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Uninformed Professional Dental Fees

Just the other day I was talking to my mom who mentioned that she recently got a filling for her back tooth and wasn’t too concerned about fees as she had well over $500 that would still be covered under a dental plan. However, she then received a phone call from the dental office mentioning that she owed them $25 for the filling.

Apparently what happened was that fillings come in various colors. In this case, the dentist opted to go with a white filling without asking as oppose to a grey one. For one reason or another the white one is not covered under an insurance plan. Hence, my mom owes them $25 for it.

She is pretty outraged over that not so much at the $25, but how the dentist did not inform her of this as I’m pretty sure details like these are not in people’s minds when they go to the dentist. Especially in cases where the person assumes that they will be warned if it wouldn’t be covered under one’s insurance plan.

I guess there is not much you can do in this situation unless you truly want to go above and beyond to dispute it. My only suggestion was to make a complaint and just tell them that she won’t be going back again. Similar like with any business, it’s up to them to determine if that $25 fee is worth the loss of a client afterwards. But, I guess that is a lesson to always ask regardless if you have insurance.

dental fees, insurance, fillings

Comments to Uninformed Professional Dental Fees

  • I’ve had this happen to me before. Apparently, just about everyone gets the white filling nowadays, because cosmetically, it looks much better. If the tooth is in the back, it may not matter as much. I don’t think it’s the dentist’s fault entirely, though, because most insurance policies actually do cover white fillings completely, and it’s difficult for a dentist’s office to keep track of what is covered and what isn’t by each insurance policy. Blame it on the system.

    joewatch 9/26/2008 6:12 am
  • I am in charge of dental insurance billing for a dentist. We submit claims to over 200 dental plans. Each year those plans are altered. Employee benefits change usually as companies try to save money. It is difficult to keep on top of these changes unless the patient brings in a copy of their new benefits each year. The insurance companies do not send us a list of changes. About half of the companies we deal with downgrade tooth colored filling to the silver mecury amalgams. Most dentist prefer not to deal with amalgams due to the environment and healt concerns involing mercury. Do not let insurance limits dictate what is the best care for you!

    Marianne 10/27/2008 7:30 am

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