Friday, May 13, 2011

Soapboxing again...

I HATE it when people purposely try to take advantage of others.  Perhaps I should back up a little bit and explain from where this post stems.
My grandpa is almost 86 years young and lives outside of Los Angeles in a town called Bellflower.  He has been having some issues with his teeth lately and decided to go ahead and have the rest pulled and get dentures.

Image courtesy of the Willful Caboose

 Ok, fine.  It's his mouth and he can do as he pleases.  What I DO mind, however, is the dentist who is trying to pull the wool over his eyes and tell him that "to extract your remaining teeth and get you set up with full upper and lower dentures will cost you $14,875.00".  Seriously?!?!?!? I work for a dentist.  You've got to be smoking crack high if you think that it is not highway robbery.  This dentist thinks that it is a morally sound decision to charge exorbitant fees for one of the least expensive dental procedures out there.  Extracting a tooth generally costs around $125-$225. Let's say for argument's sake that he has 16 teeth remaining and it's $175 per tooth for extractions.  That comes to $2800.00.  A full upper denture costs about $1200.00 here in NY and $800.00 in Arkansas; since California's cost of living is similar to NY, we'll use the $1200 figure.  The lower denture is also $1200.00.  So, it's about $2800 for all of the extractions and about $2400.00 for the dentures.  The total is $5200.00 (give or take a couple hundred dollars for fee differences in different regions of the country).  The difference in this dentist's fees and what the procedure should cost is $9675.00!!!!!! Almost 10 grand??? I think I just threw up in my mouth.


The patients you're going to treat in that neck of the woods will NOT LIKELY have that kind of money just laying around.  People choose dentures because it's an inexpensive alternative to having dental implants.  The population who has dentures is generally elderly and on a fixed income.  If they could all afford dental implants, I'm sure they would do that.  It's a much nicer alternative to dentures, but not always feasible for everyone.

I am mostly just appalled that someone would try to do this to anyone, but especially to my Grandpa.  He's a cool old man, and this just stinks.  I'm so glad he told my mom and aunts before he just trusted this dentist and believed that she had his best interests in mind.  They called me and faxed me his treatment plan, and I showed it to the Dr. I work for.   I got on the phone to Grandpa and told him to run screaming in the opposite direction of this dental office like his hair is on fire.  They're trying to rob him blind, and take advantage of a trusting patient.

I looked up the dentist online, and she has no reviews or website, according to Google.  I guess this should serve as a warning to people to always get a second opinion when it comes to Dental work.


No comments:

Post a Comment