When I walked into the office, I knew I should had turned around and walked out, but I had looked up this dentist, and the city paper had written up an article about, So$So earns top dental honor. I figured that’s a step in the right direction for picking a dentist.
When I walked in, the dentist was sitting at the front desk with the receptionist. I explained that my lower left molar crown had broken off, and that I had pain accompanying it. Now usually when you walk into a doctor’s or dentist’s office you expect it not to be completely sterile, but at least passable. My first impression was this place is really shabby – thus the impulse to turn around. I explained also about my insurance and what type of budget I’m on. “Oh that no problem, they said.” I still felt uneasy about the place though.
I finally get back to the chair and the assistant starts taking x-rays. Now my problem is my bottom left back molar, but she’s taking x-rays of the right side of my mouth. I tell her where the problem is and she says she knows. She keeps asking me if I have had a full mouth x-ray, and I tell her I’m not sure. She asked the same question three times. I finally tell her yes, I do think I did have one done. So after x-rays, they do a cleaning. I’ve needed a cleaning, but I’m not sure why it’s a priority before he takes care of the tooth I came there for. Finally the dentist comes in.
This is the beginning of pain. I usually tighten up and hold my breath whenever I’m getting the novocaine. Not from pain, but because I hate needles so much. This was the first time I’ve experienced real pain during the novocaine injection. We get that done, and he waits for a little while. It doesn’t really feel deadened, but he starts on the way to pulling the tooth. I almost come up out of the chair when he starts. So more novocaine. He ended up using four tubes of the novocaine, and from what I got, the reason being is he kept missing the nerve. It was one of those teeth where he really has to work to get it out and he finally gets the tooth out. During the extraction that area of my mouth feels like there hasn’t been any deadener put there. The dentist gets up and leaves. No thank you, no if you have a problem, no nothing. The dental assistant at least told me to be careful getting out of the chair. Now to what really pissed me off.
As I said, I do have dental insurance. Since this is the first dental procedure of the year, I had to pay a $50 deductible. I figured that since a crown had broken off and I was in pain that this would be covered under emergency, which is 100% covered. It basically was just a dentist pulling a tooth, but he marked it down as dental surgery, plus he charged extra for the novocaine, and since he marked it as surgery, I had to pay 40% of the bill. I saw the pay schedule they had, and for a surgical procedure of an impacted tooth, they charge $186. I tried to figure out everything, but I still can’t figure out why I had to pay up front $144.40. I’m thinking I could have gone in without insurance and probably paid the same thing.
So what gets to me is, I think because he saw fresh insurance, he did things that weren’t necessary, and I think he also charged for a procedure he didn’t do (surgery). To top that off when I get the checks written out, the assistant give me a prescription for an antibiotic. I had already told her I’m allergic to penicillin, but the script is for penicillin. I point that out to her, and I also let her know I’m hurting at this moment. I ask will he be prescribing anything for that? She told me to hold on and she’ll go see the dentist. She finally comes back and she has a new prescription for Keflex, and said the doctor said when I get home to take some Advil and to swish warm salt water around in my mouth. So that's it. Another bad experience at a dentist.
I learned something though. When I walked into the office, I should have gone with my gut feeling about the place. The next time I will.