What does this mean?

Discussion in 'Dental Archive' started by JimSocal, Sep 22, 2006.

  1. JimSocal

    JimSocal Guest

    My wife went to the dentist. As she understood it - or explained it to
    me - the dentist was just adding some cement to a loose crown or
    something like that. I guess she must have misunderstood.

    So I get this bill for $243 that says "Resin composite-3s, posterior".

    What does this mean? That he put a filling in on tooth #3?
    Why would it cost so much?

    I'm going to be asking the dentist who did the work this question, but
    I won't see him for a couple weeks; meanwhile I am curious: why would
    a filling cost this much?
    JimSocal, Sep 22, 2006
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  2. JimSocal

    George Guest

    JimSocal wrote:
    It sounds like a 3-surface composite filling on a posterior tooth. I
    can't comment on the cost since I live in another country, but
    composite fillings are much more expensive than amalgam.

    George, Sep 22, 2006
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  3. JimSocal


    JimSocal wrote:

    It means two things:

    1. The note indicates a three-surface composite resin filling on a back

    2. It also means that I DEFINITELY need to raise my fees!

    - dentaldoc
    , Sep 22, 2006
  4. JimSocal

    JimSocal Guest

    On 22 Sep 2006 11:13:44 -0700, wrote:
    Thanks. I am definitely going to question the dentist on his price on
    this. Also, she says the tooth is bothering her so I'm going to insist
    he fix whatever the problem is without further charge.
    JimSocal, Sep 23, 2006
  5. JimSocal

    JimSocal Guest

    On 22 Sep 2006 11:13:44 -0700, wrote:

    Not necessarily. This dentist probably just lost this patient as a
    result of this fee. When I saw the bill I hit the roof and now that I
    know it was just a filling, I am going to switch dentists, once he
    fixes it up (because she is having pain from it, still, after the
    JimSocal, Sep 23, 2006
  6. JimSocal

    AdvanceAgent Guest

    Depending on how big the filling is, I probably would not recommend a 3
    surface composite filling on the BACK tooth. I would recommend getting
    a crown. It's better suite to withstand bitting pressure of the back

    If you're in South California, $253 for a 3 surface composite filling
    is actually reasonable for cash patient. If you have insurance and
    still need to pay $253, then you have a bad insurance.

    [AdvanceAgent #367924]

    Games I am currently playing:

    JimSocal wrote:
    AdvanceAgent, Sep 24, 2006
  7. JimSocal

    JimSocal Guest

    On 24 Sep 2006 00:41:07 -0700, "AdvanceAgent"
    Well, this is what I told my wife when I found out that we just paid
    $243 for a big filling. For a couple hundred more we could have gotten
    a whole CROWN made at the dental school (Graduate student). It seems
    to me that it is a waste of money to pay that much for a filling.
    Meanwhile now the tooth is bothering her and I have a scary feeling it
    is going to need a root canal. Shouldn't the possibility of a root
    canal have been seen and checked out before doing a filling such as
    Dental "insurance" is a total rip-off. You pay several hundred dollars
    for a benefit with a $1000 cap in most plans, and in other plans they
    just sell you stuff you don't really need to make up for the money
    they lose by giving you insurance prices. I tried several different
    dental plans and every one of them led us to bad dentists and con
    artist dentists, so I quit paying for dental insurance. So yes, the
    $243 was a cash price.

    I'm not sure he didn't, but I don't think he even told my wife it was
    going to cost this much. Had I known I would have questioned it and
    perhaps gone somewhere else to get a 2nd opinion and maybe get it done
    cheaper. I feel I got "taken" here.
    JimSocal, Sep 25, 2006
  8. JimSocal

    Konnie Guest

    JimSocal wrote:
    I was just charged $495 for two TINY fillings.
    Konnie, Sep 25, 2006
  9. JimSocal

    Bill Guest

    Konnie wrote:

    Sheesh, Konnie, I wish you had called me first.

    You would have saved money, and I would have made money. A win-win

    - dentaldoc
    Bill, Sep 29, 2006
  10. JimSocal

    Bill Guest

    JimSocal wrote:

    A root canal is always a possibility when ANY filling is done. As a
    general rule of thumb, the bigger and deeper the filling, the greater
    the possibility, although this is not a 100% correlation.

    As a matter of fact, since crowns involve even more removal of tooth
    structure than most fillings, it is quite common for teeth to need root
    canal treatment AFTER a crown is placed. I can't count the number of
    times I have seen new patients with crowns that have a filled hole
    right in the middle of the crown where the root canal had been done
    after the crown was placed.

    Lots of good dentists make fillings for less than $243, but you really
    have to look around. It is becoming more difficult to find a dentist
    who combines conservative treatment with reasonable fees, though today
    they still do exist in substantial numbers.

    But I don't know what people will do when the current crop of Baby
    Boomer dentists retire, and you are left with the younger dentists who
    grew up in a era of fancy "appearance-related" treatments that are not
    health-related. These "esthetic" treaments can cost more in one
    treatment plan than you've spent in your entire life for ALL your
    dental health.

    Watch out for those dentists who think they are running a "spa," like
    an accessory to a beauty salon, instead of a professional healthcare
    office. These outfits are increasing in number, even as the plain,
    health-oriented offices are starting to disappear.

    Once in a while you can find relatively good insurance, but it is only
    available through an employer. Unfortunately sometimes the employers
    don't pick good insurance.

    Notice that in the cases you mentioned, it is the DENTISTS, not the
    "insurance" plans, who are actually selling the "stuff you don't really

    Those patients who put their insurance first, and their choice of
    dentists second, are shooting themselves in the foot.

    The trick is to FIRST find quality, healthcare-oriented dentists. Then,
    secondarily, find out which ones take the insurance you have. Too many
    patients do it backwards, and make the mistake of thinking that it's
    the insurance that is most important. Your first priority should be the
    quality and nature of your dental care.

    The main point in obtaining good quality care is NOT which insurance
    you have, but which DENTIST renders the treatment!

    So the task is: narrow the field down to which dentists you respect and
    can work well with, and then to determine which ones also have the fees
    you are comfortable with.

    Good insurance is available -- for example, the dental plans of some of
    our local school districts are good, while others are not so good.

    The insurance is the last consideration on the list, not the first.

    - dentaldoc
    Bill, Sep 29, 2006
  11. JimSocal

    JimSocal Guest

    It's getting very hard - impossible I'd say - to find a dentist who is
    any good that does not charge too much.

    I have been to about 8 different dentists in the past few years and
    the only one that was any good was a grad student at dental school.
    The rest have either been lousy or too expensive.

    I finally found one I thought was good and not too expensive, then he
    turned around and gouged us on this tooth (at top of thread) AND now
    she's having trouble with the tooth, as well, after he worked on it.
    Unfortunately now we have to wait until January before we can get her
    into the dental school graduate student office...

    But from now on I'm going to try to stay over there.
    JimSocal, Oct 5, 2006
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