23 April 2008

I feel sick to my stomach...

I just got back from the dentist. It cost me $243 dollars! No, we do not have insurance. Yes, I know dentists are expensive but come on! $243 in one hour? Don't even get me started on how I could have spent that $243 dollars some other way.

I was under the impression I was going in for a routine cleaning appointment. I had cancelled one a couple months ago because I didn't want to pay $70 bucks that week to have my teeth cleaned. I thought I'd give myself a few more months since my teeth weren't bothering me at all. I had been debating going to this appointment but Spencer encouraged me and I do like having clean teeth.

After it was all over the receptionist informed me that the Dr. did a cleaning, exam and x-rays. Now I'll accept the x-ray charge. I knew she was doing them and that they were going to cost me. What I didn't know is that a cleaning and an exam are not the same thing. I figured that every time you went in to get your teeth cleaned they also looked at them and your gums to make sure everything was healthy. I guess that's not the case. I don't know how much that cost individually but it was probably upwards of $50 or $60 dollars since I know x-rays aren't that cheap.

Plus it wasn't even an enjoyable experience. The Dr. jabbered on and on about all kinds of worthless things. Every time she'd tell a story she would take her hands out of my mouth. I just wanted her to shut up and work on my teeth. I would have been out of there a lot faster! She told me all about her root canal and how the endodontist didn't find the 4th--albeit rare--root until later with a microscope. She told me about how she put in a yellow gold crown on her friend and every time she smiled, it showed. It bothered her but the friend was so happy. I think she told me this like 5 times! I was going crazy.

Oh and I loved the time she put that x-ray thing in my mouth and all I can do to not gag is concentrate on my breathing and she asks me how the weather is outside! Um, hello! I'm biting down on this gigantic plastic thing in my mouth and can't really answer right now!

Okay, I have to say I did get one piece of valid information out of today's visit. I found out that the discomfort and the gum swelling I have on a crown in the top back is most likely do to a base metal allergy. I am allergic to nickel and have to be very specific about jewelry I wear and she thinks this crown was made cheaply. That explains it. But then she went on to talk about 14 carat gold versus 22 carat gold and platinum and whatever else metal they use to make "very high quality" crowns in her office. "We would never put anything but gold in your mouth" she says. I know more about what kind of metals crowns are made of than I want to.

I just feel so sick that I had to fork out so much money to listen to a lady talk and talk and talk and talk and tell me my teeth looked great. That I had hardly any tartar buildup and my gums were healthy. I think it will be longer than 6 months before my next check up.

13 comments:

Julie said...

Can I just say, I'm sorry. I really hope Stanton doesn't provoke posts like this from the moms of his patients.
I'm really sad you didn't have a great experience. And that you weren't told beforehand that the cleaning and exam were separate charges (they are on every insurance policy, so dentists charge cash patients the same way, just so you know). Did they give you a cahs payer discount? We love cash payers in our office!

Melissa said...

I haven't had the greatest luck with dentists lately either... I'm sorry you had such a bad experience :S At least you don't have to go back. I have to go back next week :P

Julie P said...

Paying for and uncomfortable experiences sucks. Paying for most things you can't get at Target sucks, too. :)

Lea said...

Jamie,

Your post came across as a google alert for nickel allergy. Sounds like a rough day at the dentist. When you filled out your patient information, did you list nickel allergy as an allergy? If yes, your crown should not have been made with any nickel.
In the future, always request written documentation that any object implanted in your body is nickel free (stent, prothestic etc.)
I hope all gets resolved. Lea Dow

Jamie J said...

Julie, I don't know if there is a cash discount at this office. I'll find out though. I don't blame the office so much for the charges, I'm super annoyed at myself for not knowing...

Melissa, good luck next week!

Julie P, amen sister, amen. I heart Target.

Lea, I'm sorry I wasn't clear. The crown that gives me problems I've had for probably 8 years. I never once thought about having a nickel allergy before. So now I know but I'll probably wait a couple more years to replace it.

shay said...

I HATE the dentist! I totally know what you mean about enduring the hygenist. I just did this two weeks ago and I won't go back to that dentist...hmmmm, maybe we had the same one?!!! Why can't they just shut their mouths when they work in ours?! And that does stink about paying the money--I agree you should ask for a cash or student discount.

Janelle said...

We don't have insurance either. So I have the hardest time getting my husband to go because he hates the dentist, won't go to a dentist who lives in our ward and doesn't want to pay for it. Yikes, I better save for the day he does go.

Oh, and can I link you in my blogroll?

Jamie J said...

Janelle, of course! I love the links!

Cheryl said...

I like dentists only because I have good teeth. But I've never had an obnoxious dentist (well, one hygenist for my kids came close). I'm sorry you had to endure that and then pay for it all! Yuck. I hope you can get dental insurance someday. It seriously rocks.

bythelbs said...

I feel your pain. I'm almost sure there is such a person as a non-annoying, un-obnoxious dental hygienist--they have just never been employed at any dental offices I've ever frequented.

Sorry for the bill. That bites.

Lisa M. said...

Oh I can so feel your pain. Recently had a very similar experience.

Hope your teeth feel clean and sparkly and So sorry about the bill.

The Price Family said...

You should go to our dentist in carmel mtn. Jesse and I are only paying $50 each for a clean, exam and xray. Dr. Frank Rafail

Jamie J said...

Wish I knew about that before. Is that only because you used to be an employee though?