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Old 03-25-2011, 11:17 AM   #21
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I can only imagine how horrible tooth problems can be for people who are poor.
Poor people use that timeless solution to such problems:

This technique is used world-wide
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Old 03-25-2011, 11:33 AM   #22
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I'll be going in on the 31st to have three chewing teeth pulled, a sinus augmentation, and some bone grafting done as preparation for placing implant posts. Having work done down here in way-not-cheapestan vs by the #@*!~ that did my gal's teeth. This dentist drives a BMW M5; one very well kept & kempt patient last time drove off in a Bentley. The dentist communicates well, which is very good, has a very high peer ranking, and his treatment plan matches that suggested by an even more expensive dentist, soo...

Funny thing though - I've been very direct about wanting to know just what the cost will be - shopping for the best work for the money - value hunting. I haven't haggled, my feeling is people charge what they charge and if I don't like the charge I can and do shop elsewhere. His office offers a 10% discount for payment in full prior to the beginning of treatment - cash, check, or credit card. Well woohoo - me and my PenFed card see an 11% discount coming! Granted, the whole sorry affair will be more than parking a new Nissan Cube in my mouth, but I like to chew food. So I call his office to get the final total cost and make payment and discover that I only need to pay for the first procedure to get the discount on that portion of the total cost. Well okeedokee - what's that cost? A number is given, which is less than expected, so I press for the breakdown, which is given to me. The numbers don't work though - as I press further, through the audible sighs of the office manager, I discover that the numbers quoted are the after 10% discount prices. Only they are not.

Written estimate: $990 - after discount: $900
Written estimate: $825 - after discount: $750

Now I see what is being done - the prices are bumped up 10% before being quoted and then dropped back down the same dollar amount for pre-payment. But that's bad math and it bugs me! 110% of $750=$825, but 90% of $825= $742.50. The question is, do I shame the office manager with a math lesson or do I hold my tongue and figure it's better to have her friendly?
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Old 03-25-2011, 11:33 AM   #23
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Dental hygiene is important but, as Nords points out, genetics does play a role. Some people seem to have teeth with strong enamel that's resistant to cavities. My DD-21 has never had a cavity, and I can't say it's because of rigorous hygiene and careful diet.

I'm fairly meticulous about my teeth, and haven't had any problems except for some old fillings falling out and needing to be replaced. On the other hand, my DH is fairly lax about his teeth, and he required several thousand dollars of dental work last year...mostly due to years of neglect, but also it seems that his entire family has weak teeth.

We looked at buying dental insurance, but after examining the plans (the coverage, the deductibles, and co-pays), we found that we would save money by paying cash.

We've been with the same dentist for years so he knows our family, his work is very good, and his prices are in line with other dentists in the area. As I said, we pay cash...but if it's an expensive procedure (last year DH needed a bridge), he's willing to accept whatever payment plan we need.

When I first started seeing him years ago, I told him that I wanted to be able to eat at apple with my own teeth at 80. He still remembers that, and teases me about it.

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Old 03-25-2011, 11:57 AM   #24
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$2000 for a root canal and crown?? Try $600 in Budapest. My dentist is great and she now accepts the fact that I need lots of Novocain. Initially, she wanted to try on my crown without it. no, no, no

For the same amount you can take a vacation to come here and get it done.


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Good as any place to post.

Have been having minor pain in a tooth, I know it is like a plumbing leak in that it will only get worse.

Called dentist yesterday, left message, office called back early today to come in this afternoon.

So have prescription for antibiotics and appointment for root canal (my first).

I think we're talking $2000 for root canal and crown.

I can afford it.

I can only imagine how horrible tooth problems can be for people who are poor.

I have paid for tooth care for some people.
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:00 PM   #25
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I would think you want to be friendly with the dentist not the office manager. In any case wait until the work is done before giving any kind of lessons...but then, it is just the coward talking in me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by calmloki View Post
I'll be going in on the 31st to have three chewing teeth pulled, a sinus augmentation, and some bone grafting done as preparation for placing implant posts. Having work done down here in way-not-cheapestan vs by the #@*!~ that did my gal's teeth. This dentist drives a BMW M5; one very well kept & kempt patient last time drove off in a Bentley. The dentist communicates well, which is very good, has a very high peer ranking, and his treatment plan matches that suggested by an even more expensive dentist, soo...

Funny thing though - I've been very direct about wanting to know just what the cost will be - shopping for the best work for the money - value hunting. I haven't haggled, my feeling is people charge what they charge and if I don't like the charge I can and do shop elsewhere. His office offers a 10% discount for payment in full prior to the beginning of treatment - cash, check, or credit card. Well woohoo - me and my PenFed card see an 11% discount coming! Granted, the whole sorry affair will be more than parking a new Nissan Cube in my mouth, but I like to chew food. So I call his office to get the final total cost and make payment and discover that I only need to pay for the first procedure to get the discount on that portion of the total cost. Well okeedokee - what's that cost? A number is given, which is less than expected, so I press for the breakdown, which is given to me. The numbers don't work though - as I press further, through the audible sighs of the office manager, I discover that the numbers quoted are the after 10% discount prices. Only they are not.

Written estimate: $990 - after discount: $900
Written estimate: $825 - after discount: $750

Now I see what is being done - the prices are bumped up 10% before being quoted and then dropped back down the same dollar amount for pre-payment. But that's bad math and it bugs me! 110% of $750=$825, but 90% of $825= $742.50. The question is, do I shame the office manager with a math lesson or do I hold my tongue and figure it's better to have her friendly?
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Old 03-29-2011, 07:59 PM   #26
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So this morning the root canal office person called and said they had an appointment available at 3PM (I had asked to be informed if they had a cancellation).
I must say I was shaking a little bit when I showed up.
The staff were knowledgeable and efficient and had good 'bedside manner'.
The endodontist was very good at setting me at ease and explaining stuff and answering questions.
I joked with him that this was not on my 'bucket list'.

There was very little pain, but the smells and sounds were something else.

I have a previous appointment with dentist for cleaning on Friday.

Have a follow-up appointment with endo for next week; then need appointment with dentist to put on crown.

Tooth #13; took about an hour; $935 (paid half, pay other half in two months); bought extra-strength Tylenol and some ibuprofen, as recommended, haven't needed them.

I'm in no pain whatsoever.
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Old 03-29-2011, 08:23 PM   #27
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Really liked my first dentist that I had when I lived in San Diego. After a year or so, he decided that he would not accept our dental insurance from Megacorp. Cash only. Aiming toward the more well healed customers I guess.
Second dentist was pretty good and was willing to accept insurance. The office did not work on Friday or the weekend. Seemed to be the trend there. This put a crimp in my style because I had every next friday off but I still had to take a sick day to get in to see him.

In another city, I asked my dentist if he would give a discount for cash payment. He said that non-insurance customers would pay more, not less.
I like my current dentist. Cash basis. I trust his work.

We have had bad experiences with using dentists without a good recommendation.
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Old 03-29-2011, 08:49 PM   #28
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In another city, I asked my dentist if he would give a discount for cash payment. He said that non-insurance customers would pay more, not less.
I wonder what the reason was, other than that the dentist was a fool!

At nearly all the dentist offices I have been in, the number of clerical staff to handle paper work is about the same as that of the technical staff. Apparently, haggling with the insurance companies takes a lot of time, and money. I would expect the dentist to appreciate not having to deal with insurance, and at least would charge the same for cash, not more!

There are dentists on this forum, perhaps they can shed a light.
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Old 03-29-2011, 08:50 PM   #29
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I have a very good dentist; have been going to him for many years since he first bought the practice from previous dentist.

Did not feel I was in any position to haggle.

He drives (drove) a Porsche (more than 20 years old).

I've had six xrays in the last week.
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:45 PM   #30
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I had a root canal done last year and the cost was close to $2000. I paid about $500 out of pocket.

I was under the impression my dentist would be doing it but when I got there I find an unknown assistant was doing it. I was concerned but did not say anything.

The crown came off in less than eight months. I was told it could not be put back and that I would have to get an implant. Very expensive. So now one tooth is costing me and my insurance company close to $4000.

When I first got the crown the dentist told me not to eat on that side for a while and I didn't. In fact I quit eating on that side all togther because the crown was so loose and painful. From day one I kept calling and even went back for them took at it. The same assistant dentist agreed it was loose but I should give it more time to bond. It had already been four months. They want to blame it on my eating wrong but that's not true.

This is just to say always be sure of the credentials of whoever is doing the work on your mouth, follow all instructions closely and don't be afraid to ask questions.

Good luck to the OP with his procedure but he seems to have a good and competent dentist so he'll be okay.

April
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:01 PM   #31
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The crown came off in less than eight months. I was told it could not be put back and that I would have to get an implant. Very expensive. So now one tooth is costing me and my insurance company close to $4000.
Trying to look on the bright side, my dental insurance will not pay for implants (which my dentist says would cost me $4500 each), so if the bad crown work made the implant medically necessary and that's why the insurance will pay for at least some of it, maybe you got a nice bargain.
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Old 04-05-2011, 04:40 PM   #32
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Update: haven't needed any pain killers; went to endontist for checkup today; he says everything looks OK; will go to regular dentist next week for reconstruction of crown.

Getting old sucks.
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Old 04-05-2011, 04:57 PM   #33
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Just got my cleaning done. Fewer dental problems is an unexpected benefit of no longer eating sugar.

If you don't have many problems, ask your dentist to put you on a 9 month sched instead of a 6 month.

I've always had pain when the hygienist chips away plaque on the inside of my front lower teeth. I mentioned that and she put some topical anesthetic, and there was almost no pain. I wish I'd about that 20 years ago.
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Old 04-05-2011, 05:02 PM   #34
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Just got my cleaning done. Fewer dental problems is an unexpected benefit of no longer eating sugar.

If you don't have many problems, ask your dentist to put you on a 9 month sched instead of a 6 month.

I've always had pain when the hygienist chips away plaque on the inside of my front lower teeth. I mentioned that and she put some topical anesthetic, and there was almost no pain. I wish I'd about that 20 years ago.
Cleaning last Friday.
Gave up sugar years ago.
Still have enough buildup to need 6 months; was on 4 month schedule for several years.
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Old 04-05-2011, 05:08 PM   #35
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Wow, how do you all give up sugar? Do you substitute more of some other kind of sweet? Or just tough it out?

Amethyst
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Old 04-05-2011, 05:20 PM   #36
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Thanks to the recent teeth threads, I have developed a paranoia about my teeth. Never had put any thought to them falling apart or having cavities. Haven't had a problem in over 30 years, I guess I'm lucky....so far. Drink regular sodas with daily candy fix. I do try to brush 3x a day and floss with cavity rinse. Maybe that helps some.
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Old 04-05-2011, 05:43 PM   #37
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Kahn, for that kind of money you can do what my wife did. In Costa Rica the root-canal was $250. We spent another $1500 on vacation . She's very happy with the work compared with Chicago quote.
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Old 04-05-2011, 06:03 PM   #38
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Wow, how do you all give up sugar? Do you substitute more of some other kind of sweet? Or just tough it out?

Amethyst
Only use sweeteners (sugar or whatever is available) when I have coffee, and that is only 2 or 3 times a year.
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Old 04-05-2011, 06:04 PM   #39
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Wow, how do you all give up sugar? Do you substitute more of some other kind of sweet? Or just tough it out?

Amethyst
Can't answer for AL, but I fix something sweet (usually with Stevia) about once a month. The rest of the time it doesn't even cross my mind.

I believe that carbs in general and sweets in particular are almost unique in the way that they stmulate cravings. I used to crave ice cream after work, and cookies or donuts or tortes on Saturday morning. Gone, and I doubt it can return if I do not return to eating that stuff.

You just have to keep at it long enough to break the back of the addiction.

Ha
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Old 04-05-2011, 06:14 PM   #40
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Can't answer for AL, but I fix something sweet (usually with Stevia) about once a month. The rest of the time it doesn't even cross my mind.

I believe that carbs in general and sweets in particular are almost unique in the way that they stmulate cravings. I used to crave ice cream after work, and cookies or donuts or tortes on Saturday morning. Gone, and I doubt it can return if I do not return to eating that stuff.

You just have to keep at it long enough to break the back of the addiction.

Ha
Truly. I have to stay away from carbs for the most part. When visitor left, I sent much carbs home with him.
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