Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Dental costs
Old 04-02-2011, 09:23 AM   #1
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 5,072
Dental costs

Anyone else notice how the cost of dental services has increased... I'll admit, I have not dug up bills from a few years back and compared... but our last few bills for basic services seem higher than I remember.


Our dental insurance premium had a large increase this year also... no doubt because of increased cost of services.

Am I imagining this? Have you seen the same thing?

I am wondering if the insured are experiencing cost shifting? Surely my dentists cost have not increased that much.


http://dentalplans.com/articles/4684...y-in-2010.html


Maybe this is it!

http://www.suntimes.com/business/447...ntal-care.html


It would really piss me off if I found that my dentist was charging me more because i have insurance and someone that pays cash gets a steep reduction! Or that he is running credit for people and they don't pay and the rest of us eat the cost of the delinquent customers.
__________________

__________________
chinaco is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 04-02-2011, 09:56 AM   #2
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 371
I'm a dentist- and I'd have to say that, yes, the costs keep going up because the field is constantly changing, technology is rapidly changing, and the standard of care is changing.

We now have digital xrays that reduce the radiation exposure by up to 90%. We have digital scanners that take impressions with incredible accuracy. We have Cone beam scanning that greatly reduces risks in surgical procedures such as implants. Plus, the traditional porcelain to gold or cast gold crown has become extremely costly simply because gold is so expensive.

We also have so much more knowledge now about oral disease and can and are obligated to treat these problems, and we have so many more options we can offer our patients in terms of care.

Labor costs are also an issue in dentistry. There has been a shortage of dental hygienists for several decades and it is not getting any better, so by law of supply and demand their salaries are quite high.

All this costs money. Add to that the large increase in the number of malpractice lawsuits being filed against dentists these past few years and you see why the prices keep going up.

Dentistry has also had to deal with poor reimbursements from insurance companies that continue to get worse. There are many plans that pay at rates so low that the dentist is actually losing money on the procedures, which puts pressure on them to upsell or cross sell other procedures.
__________________

__________________
novaman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2011, 10:16 AM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,899
Quote:
Originally Posted by novaman View Post
..........
Dentistry has also had to deal with poor reimbursements from insurance companies that continue to get worse. There are many plans that pay at rates so low that the dentist is actually losing money on the procedures, which puts pressure on them to upsell or cross sell other procedures.
My dentist just charges me the difference between what he is paid by my insurance and his normal fee. I assumed this was normal, although my medical doc accepts payment at face value.

Others?
__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2011, 10:20 AM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
youbet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 9,965
Quote:
Originally Posted by travelover View Post
My dentist just charges me the difference between what he is paid by my insurance and his normal fee. I assumed this was normal, although my medical doc accepts payment at face value.

Others?
With my dental insurance, "in network" providers acept the insurance payment as full payment, period. "out of network" providers bill you for payment at their rates and you accept the insurance payment, eating the difference if there is one.

Dr's and dentests are not obligated to perform sevices at insurance company rates unless they have contracted with an insurance company to accept their payment as full payment.
__________________
"I wasn't born blue blood. I was born blue-collar." John Wort Hannam
youbet is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2011, 10:31 AM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,871
My dentist for the last 22 years always had his fees repaid in full by my insurance when I had it. When I had to give up my insurance after I ERed in 2008, I asked if he has any discount for those who do not have insurance. He does not.

And I have seen a rise in the fees for routine services such as cleanings, exams, and X-rays. What cost me between $100 and $150 back in the 1990s now costs me well over $200.

I made sure to get any costly dental work done before I lost the insurance coverage so I would not get clobbered with anything big. If I have 1 or 2 small cavities per year, then my total out-of-pocket costs without insurance were about the same as my COBRA premiums (the last time I had insurance) plus my copays and deductibles.

I will find out if his fees have increased for 2011 because I have my next visit in about one hour from now.
__________________
Retired in late 2008 at age 45. Cashed in company stock, bought a lot of shares in a big bond fund and am living nicely off its dividends. IRA, SS, and a pension await me at age 60 and later. No kids, no debts.

"I want my money working for me instead of me working for my money!"
scrabbler1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2011, 12:04 PM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Pittsburgh, PA suburbs
Posts: 1,769
I have elected not to take the dental insurance offered at work as I think it must be a low-end product as none of the "better" dentists around here take it. I am not going to some clinic at this point in my life.

I have gone to the same dentist for the last 18 years, and I trust him completely. He is high tech but does not push anything. He has a CD in his waiting room on some kind of a loop that explains different procedures: porcelain veneers, whitening, implants, etc. but he has never said anything to me about needing anything. I guess if I brought up the subject, he would address it. I am sure I could use some whitening. I think he provides good value for the money. I recently had some cosmetic bonding re-done and he did not charge me, called it a re-treatment. He has a pretty big staff to pay. His employees all stay forever and it seems to be a very congenial environment. I would cut some other "fat" from my expenses before I switched dentists.

What hasn't gone up recently? Gas, cable TV, auto repairs, food, school tuition, utilities.

My only complaint with my dentist is that he does not have a waiting room well-stocked with trashy magazines. I like to look at People and Us and stuff I won't subscribe to but like to read (ha,ha National Enquirer would be good, too). Instead he has an array of uplifting self-improvement books and some coffee table type books with beautiful photographs.
__________________
WhoDaresWins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2011, 05:44 PM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 5,072
Quote:
Originally Posted by novaman View Post
I'm a dentist- and I'd have to say that, yes, the costs keep going up because the field is constantly changing, technology is rapidly changing, and the standard of care is changing.

We now have digital xrays that reduce the radiation exposure by up to 90%. We have digital scanners that take impressions with incredible accuracy. We have Cone beam scanning that greatly reduces risks in surgical procedures such as implants. Plus, the traditional porcelain to gold or cast gold crown has become extremely costly simply because gold is so expensive.
My dentist seems to have the same equipment... been going there for years. I suppose his maintenance or facility expenses could have increased.

Quote:
Originally Posted by novaman View Post
......
Labor costs are also an issue in dentistry. There has been a shortage of dental hygienists for several decades and it is not getting any better, so by law of supply and demand their salaries are quite high.

All this costs money. Add to that the large increase in the number of malpractice lawsuits being filed against dentists these past few years and you see why the prices keep going up.

Dentistry has also had to deal with poor reimbursements from insurance companies that continue to get worse. There are many plans that pay at rates so low that the dentist is actually losing money on the procedures, which puts pressure on them to upsell or cross sell other procedures.
This could be part of it.
__________________
chinaco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2011, 06:16 PM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: North of Montana
Posts: 2,753
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoDaresWins View Post

My only complaint with my dentist is that he does not have a waiting room well-stocked with trashy magazines. I like to look at People and Us and stuff I won't subscribe to but like to read (ha,ha National Enquirer would be good, too). Instead he has an array of uplifting self-improvement books and some coffee table type books with beautiful photographs.
The only complaint I have with my dentist is that he died in September (at 53). He was also a friend.
__________________
There are two kinds of people in the world: those who can extrapolate conclusions from insufficient data and ..
kumquat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2011, 06:30 PM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Pittsburgh, PA suburbs
Posts: 1,769
Quote:
Originally Posted by kumquat View Post
The only complaint I have with my dentist is that he died in September (at 53). He was also a friend.
I am sorry to hear this. A good friend is most precious. In recent years I have learned to value friendship more highly than almost anything else in life.
__________________
WhoDaresWins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2011, 08:40 PM   #10
Recycles dryer sheets
Arnie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 230
Interesting topic. I'll need to get dental insurance (or self insure?) later this year when I retire.
__________________

Arnie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2011, 08:54 PM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Rustic23's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Lake Livingston, Tx
Posts: 3,624
No dental insurance here, and I don't think our dentist accepts insurance anyway. He is expensive, but, the last time I went there for a crown there was no pain at all. I really don't make paying the little extra. I would rather dance naked in a herpetarium than go to the dentist!
__________________
If it is after 5:00 when I post I reserve the right to disavow anything I posted.
Rustic23 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2011, 09:15 PM   #12
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 589
Went to the dentist last week (no cavities for once ). Price went up $3 this year, from $170 to $173 for a cleaning+examination+x-rays. I shopped around a tiny bit when I went off insurance for my dentist, but not much. There were drastic differences in what different dentists charged, and this one was reasonable.
__________________
plex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2011, 09:41 PM   #13
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: VA
Posts: 923
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnie View Post
Interesting topic. I'll need to get dental insurance (or self insure?) later this year when I retire.
There's no such thing as dental "insurance"....only pre-paid dental plans. Most are a waste of money.
__________________
Disclaimer - I am an independent insurance agent. If the above message contains insurance-related content, it is NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient depending on specific circumstances. Don't rely on it for any purpose. I do encourage you to consult an independent agent for insurance-related advice if you have a question that is specific in nature.
dgoldenz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2011, 02:54 PM   #14
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Mulligan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 7,382
Went in for my first retirement dental check up without my company dental insurance. They said I didn't need xrays this time. Cost for the cleaning was $70. Will be $140 with the X-rays. I go every 6months but thinking about every 12 now I'm paying for it. Any opinions from anyone on how often you go? I don't want to waste money, but my teeth are one of the remaining things on my body that doesn't seem to be deteriorating!
__________________
Mulligan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2011, 03:43 PM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,871
I go every 6 months but they do X-rays only once per year, in April.

The exam, cleaning, X-rays, and one small filling cost me $335. At this point, with all the big stuff out of the way, the only extra work I need are fillings which are small ones. If I am cavity-free, which happens maybe 1/3 of the time now, and I don't need X-rays, then I can escape with a total bill under $200 ($145 the last 2 times this happened in 2008 and 2009).

My dentist and his staff are very friendly and compassionate. He makes great effort to minimize any discomfort and warns his staff, especially any new assistants, to be careful with me. It is tough to put a price tag on such treatment.
__________________
Retired in late 2008 at age 45. Cashed in company stock, bought a lot of shares in a big bond fund and am living nicely off its dividends. IRA, SS, and a pension await me at age 60 and later. No kids, no debts.

"I want my money working for me instead of me working for my money!"
scrabbler1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2011, 04:00 PM   #16
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 229
We moved 3 years ago and I had to leave the dentist I had for over 35 years. Until I retired I had dental insurance and rarely had to pay the dentist out of pocket. I have no insurance now, the new dentist is very high tech. Recently I had a filling replaced; he does not use gold but a type of resin. Cost: $200! I was shocked! He does give a 10 percent discount for cash payment.
__________________
Glo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2011, 04:18 PM   #17
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 123
When I lost my dental insurance at ER, I talked to my dentist and hygienist, asked if it was OK to go to a yearly rather than twice yearly cleaning. They said as long as I was extra diligent with at-home care it was OK.

I just had my annual cleaning and the hygienist gave me a few spots to watch for tartar buildup and set my next appointment for a year out. The charge was $135 for the cleaning and what seemed like a thorough checkup with the dentist. I asked them to defer x-rays and they were fine with it.
__________________
Mmm Rrr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2011, 06:04 PM   #18
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
braumeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Northern Kentucky
Posts: 8,619
For a couple of decades in the military, the routine was to see the dentist every year. In the couple of decades since retiring, I've kept that practice. Dentist sends a reminder postcard every six months, but I ignore them and simply make my annual appointment every summer. No problems. I always get praised at the checkup, because I'm good about flossing and brushing. Aside from unusual things like a crown falling off or a broken tooth, I think annual checkups are just fine. That practice has worked for me for nearly half a century.
__________________
Pas de lieu Rhône que nous.
braumeister is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2011, 07:16 PM   #19
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
NW-Bound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 19,432
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoDaresWins View Post
My only complaint with my dentist is that he does not have a waiting room well-stocked with trashy magazines...
Both my dentist and the former orthodontist for my children had yachting magazines in their waiting rooms. Expensive, luxurious yachts! That told me something right there. Darn!
__________________
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leon Trotsky
NW-Bound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2011, 12:26 PM   #20
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
easysurfer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 7,896
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoDaresWins View Post
...
My only complaint with my dentist is that he does not have a waiting room well-stocked with trashy magazines....
Okay..reminds of a Seinfeld episode where his dentist stocked Penthouse magazine... Only on Seinfeld...

Back to the topic on hand, I had dental insurance on my own shortly after I retired but since has dropped that and just pay by myself. It really didn't seem to make financial sense (those deductibles and yearly limits and waiting periods, plus just the premium put me about $500 in the hole at the start of the year). My dentist is in the AARP plan, so when I reach that magical age , maybe I'll take another look then at dental insurance.

In the meantime, I consider my HSA my dental insurance reimbursing myself from the HSA funds each year. Good to know at least there is a tax benefit with these funds.

Got a dental visit tomorrow and expect pretty big upcoming expenses
__________________

__________________
Have you ever seen a headstone with these words
"If only I had spent more time at work" ... from "Busy Man" sung by Billy Ray Cyrus
easysurfer is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Dental Implants? Pete Health and Early Retirement 20 06-14-2010 09:36 AM
Dental Discount mickeyd Health and Early Retirement 1 01-30-2010 04:28 PM
Average Dental Costs NYEXPAT Health and Early Retirement 40 08-28-2009 10:46 AM
Dental Costs ferco Other topics 18 06-15-2006 08:20 PM
Dental Insurance? jj Life after FIRE 19 11-22-2005 01:08 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:08 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.