wanted $4000 for the same. It is not necessary a matter of affording it I like to see the prices before I start. Otherwise maybe you should just sign the check and let them fill in the amount.

Why would they be afraid of letting their competitors see what they charge? It is a free market isn't it!
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Old 11-12-2015, 07:45 AM
 
5,273 posts, read 12,880,953 times
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One of the reasons is that they have several different lists depending on which insurance plan is being used. Each insurance carrier tells the doctor what they will pay. It creates a lot of confusion and angst. So, if you want to know what something will cost you generally have to go in and ask.
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Old 11-12-2015, 06:42 PM
 
350 posts, read 292,183 times
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That's really part of the problem isn't it. The dentists have different prices based on what the carrier will pay. Why not say I'll do a crown for $800. The difference between what the carrier pays is on the patient. Why shouldn't there be a standard fee for all procedures?
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Old 11-13-2015, 04:05 PM
 
5,273 posts, read 12,880,953 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by echo99 View Post
That's really part of the problem isn't it. The dentists have different prices based on what the carrier will pay. Why not say I'll do a crown for $800. The difference between what the carrier pays is on the patient. Why shouldn't there be a standard fee for all procedures?
That would be nice, but carriers feel the need to do what will allow them to make payment but maximize profits. Not in a bad way, but still if they make no profits they go out of business.
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Old 11-14-2015, 01:28 AM
 
1,552 posts, read 1,938,607 times
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Dentists WILL give their fees and they DO give their fees once a treatment plan is created and they know what treatment is needed. The patient always signs a financial form stating the fees prior to treatment if the office knows how to run a business. There should not be surprises and you should run if they do not give a financial estimate. The problem is that patients assume there are only 10-20 fees for 10-20 procedures and cannot provide the information to determine the correct fee. They don't realize there are hundreds of fees and codes for different situations. The phone call usually goes like this:

Patient: How much for a crown?
Office: It ranges from $800 to $3000.
Patient: Can you narrow that down for me?
Office: What type of tooth?
Patient: An incisor.
Office: Does it need a build up?
Patient: I don't know.
Office: Will this be an all-ceramic or porcelain fused to metal or gold or base alloy or onlay?
Patient: I don't know. Which is best?
Office: It depends on your bite. Do you have wear facets or worn down cusps or a cross bite?
Patient: Wear what? I don't know.
Office: Will the crown reduction and buildup require endodontic treatment?
Patient: endo what? Huh? I don't know.
Office: Is there a prior root canal that can require a post and core?
Patient: I had a root canal on a tooth in that area years ago but I don't know which one.
Office: Is there adequate clinical crown or will you need crown lengthening?
Patient:

If you know exactly what you need then it's easy. Otherwise, you have to be examined clinically and radiographically to determine the options.
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Old 11-14-2015, 01:29 AM
 
1,552 posts, read 1,938,607 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by echo99 View Post
That's really part of the problem isn't it. The dentists have different prices based on what the carrier will pay. Why not say I'll do a crown for $800. The difference between what the carrier pays is on the patient. Why shouldn't there be a standard fee for all procedures?
This is common and this is how it works if you go out of network. You pay the dentist in full up front and it's your job to get reimbursed from YOUR insurance company.
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Old 11-18-2015, 06:42 AM
 
766 posts, read 341,930 times
Reputation: 925
I never quite understood this, In other countries hospitals/dentists etc. seem to be more transparent and straight-forward with their costs; meanwhile in the US its all hidden - i've called dermatology & dental clinics before to inquire about their costs and its NEVER an accurate quote instead of letting patients know exactly how much based on the treatment etc. they'll give an ridiculous number like "oh anywhere from 1.2k to 10k."
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