6.01.2011

You Don't Always Get What YOU Pay For ...

When I approached the receptionists desk to check-out at the pediatric dentist's office today, I was assured that they would bill my insurance.

Of course, that's AFTER I pay the charges in full ...

... to the tune tune of $804!


Did you hear that? EIGHT HUNDRED FOUR DOLLARS!!


With my mouth agape, I slowly pulled out my credit card, and handed it over to the receptionist. I tried not to shake my head too hard. To look too shell shocked. To puke.

But seriously? For $804, they should be sending me home with someone to help brush and floss their teeth twice a day.

No, seriously.

Sure, I understand that the prices we paid overseas were ridiculously inexpensive. Even by India's standards. But a $92 charge for each girl to establish us as new patients ... when all we needed to was to scrape a little tartar off of Riley's teeth and remind Sheridan how to brush correctly ... seemed ludicrous.

I will admit that the office was pretty cool. One big room with four chairs lined up next to each other for the kids to get their teeth cleaned. Large monitors for the hygienists to look at their x-rays. And flat screen TV's above each chair for the kids to watch.

This type of relaxing environment would have been a great place to have taken the kids back. Not only were the hygienists thorough, but the dentist actually took a lot of time discussing the complexity of the girls' future orthodontic treatments.

After closer inspection of the statement, I'll concede that the prices were fairly reasonable. I think. Though, I'm sure that our insurance won't cover more than a wee portion of the total bill.

Which sucks because it looks like I just paid for at least two of their office TV's. And I really could have used at least one of them in our new home.




It's a good thing that the 'toothbrush' and 'oral hygiene instruction' were included in the price. Can you imagine the dialogue I would have had if they assigned a price?
I'm quite sure it would have contained MANY four letter words ...

14 comments:

Christy said...

Those are some cool dentist's chairs! But man, that was an expensive bill - I hope insurance pays for more than a few bucks!

OHmommy said...

Ped dentists are good for someone that is experiencing dental issues. You are paying a lot more overhead with them.

I don't know of many dentist that charge for oral hygiene education and toothbrushes and new patient. Those are generally free. At least they are in our neck of the woods. If every dentist in CA is charging for those then I need to talk to my dentist-husband about moving there. LOL.

Mom24 said...

Holy Smokes! We go to an excellent pediatric dentist, but the only time our bill was anywhere near that was when Jacob had to be put to sleep to have cavities filled when he was 3. (Yes, he has awful teeth, which thankfully have gotten much better.)

I think I would have waited the couple of months until you were in VA. If you have to pay to be established as a new patient, it might as well have been someplace you're going to stay for a while!

Ouch!

amy said...

Holy crap! I am reading this as I am about to go to the dentist and wow..makes me nervous. But I am in the same neck of the woods as Ohmommy so I know it isn't as much as yours but...wow.

Kat said...

OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I think after that bill I'd just tell my kids that they had better brusht their teeth really well cuz that is their LAST dentist visit. ;)

Bethany and Will said...

I'm crossing my fingers and toes you'll come out even. Most insurance companies will cover MOST if not all of a yearly cleaning. Even our crappy insurance from AT&T (yes - even big corps have crappy "consumer-based" aka "pay out your nose" insurance) pays most of a pediatric dentist visit.

DelhiBound said...

DUDE ...

for $804, you could afford to have THREE ayahs, THREE drivers, ....

(on and on)

I think you have sticker shock?

Issas Crazy World said...

I hate the dentist. Hate.

That's a bit over the top. Even half of that would have been high.

Jen said...

We just did the same thing...not quite as pricey, but still insane and we got the same thing you did! I'd say thank God for FSAFEDs, except they rejected half the claims and radaition co-insurance will eat up most of our remaining balance for the year...*sigh*

Jack said...

That is craziness. I'd bring home a hygienist for a week.

Shannon said...

I don't think I should have read this. All three of my boys are schedules for dental three days after arriving in the states. I can already feel my bank account hemorrhaging.

Kate said...

Here's one way we save money at the dentist (this will make me look like a TERRIBLE mom, but I'm okay with that). We've told our kids that any time they get a cavity it comes out of THEIR pocket, because it's their job to take good care of their own teeth. They have all become obsessive teeth cleaners. In fourteen years, not one cavity, except for one little surface spot caused by braces. When the dentist asked my son if he wanted novacaine before he smoothed it out, my son said, "does it cost extra?" I was never prouder (I also paid for that one since it wasn't dental hygiene that caused it). Now, one of my kids doesn't give a rat's ass about money, and spends every cent she has on stuffed animals, so with her I tell her she'll have to give me 8 Webkinz if she gets a cavity, so I can sell them to pay for it. I know, Mother of the Year.

Chiloe said...

Why are complaining? You got 2 free toothbrushes !!! lol Seriously, I always thought the prices in the US were were too high. In France, I pay 22 Euros for each kids visit to the dentist. My 3 kids don't have decays. For that price , you could have gone to Mexico, enjoy the sun and get a dentist visit ! lol Hope your insurance will be nice with you ;-)

Heidi said...

It's outrageous, isn't it? It gets really price-y here too. But it's not like I can't have their teeth cleaned. In fact, Ben is going in for some fillings for over 500 dollars. Seriously.

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