Monday, March 17, 2008

I am so in the wrong profession!

Today was my 6th trip to the dentist since the beginning of January. All the kids needed checkups (and a few fillings) and the older kids needed cleanings. I had a checkup and cleaning too. Today it was for Simon and he had both a checkup and a cleaning. I'm sure that my eyes bugged out of my head when the receptionist told me the amount.

The fee breakdown is such
  1. check up- $31
  2. two x-rays- $26
  3. Cleaning- one unit- $49
  4. Cleaning -one half unit- $24
  5. Polishing- one unit- $23
  6. fluoride treatment- $21

I asked about the whole half unit thing and it is measured in 15 minute increments. As in for 15 minutes of cleaning is $49!!! The polishing takes less than 2 minute. Talk about a good hourly wage. Can anyone tell me if this is typical? My old dentist was in an accident and couldn't work as many hours so sold his practice to a new younger dentist. And the priced have sky rocketed! A check up used to be $20 and I wasn't charged a "new patient fee" when I brought in the kids for the first time. Nicole's first check up was last year and I was dinged with a $50 new patient fee! I can understand if you were transferring from some other dentist and had a history of dental problems but to peek into the mouth of a 3 year old and charging $80? I am not impressed. The first time that I went in for a cleaning, it was $72 all included. I know that she probably has some bills to pay off, but really! I'm just glad that we have coverage.

So when I got home from my very expensive dental trip, I made some new stitch markers. I found some shell beads and love them. Nicole helped me by putting on the smaller beads.


DaviMack said...

That doesn't sound right. I've had fillings done which cost far less than what you're seeing for just a cleaning! Of course, there's the US dollar vs Canadian dollar thing, but ... still, a dentist in the Sonoma Valley shouldn't be cheaper than one up there, should they?

Of course, dentistry is the profession with the most suicides - apparently it's a bit stressful, being bitten, hated, and feared. Also, plenty of dentists go into it because they couldn't get into medicine, which isn't a good thing, either. Sad. Literally.

B said...

That's completely in line with what I pay at Dr. Steeves. Luckily for us, Blue Cross pays out a lot of it.

Kansas A said...

Holy cow! I can't believe that you had to pay a "new patient fee." Over here in BC the first check-up for kids is free! Both my kids and Hubby are under Indian Status medical/dental but I'm not and I think my last cleaning/checkup was 35 dollars, they combine it into one. Hubby had to have a molar tooth extracted while he was home just last week and because he had already had one "emergency" in the past year he had to pay for the visit, total cost: $28.00. I think I'd be checking other dentists in your area.

Christine said...

That's about what we pay up here in Ottawa too. Except we never paid a new patient fee. Instead, we had to have the full x-ray on our first visit (the one where they clamp your head in the machine which pivots around from ear to ear). That X-ray was about 100$ if I recall. I understood the full X-ray is mandatory for first time patients for the morbid reason of dental identification.

Anonymous said...

I think that greed is ruining what used to be an honorable profession.
I never like going to the dentist but I like the other dentist better, He was more reasonable. I agree with Jackie that this new woman dentist is really pushing to make money. I decided that I would cancel my appointment the last time I was in because I quickly took a dislike to her greed. I simply called and said that I couldn't come in the day before and that I would make an appointment at a later date, and just did not call back.


Christine said...

Your new dentist seems a bit, um, shady. I haven't met a dentist who charges for a teeth cleaning in time units? Whacky.

Rhonda the Stitchingnut said...

In time units? Good Lord. Well Dentist are pretty expensive here in Massachusetts also, but I have insurance. But even with that, I think some Dentist's take advantage and charge higher to get what the insurance agrees to and more from you. My DH had a tooth break that a denture is attached too. He was given the estimate to fix it (it involves 2 teeth) $5,000.00. The insurance will pay $2,000. DH said "WHAT?" ... highway robbery.