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Any dentists in the house?

Old 10-14-2020, 09:07 PM
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Default Any dentists in the house?

Been going to the same dentist for 20 years. Originally the father and he retired about 10 years ago and the son has taken over the practice. I more and more get the feeling they are up selling everything. Their reviews online say the same..I know most people just accept the prices and do what the holy dr says. But itís really a business like any other IMO,.. , it seems every time I go in now something I think will be trivial ends up costing Thousands!

Went in today because a filling fell out of the second molar on my upper left. Zero pain or anything else.. After an X-ray I was again told it will need a root canal and a steel reinforced porcelain crown to the tune of $2800 .. looking online that appears to be at the top of the national average. Iím in small town Pennsylvania. They make the crowns in house as well. So itís a one trip visit but just seems like a lot of money... I have always paid cash for dental and only carried medical insurance.

does this sound right to yíall? Would love an experts opinion? Iím thinking about shopping around tomorrow and calling them on the high price for a cash customer. Any dentists with advice can also PM me
Old 10-15-2020, 03:47 AM
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I am also looking for a new dentist I pay cash also Last time in I had broken a molar he ground off the sharp edge put a little epoxy or some. Other filler on it charged 300 bucks . I was in the chair maybe 5 minutes gave me a 2200 dollar estimate to cap it
Old 10-15-2020, 04:02 AM
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We left our dentist a few years ago who wanted to turn a cleaning into a $3000 bill. Then wouldn't clean our teeth unless we paid it. We left.

We found a new one and told them from the start why we left our old one. They are better... but are slowly getting to be the same way. They have a "PPE Fee" now. We told them to call us when the fee is removed. You have to push back.
Old 10-15-2020, 04:14 AM
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Always shop around. A little unrelated but my dog is old and developed terminal cancer. His vet thought it was lupus at first, but diagnosed it with a biopsy and sent me to an oncology referral vet. Cancer was obviously metastatic and he had 2-3 other lesions on his body. The referral vet sees him, tells me she agreed with my vet's diagnosis, chemo would help, and transfers me to the front desk. Their "upsell" guy wants me to pay for $4,500 worth of tests. I got the vet back on the phone, who then agreed the tests were probably unnecessary and we could just go straight to a chemo regimen once a month. Transfers me back to the upsell guy... chemo is $650-750 per treatment.

I wrote up an e-mail with a brief history of my dog's condition, his age and exactly what treatment he needed, and I spammed it out to every vet I could find online that offered oncology service in driving range. One or two got back to me with an estimated cost. I am paying $250 for exactly the same treatment now at a vet across town.
Old 10-15-2020, 04:18 AM
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I had the exact same thing happen 2 weeks ago. Filling fell out of bottom tooth. I went to the place my wife goes and they did xrays. Dentist came in looked at everything and said I should really have a root canal done then a crown. She says we can try just a crown and see how it goes for 1500. So I took the 1500. Option got a temporary put in and no longer problems.
Seems people I talk with say same thing dentists all trying to up sell.
Old 10-15-2020, 04:30 AM
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Have a great local Dentist who also does my implants (if possible) . He is very honest about what needs to be done and what is iffy or cosmetic and deals with insurance well.

But I have heard these stories.

He did tell me that local family dentists cannot make money in small practices give the insurance changes - he did move to the nearest "city" (only 10 miles for us)and is in with several other dentists now. Service is the same for my family anyway.
Old 10-15-2020, 04:35 AM
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My wife is a dental hygienist and she hates the way the dental profession is heading. She says most of the younger generation of dentist she works with only care about money. They have gotten so pushy with dental treatment plans. Seems like most of the dentist who actually care about their patients are retiring.
Old 10-15-2020, 04:37 AM
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I haven't been to the dentist since 1991.
brush floss mouthwash 3 times a day....zero issues....have all my chompers.....dentistdentistry is a racket...but for some essential
Old 10-15-2020, 05:17 AM
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I have a 9.30 today for a crown that fell out yesterday while eating a skittle. Crown plus implant was $5K, one year ago, and I complained that it wasn't right 6 months ago at my semi-annual cleaning. The crown was done by the new hire, as my regular dentist was busy setting up her new pedriatric practice. She (new dentist) ground some crown off and sent me on my way with a "It'll come right."

2 weeks ago, at my next semi-annual cleaning, I complained again, but the new hire was long gone (no-one could tell me why) and I got the new, wet behind the ears, new hire. Cheeky little shit said: "If you were my father, I'd advise you to wait and see." after grinding some more off, and sending me on my way.

Well I demanded to see my regular dentist, the reason I went there in the first place. We are going to have a discussion about who pays to fix this debacle. And about who works in my mouth for future procedures. I'd appreciate all your thoughts and opinions about who should foot today's bill (new crown)
Old 10-15-2020, 05:25 AM
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Get a second opinion. A lot of these practices are being purchased and some of the new owners will make decisions based on profitability.
Old 10-15-2020, 05:49 AM
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Wow....this thread had to come today. I had to have a tooth pulled because it just got bad for some reason. Plan was to extract tooth, pack with bone graft then have a implant where tooth was extracted. I explained to them that i was immunesuppresant, they didn't think it was a big deal. Process was going fine, post for implant was fitted about 7 months ago, went in for a 3 month check up and the post isn't adhering to bone, he said to wait a few more months. Went yesterday and he said its not going to work, we have to remove the post and repack with bone graft. Basically said you're SOL.

So basically around $3K was wasted in the implant attempt. I guess I knew there was a possibility of it not working, I lost.

Another case happened with a another dentist about 3 years ago. New dentist to me, only reason why I went to their office is they accepted my insurance. I fill out all the paperwork go back to examination room in the chair, dentist comes in and checks out my teeth and immediately says, "OMG.....your gums are really reseeding, you need to get them corrected, I'm certified to do this surgical procedure to fix them" I asked how much it was and she said we normally charge $8,000 but I check what it will be with your insurance plan.

One of her assistance comes in and says my insurance won't cover any of it but we can do it today for $4,000 You have to act fast as we're only running this special for a limited time. Need less to say, I never went back and my new dentist has never even mentioned any issues about my gums.

Yes......shop around!!!!!

I'm eventually going to go to another doctor that specialized in implants to get another opinion. I don't really like these dentists that are "Jack of all trades" relating to dentist work.
Old 10-15-2020, 05:51 AM
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Dentist here: I won't comment on treatment plans without seeing the patient first. That said a couple of tips for finding a quality dentist:
1) Call the office and ask if it is owned by the dentist/dentists or a corporation- corporate offices tend to hire dentists with little experience who are coming right out of school and are willing to work for lower wages/long hours. Most of these young dentists are graduating school with enormous loans (500k+) and are highly pressured to try to get patients to accept as much treatment as possible.
2) Call a local periodontist and ask for a referral to a general dentist. They tend to be the OCD types (which I love) and will usually have the names of a handful of local dentists that they have seen consistently high quality work from.
3) In most cases, you pay for what you get in dentistry. Lower cost/in-network offices are cutting a corner somehwere...they have to to survive. I operate my practice as fee for service totally out of network. Our reputation in the area allows us to do this with minimal to no advertising and still stay busy. Most fee for service offices are going to offer a higher level of customer services and higher quality care because they have the time and resources to do so. Some insurance companies are in the process right now of cutting reimbursement rates to in network providers by 10-30% depending on the area. Wonder what happens to a business operating on a 10% margin when they get their reimbursement cut by 30%? Me too....that's why I charge what is needed to do it right the first time and don't let insurance companies dictate what care my patients can receive.
4) If you don't trust your dentist, LEAVE! There are just at many great ones out there as there are terrible ones!!
Old 10-15-2020, 05:51 AM
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Old 10-15-2020, 06:12 AM
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90% of dentistry isnt healthcare, its cosmetics.

you can do without a few teeth. Yes things can move.....slowly. if your 60, does it really matter? No. If your 20...sure.

Implants.....way overpriced. Go to mexico, Cabo and get them. Dental tourism is big. Know ex meth user.....$70k estimate for implants in US.....$30K in mexico.

Root canals......unhealthy. Period. Leaving dead tooth in not good. Your better off without that tooth. Read how root canals harbor bacteria....that affect whole body health. Especially cardiac . Implant better option if you want tooth there.

Dental health, just like whole body health, isnt related to just your mouth. Its mostly diet, overall health, blood chemistry.

The problems with wisdom teeth not fitting into our jaws....is dietary. Well known. Instead of fixing that.....we just pull them. Cavities......are dietary.

One of the things native americans were known for, was PERFECT teeth. No cavities. They had no incidence of carciac, diabetes, european ailments either. The plains indians were also among the tallest people to ever walk earth. The avg Osage man was almost 7ft.

Once introduced to white mans diet, refined flours and sugar, they developed the same afflictions.

Its all diet. Or at least mostly diet. Smoking and drugs, same very negative effects on body....and mouth.







Last edited by mbb; 10-15-2020 at 06:35 AM.
Old 10-15-2020, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by ToothDoc1114 View Post
Dentist here: I won't comment on treatment plans without seeing the patient first. That said a couple of tips for finding a quality dentist:
1) Call the office and ask if it is owned by the dentist/dentists or a corporation- corporate offices tend to hire dentists with little experience who are coming right out of school and are willing to work for lower wages/long hours. Most of these young dentists are graduating school with enormous loans (500k+) and are highly pressured to try to get patients to accept as much treatment as possible.
2) Call a local periodontist and ask for a referral to a general dentist. They tend to be the OCD types (which I love) and will usually have the names of a handful of local dentists that they have seen consistently high quality work from.
3) In most cases, you pay for what you get in dentistry. Lower cost/in-network offices are cutting a corner somehwere...they have to to survive. I operate my practice as fee for service totally out of network. Our reputation in the area allows us to do this with minimal to no advertising and still stay busy. Most fee for service offices are going to offer a higher level of customer services and higher quality care because they have the time and resources to do so. Some insurance companies are in the process right now of cutting reimbursement rates to in network providers by 10-30% depending on the area. Wonder what happens to a business operating on a 10% margin when they get their reimbursement cut by 30%? Me too....that's why I charge what is needed to do it right the first time and don't let insurance companies dictate what care my patients can receive.
4) If you don't trust your dentist, LEAVE! There are just at many great ones out there as there are terrible ones!!
Thanks for the reply.

As mentioned in my original post I had a filling fall out on Saturday. Zero pain of any kind. He said from looking at the X-ray it needs a root canal because he doesnít think he can do another filling without getting to the nerve. I just have to trust thatís the case I guess.

this is a top molar second from the back on the left side. He quoted $2800 for the root canal and crown. They are now making their crowns in house. Hope they are as good as the ones they have had done out of the office.

can you give me a honest answer on if his claim based off X-ray and if his price is reasonable? Iím not dental phobic. I have had several root canals done in the past. I could sleep through them. Iím more questioning the price as well as if he may be doing an expensive fix that isnít needed.

I will get a second opinion.

his practice is privately owned by the way. was his fathers practice originally

just odd how when he was getting divorced I needed expensive work, now after Covid I need expensive work. Lots of new staff there. Seems he lost most of his veteran assistants.
Old 10-15-2020, 06:22 AM
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Originally Posted by fowlhook View Post
Been going to the same dentist for 20 years. Originally the father and he retired about 10 years ago and the son has taken over the practice. I more and more get the feeling they are up selling everything. Their reviews online say the same..I know most people just accept the prices and do what the holy dr says. But it’s really a business like any other IMO,.. , it seems every time I go in now something I think will be trivial ends up costing Thousands!

Went in today because a filling fell out of the second molar on my upper left. Zero pain or anything else.. After an X-ray I was again told it will need a root canal and a steel reinforced porcelain crown to the tune of $2800 .. looking online that appears to be at the top of the national average. I’m in small town Pennsylvania. They make the crowns in house as well. So it’s a one trip visit but just seems like a lot of money... I have always paid cash for dental and only carried medical insurance.

does this sound right to y’all? Would love an experts opinion? I’m thinking about shopping around tomorrow and calling them on the high price for a cash customer. Any dentists with advice can also PM me

Post up your radiograph of the tooth (or PM me) for an educated opinion. Otherwise it's a guess as to what is needed. One thing that doesn't make sense is a same day porcelain fused to metal (PFM) crown. It would be highly unusual for a practice to make a "steel reinforced porcelain crown" in the same day. Lots of practices are doing same day crowns by using zirconia blocks that are milled in a CAD/CAM type machine. Zirconia crowns are superior to a PFM crown in most every way. All porcelain crown in my small town practice is $1075 which is on the low end of the regional average. Don't do root canals but the endodontist I refer to charges about $1200 for a molar root canal so your estimate isn't too far off, especially if they are charging for building up what's left of the natural tooth (sometimes called a build up or post and core).

Anyway, good luck. Just as with any profession or business, not everyone can be lumped in the same basket. I personally try to look out for the patient's pocketbook because I realize treatment can be expensive. My job is to give the patient his/her options of which there are always several, explain each option with advantages and disadvantages and let them make the choice.

Edit: tooth doc has some good points.

OP: A root canal should not be deemed necessary prior to procedure unless the radiograph shows obvious sign of infection (radiolucency at apex of root) or if he did vitality tests that confirm the tooth doesn't have a live nerve or if you have specific symptoms which you said you don't. Of course there may be some unknown. He may have meant, look, there is a chance when I get in there and start cleaning out any decay I may expose the nerve which would then be an indication for a root canal. In that case he may think better to prepare you for that need rather than saying oops, by the way now you need a root canal.

Last edited by bluejack; 10-15-2020 at 06:29 AM.
Old 10-15-2020, 06:40 AM
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I have silver amalgam fillings from the early 80's and they are still doing great, and I even chew ice. The newer resin fillings they put in my children's teeth over the years have not performed well at all, frankly they suck. I have no idea if you can get an old school filling, but I would try to get the same silver filling if one of mine failed.
Old 10-15-2020, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by bluejack View Post

OP: A root canal should not be deemed necessary prior to procedure unless the radiograph shows obvious sign of infection (radiolucency at apex of root) or if he did vitality tests that confirm the tooth doesn't have a live nerve or if you have specific symptoms which you said you don't. Of course there may be some unknown. He may have meant, look, there is a chance when I get in there and start cleaning out any decay I may expose the nerve which would then be an indication for a root canal. In that case he may think better to prepare you for that need rather than saying oops, by the way now you need a root canal.
I don’t have a copy of the X-ray. I suppose I could ask for one.

that section I quoted of yours is what my concern was. No pain at all , zero.. and no he didn’t say I’ll attempt to redo the filling but if I hit nerve we have to do a root canal. He just went straight to root canal based off the X-ray. He has done that probably three other times in the past. Each time I wondered if I really needed it.

ive always thought that none of these procedures last forever. Fillings for as long as you can until a root canal is finally necessary. Crowned teeth also don’t last forever. At 50 years old that crown will likely be done by 60 I would guess. By doing these preventative steps you hope to ride your teeth out as long as you can. Am I wrong in that thinking?

edit.. I just emailed my dentist asking for a copy of the X-ray from yesterday.

Last edited by fowlhook; 10-15-2020 at 07:16 AM.
Old 10-15-2020, 07:51 AM
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I didn't go for a few years after a lifetime of no dental issues, few things to keep an eye on from the old guy. I went to a new guy and all of a sudden I needed a bunch of work, I went along for the first few since I hadn't been and assumed it was time but then said this is dumb. I got another opinion and he said he saw what the other guy is talking about but was a long way from where he would want to do anything about. Been with new guy for probably 6-8yrs now and the only work he has done is fixing the other guy's work.

Get another opinion - probably from a guy that isn't in a brand new building (that he probably has a big nut to cover on). The other thing to watch - is the equipment all bleeding edge tech or just newer stuff. $$$ v. $
Old 10-15-2020, 08:03 AM
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Went to a new dentist a year ago, old dentist retired. My first visit I heard the dentist say to another employee "he has good insurance" When I left that visit that dentist had a 5 year plan to get so many crowns done. Never went back.

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