I’m at a loss at how to rectify a situation I got myself into by trying to save money. I had a toothache. Normally, I’d go to my dentist but he’s kind of high end and I was low on funds. I thought just this once I’d save some cash and go to an affordable dentist who treats dental emergencies. I will never do this again. Now I have to explain to my good dentist why I am now missing a tooth. When I went in, he said I needed a root canal treatment. He spent well over two hours doing it. I was in pretty bad pain because my jaw was open the whole time and he’d jerk my head back and forth as he muttered under his breath. As if that unpleasantness wasn’t enough, there was a giant cracking sound. The dentist cursed and then left the room. Another employee came in and told me my tooth broke and would need to be extracted. At that point, I was just trying to get everything over with so I agreed to the extraction. Now I’m without a tooth. As if to add salt to the would, I received the bill today and he charged me for both the root canal and the extraction. This “affordable” appointment has cost me a lot more than money. What do I do?
As you’ve unfortunately discovered, there is a big difference between affordable dentistry and cheap dentistry. This appointment would likely have been less expensive, both in terms of finances and teeth, had you gone to your regular dentist. Of course, you know that now and are in need of where to go from here.
The first thing I’d do is contest the bill. At the very least it was bad form for him to bill you for both procedures. We’ll never know if the need for the extraction was his fault or not, but most dentists would just charge for either the root canal treatment or the extraction, regardless.
The next thing is to discuss with your actual dentist your tooth replacement options. Ideally, you’d want a dental implant. These are the best replacements and will feel and function like having a permanent, healthy tooth in place.
I’m sure given the circumstances your dentist would work with you on payment options. If he doesn’t do in-house payment plans, ask about Care Credit. It’s a medical “credit card” that allows you to set your terms of repayment.
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