Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I Will Fight You, You Know

This morning I went in for the funfilled bacteria scan that was only going to take "5 minutes." It took 1 hour and 5 minutes. And I fought with my dentist. As a disclaimer, I tried really hard to bite my tongue and remind myself she was a professional and very knowledgable. She pushed me over the edge.

To make a long story short, I told her what my husband and I had decided on in terms of my dental work. This is fixing my broken tooth and calling it a day. It involves about $400 this year, plus a crown next year. This did not please the dentist. She re-explained what the grouping priorities were on my treatment plan (which I refer to now as my bankrupcty plan), and said that she had group that tooth with others so she would only have to numb my mouth once to do all the teeth in need of some kind of repair. However, the work needed on these teeth is not as extreme as the broken tooth, just really a matter of convenience. I continued to protest, as $2000 for the work in discussion is money I don't have to spend right now (kind of a lie, but all monies are being saved for maternity care, leave, and Peanut).

At this point, the dear dentist then brought up the idea of the Care.Cre.dit for funding the dental work. I do appreciate knowing my options and the thoroughness in which she explained it. I understand the process. And it is good to know that I could use it in the future for Las.ik, which I do plan on doing. However, this is not the point, and I told her that that wasn't something my husband and I really wanted to do at this point (we are looking to clean up our credit because we want to buy a house in the near future...I did not tell the dentist this because I felt it was not her business).

When I said, again, to just schedule the work for the broken tooth and NOTHING ELSE, she started to tell me how if I don't do this work, stuff can go wrong with the pregnancy and began throwing around scary terms. Now, again I appreciate knowing all the information and if she was genuinely concerned for myself or my unborn child, I appreciate that as well. However, using scare tactics to bully a patient into dropping the extra money didn't seem very professional. It could have been handled differently, and far more appropriately. I had said no at least 3 times at this point. I was beyond annoyed, as my doctor cautioned me against large amounts of dental work. So this is what I said:

"Look, no offense to you because I do value your opinion as a professional care provider and realize you are highly qualified to construct reccomendations on my oral care, but I am taking my treatment plan to my OB in order to get an ok on the procedures you have recommended. You have done your part in detailing the work that needs to be done. While I am sure you have treated pregnant women before, I am not apt to taking prenatal advice from a dentist, just as I would not ask my OB for recommendations or a diagnosis on teeth. Furthermore, I feel as though you are trying to scare me into agreeing to the more expensive work at this point."

I should add that I said this very politely and did not raise my voice.

I tried very hard not to over react, as I tend to do, but seriously. I was mad. And it did not seem as though this conversation took place out of concern for my and my child's health.

Anyhow, I went to pay for today's work. I expected it to be about $100, as my insurance is maxed. Also, I have not been billed for the past two times I have been in the office as expected and I did have xrays done. I was figuring my total dental bill should be pretty hefty, to the tune of $400+. X rays aren't cheap. I come to find out that I owed nothing because I had a credit. Where did this credit come from? Apparently I overpaid for my $2700 root canal, and rather than issuing me a refund, they just kept the money. Whatever.

I think I am switching dentists. No joke. What can it hurt?

1 comment:

CJ said...

Yes, switch dentists! They could have atleast told you, you had a credit a long time ago!