This blog contains some simple tips and advice from two regular guys. We're not accountants, financial advisors, or brokers, so follow, ignore, or discuss our ideas as you see fit.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

An unexpected dental cost

Posted by Matt
I've had to change dentists several times over the past five years or so, mostly because I like to go to one close to home and we've moved so much recently. I was lucky enough to find an office located about a block from our new house, and just went in for my first visit (a regular cleaning.) One thing I've noticed is that dentists always seem to want their own x-rays. The new office suggested a new full-mouth set (aka panorex, see image) and I agreed, putting my faith in the professionals to tell me what is needed. I don't usually give much thought to dental costs because routine items like cleanings, exams and x-rays are covered by my insurance. Imagine my surprise, then, when I was charged $47 at the end of my visit!

I checked my dental coverage as soon as I got to work and discovered that full mouth x-rays ARE covered, but only once every three years! I don't know if x-rays are a profitable service for dentists or if the ones from their own machine are easier to file or what, but I had a full set of x-rays done just last year and they were mailed from my last dentist's office prior to my appointment, so I think the dentist just wasted my $47.

I'm not trying to bad-mouth dentists; I just wanted to share yet another experience that shows it pays to be an informed consumer. Keep it in mind the next time you switch dentists!

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