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Watch out For Dentists who Overcharge!!

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My husband and I have saved over $7,000 in dental work charges this past year, just by being informed consumers! We have dental insurance through his employer that costs $1,100 per year which we pay for through payroll deductions. We chose our Dental Plan carefully based on the very low "Patient Co-pay Fee Schedule."

However, much to our shock, after visiting four different dental offices this year, we have found that they all have the same dubious practice of trying to overcharge us beyond our "Patient Co-Pay Fee Schedule," seemingly hoping that we are stupid enough not to check with our insurance company and will pay their inflated charges.

For example, I was recently told that I needed two new crowns, and also two crown build ups due to " cracking and leaking". The office billing clerk quoted me $500 per crown, and $250 per crown buildup to a total of $1500. Consulting my benefit chart, I found that my actual co-pay should have been $270. Just by consulting my benefit chart, I saved $1,230 !

But it gets even better: The dentist who I originally saw who diagnosed me needing these two crowns had never showed me any x-ray evidence of the " cracking and leaking", so I asked a second dentist for a second opinion, and guess what? The second dentist could not see any evidence of me needing any crown work at all, so I saved another $270.

My husband was referred by our general dentist to a specialist in gum disease who told him he would need $5,000 in gum flap surgery. He got a second opinion from another specialist who told him that all he needed was deep cleaning, costing $400. Another savings of $4,600! He also needed two root canals and saw a root canal specialist who tried to charge him $600 per root canal, when our actual co-pay was $180. Again, just by being informed we saved $1020!

So be warned, when seeing your dentist, make sure you ask for a second opinion and make sure you have a copy of your "Patient Co-Pay Fees" before you fork over your hard-earned money. It really pays to ask questions and be an informed consumer!

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