Remember last summer when I had some dental stuff pop up?
I never gave details before, but I went in for a routine cleaning and was told I’d need a new front tooth because my root was dead. The dentist recommended getting 6 porcelain veneers to remedy the situation. (Note: this was the first time I’d ever gone to that dentist, and I had selected them because they had a new patient special).
Well, I thought that was total crap. Instead, I decided to seek a second opinion. But, before going in, I chipped a back tooth. I’m so glad I went for the second opinion because the new dentist was awesome! He did an exam and x-rays for free and suggested that for the front tooth we take the “wait and see” approach because, although the root was dead, there was no sign of decay. He also said that IF further action needed to be taken, that the best thing to do would be a root canal and a single cap (a far cry from the 6 porcelain veneers the last dentist recommended!)
Anywho, I did need to get a filling on my chipped tooth to protect it from potential cavities but that was it, and cost a grand total of $171 (we don’t have dental insurance and pay out-of-pocket).
It’s now been 7 months and is time for another teeth cleaning.
This time around, I started by checking out a bunch of the dental discount plans in my area. Only….I wasn’t really thrilled with any of them.
The one that sounded best “on paper” I found out had TERRIBLE patient-reviews. Like, an average of 1 star out of 5. Plus it was clear across town.
Then I looked up one that’s nearby with better reviews, but the prices really didn’t seem that great and they don’t have a pediatric dentist for the girls (they really need to start going to the dentist soon!)
The dental discount plan is 100% worth the money if I can get hubs to go, but this month has been insane with his schedule. And its really not that great of a deal if it’s just me and I’m going just for a cleaning. After talking about it with hubs, we decided that I’ll pay out-of-pocket for a cleaning this month, and we’ll look back at dental discount programs next month. Hubs promises to make it a priority to get to the dentist next month. (He’s one of those people who needs some time to wrap his mind around the idea of going to the dentist – he’s never been a big fan.) Stay tuned next month for my “Year of Becoming Adults: April Update” >>>hopefully I can report on hubs having completed some much needed dental work!
Anyway, given my pleasant experience last time with dentist #2, I decided just to go back there. I figured most teeth cleanings are in the $100-$150ish range so I anticipated an expense of that size (and right now we have plenty of dental savings to cover it). But when I called and scheduled the appointment, I decided to ask the receptionist about it just so I would know up-front what to expect.
And guess what….
Apparently they have a deal going on right now for an x-ray, exam, and cleaning for $50 for new patients. Now, I’m not new, and they’ve already given me an x-ray and exam (for free last time!!!), but they said they’d honor the discount and give me the cleaning for only $50!! Can you believe it?! Oh, how I wish this dentist participated in a dental discount program because they are awesome – from the dentist to the staff – they are all so friendly and accommodating!
At least I’ll be getting my cleaning this time around for a reasonable price. Who knows what’ll happen next time around (dental discount plan? Out-of-pocket?)
But it just goes to show – never hurts to ask about prices!
Have you ever saved money by simply asking for a better price? If you pay out-of-pocket, about how much did you spend on dental care last year?