Author Topic: Dispute Dental Charge?  (Read 5581 times)

Geographer

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 147
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Virginia
Dispute Dental Charge?
« on: February 10, 2017, 03:45:20 PM »
I'm new to the whole insurance deal, so I have a question about a recent situation.

I had a routine dental cleaning and check-up last week. The hygienist saw a small spot of decay on one of my wisdom teeth, and snapped a digital photo. When I left they gave me my receipt which included the (1) cleaning, (2) check up, and (3) "2d orthoscopic photo" -- which I thought was kind of strange, but indicated a $0 balance because it was all estimated to be covered by insurance, so I didn't think twice.

However, I just received my Explanation of Benefits from my dental provider, indicating that the $40 for this "2d orthoscopic photo" is not covered, and the patient responsibility will be $40. The cleaning and check up, of course, were covered in full. I haven't yet received my official bill from the dental office, so I may be getting a little ahead of myself.

Will I really have to pay $40 for this? They never even asked if I wanted this done, or told me that it would cost extra! I don't want to be the guy questioning the expense of their every move, but I found this charge a little crazy. Any way to dispute the charge for this "service"? Anybody have a similar situation happen to them?

FIRE me

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1099
  • Location: Louisville, KY
  • So much technology, so little talent.
Re: Dispute Dental Charge?
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2017, 04:05:53 PM »
If the insurance does not cover it, the first step is to contact the insurance company and ask why not?

green daisy

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 107
Re: Dispute Dental Charge?
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2017, 04:32:06 PM »
As a dental hygienist, I have never heard of an office charging for an intraoral photo.  It wouldn't hurt to call and politely ask about the charge. 

marty998

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6433
  • Location: Sydney, Oz
Re: Dispute Dental Charge?
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2017, 04:53:26 AM »
The dentist could probably get a better quality photo from your average smartphone...

I always find it tricky disputing a dental bill. They might put an asterisk next your name and next year get the more painful scaling tools out... ouch.

WildJager

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 439
  • Age: 33
    • Can't complain.
Re: Dispute Dental Charge?
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2017, 06:02:03 AM »
The dentist could probably get a better quality photo from your average smartphone...

I always find it tricky disputing a dental bill. They might put an asterisk next your name and next year get the more painful scaling tools out... ouch.

Haha, I once had a cleaning at the hobbiest chop shop (military dental) and the airman cleaning my teeth must have been having a bad day or something.  She was going to town with the floss.  I kept wincing in pain, and she scorned me and told me to stop moving.  I've never come close to spitting up so much blood after a cleaning before.

Oh well, I'm sure my gums were quite healthy that year after they recovered.

tallen

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 158
Re: Dispute Dental Charge?
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2017, 11:51:31 AM »
I once had a $500+ dentist bill for a check up and cleaning that was supposed to be covered 100% by insurance. They apparently decided to do a whole bunch of xrays that weren't included in the standard check up and not covered by insurance and didn't inform me they where doing extra stuff that would cost me more. Had to file complaints against them with some government agencies (FTC and another one I can't remember at the moment) and they forced them to drop the bill. First and last time visiting that dentist for sure!

Mgmny

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 576
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Northwest 'Burbs of MSP
Re: Dispute Dental Charge?
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2017, 03:15:17 PM »
In my wife and my dealings with our old dentist, good luck. On two storage occasions, they"estimated" our bill to be "X" and it turned out to be "Y" (which was 2-4x "X"). We called each time and complained, and they said that it was just an estimate, and they are not responsible for what the insurance covers. So, we've complained to the insurance, and they said that if the dental practice is doing their due diligence, they just need to type a code into the insurance website, and it automatically spits out the charge. We went back to the dentist on both occasions, and they did something like, "we can't know what the biller used to estimate it, but the insurance isn't covering it so you need to pay."

My advice, ALWAYS ask for the codes before the service and verify with your insurance before consenting.

Johnez

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1074
  • Location: Southern California
Re: Dispute Dental Charge?
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2017, 09:43:42 PM »
Interesting stories, makes me grateful that the only thing ours does is annoy the hell out of us till we show up for our cleanings.

This year I decided to forgo the dental insurance, am wondering how bad off it is to take care of regular stuff like cleanings with cash? I got all my teeth filled last year, figure I'll be fine for a few years in that department.

BlueHouse

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3106
  • Location: WDC
Re: Dispute Dental Charge?
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2017, 05:52:46 AM »
Interesting stories, makes me grateful that the only thing ours does is annoy the hell out of us till we show up for our cleanings.

This year I decided to forgo the dental insurance, am wondering how bad off it is to take care of regular stuff like cleanings with cash? I got all my teeth filled last year, figure I'll be fine for a few years in that department.

I think it depends on your teeth. Some people have very healthy teeth and low incidences of decay compared to others and then the acidity in saliva changes as you age, which makes for less decay as we all age.   For me, I wish I had gone without dental insurance for ages 18-now.

my dentist told me I can go 9 months between cleanings because even if I did have decay, it would be very slow moving. Also - floss every day and brush your gums very gently ( more like a wipe) every day to keep your mouth healthy.

jade

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 200
Re: Dispute Dental Charge?
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2017, 07:38:56 AM »
hiya,

I am based in the UK so don't have the same insurance issues but did have a similar situation of dental work being done without my being asked in advance, recently at a private dentist. My understanding is that they should inform you before work is carried out and give you the chance to agree or disagree to it.

In my case, I complained and it fell on deaf ears but when I said I wanted to leave the practice the manager stepped in and reimbursed the 40. The issue was that my appointment was agreed as complimentary in advance (as i was looking at have teeth whitening and needed this first) but during the examination the dentist felt they had to investigate further which is where the added cost then came in. The point I made to the practice, was that there is still the opportunity to check with the patient that they want that work done, which sounds like should have been the case with you too.

All the best!
« Last Edit: February 13, 2017, 07:40:40 AM by jade »

Spork

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5753
    • Spork In The Eye
Re: Dispute Dental Charge?
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2017, 07:55:28 AM »
Reading a few of these... Some of you guys need to change dentists.  There are some really good old school guys out there.  The charges are understandable and predictable.  And there are a few guys out there that want a treatment plan that is a mile long, complete with a full mouth whitening.

JoJo

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1370
Re: Dispute Dental Charge?
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2017, 01:58:36 PM »
Reading a few of these... Some of you guys need to change dentists.  There are some really good old school guys out there.  The charges are understandable and predictable.  And there are a few guys out there that want a treatment plan that is a mile long, complete with a full mouth whitening.

Agreed.  I decided to drop my company insurance that was costing $240 a year + $5 copays for a very limited network, and the dentists were always claiming I needed deep cleaning or whatever that would get them way more money for larger copays.   Now I found a great dentist and I get a single check up and cleaning once a year for $105.