Cost of dental work?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by witzend, May 14, 2014.

  1. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Has anyone had to have a crown (or cap) lately and can you tell me how much it cost after insurance?

    Also has anyone had to have fillings lately, and who much did that cost after insurance?

    husband needs 3 crowns and 4 fillings, and I need a crown. Long story short, our "out of network" dentist (I didn't realize he was out of network until all the work came up) has offered to negotiate a price and want to know what to expect before I go in the door. I'm hoping that he will offer the price he negotiated with his preferred insurance plans. We're still paying off my hospital bills from last August & will be for a while, so whatever we do will have to be on a payment plan as well.

    husband 's insurance is out of state, so the only dentists on his plan HERE are transitory & in assembly line type practices and that terrifies me. The last time anyone did any real work on my teeth was at one of those and it ended with an abscess under a new crown from a botched root canal that required oral surgery to complete the root canal from inside the mouth underneath my jaw. Not the best diet I was ever on, and not something that I ever want to go through again!

  2. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Gee, I think the last crown I had done was over $1000. It may have been $1200. I think my insurance paid for half. Fillings are maybe $150 for a single, probably more if it involves more sides of the tooth itself. I think my plan pays for the fillings, it pays for up to $1000 annually after the deductible. I believe it pays 80%. My SO's plan is $2000 per year, he has a better plan.

    Let us know how it may be cheaper there then it is in CA. My mother lives in North Carolina and except for food, everything is less expensive.
  3. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My dentist charges $1200 for a crown and my insurance pays half of that. The first cleaning each year is free (paid for by insurance) and I think that the cavities are covered at 80%. I know that there is a cap buy I don't remember what it is.

  4. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    My insurance is just like Kathy's and it's capped at 1000 per year ie: after they've paid $1000, they won't pay another penny,
  5. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    husband and I talked about this last night some more. I will meet with the lady at the Dentist office but only to confirm what I think I already know. The fillings he wants to replace show no sign of decay, and the cracks in our teeth may not ever become an issue. I'll get the pricing sorted out, but there is no way that we are getting any preventative work done on our teeth on credit or a payment system. Period. I told him the first time I saw him that we will always take a conservative approach and will never pull a filling before it fails. Honestly I don't like that he has put us in this position. He's talking about $5,000 worth of dental work!
  6. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I've had this issue with both myself and my granddaughter. It seems that the "new" dentistry is about movie star smiles not simply repairing what is broken. I shopped around for a long time and asked a lot of people before I found what is considered an "old fashioned dentist" who simply checks your teeth and reports what needs to be done without the redoing of your entire mouth.

    My SO had one of those dentists and after the evaluation it was 3 plans all ranging in price from $10,000 to $20,000. He went to my old fashioned dentist who told him all of that work is elective not necessary and he gave him a different approach which is over time and will be maybe $3000. And, it is all up to my SO how he wants to do it.

    I took my granddaughter to 2 orthodontists because she had ONE tooth that was a little crooked. The rest of her mouth is literally a million dollar smile. One was $1400 over a two year period with a retainer, the other was $10,000 for a full mouth of braces and then more on top of that after the initial phase, ending up to about $20,000. Even my granddaughter when we left that office said, "what a ripoff, I don't need full braces!"

    So, I am a believer in shopping around. I found the perfect dentist, capable, well trained, a gentleman who still believes in health care as opposed to getting as much money as he possibly can from each patient.
  7. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I had a dentist tell me 26 years ago that I needed crowns for all of my teeth with fillings because the teeth would crack because of the large fillings. I told him that I would wait until that happened. Guess what . . . 26 years later none of them have cracked.

    My current dentist sometimes suggests a crown for a tooth or two and I just smile and say maybe next time. He definitely does not push the issue.

    Witz, could you get a second or third opinion?

  8. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I'm with you, Kathy. No crowns for us. Instead of going in and meeting with the lady today, I called and told her that she needed to get pre-authorization from my insurance company and then we could talk about the prices. Our insurance will pay 80% of the allowable cost of fillings, 50% of the allowable cost on crowns. The overage on allowable would be on us.

    I'm rather skeptical about husband's fillings, as well. Somehow they talked him into a panoramic x-ray. All a panoramic x-ray does is show your head with teeth in it! They've never done a full set on either of us. I asked her how she knew that he had four teeth with decay if they hadn't done the correct x-rays, and she said that they had seen the decay on the bitewings in October, but you can only see decay between teeth on a bitewing, you need to do a periapical xray to see it within the teeth. They want to re-do or add to all four upper molars on the right side. That just doesn't seem right, and I suspect that next year he will "need" four more on the other side which is where they want to do 3 crowns.

    husband & I both have huge fillings in our molars. Most of mine have been there for over 40 years. Our old dentist always just "watched them". About 25 years ago we did have one dentist replace all of my amalgams on one side with white fillings but I could care less and it cost a fortune! I read him the riot act when I figured out that our insurance didn't cover it. Better not to stir things up at this point in the life of my teeth in my humble opinion.
  9. mom_to_3

    mom_to_3 Active Member

    One of my daughters is a dental hygienist. I've learned a lot from her and she guides me thru the dental jungle. Let's just say be very informed and hold your money close to your chest. Dentistry is a business......... period.

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  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    I hate dentists. You probably remember that I have had problems with my teeth in the past because of two reasons. One I smoke and the other is all the medications I take. I finally had all of mine pulled over the last two years and was thrilled when my dentist said he would make my dentures. Well I have never been able to wear those dentures! The top ones are way too big for my mouth. I cant even close my lips around them, much less drink or anything like that. I waited too long to go back and complain. I just kept trying to keep the darned things in. Now I have to wait another 5 years before medicaid will pay for me to go back.

    Tony went to a place in Florence SC that is very reasonably priced. In fact people come from all over the east coast to go there because they are so much cheaper. If you need dental work, I would look up "Sexton" online and call them.
  11. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    THanks, Janet. husband and I were back in our hometown a few months back, and I wished I'd arranged to see our old dentist. If he'd said we needed crowns I wouldn't be so unsure of it all.

    I think we will end up getting husband's fillings done, and the crowns will be repaired when there is a tooth breaks. I feel like I'm at a car dealership service shop. This month, "Sell oil changes". Next month it's "Sell Transmission items". Then we do brakes... I think this is "Crown Month" at my dentist. First visit was "Whitening".