(Closed) Can you ask for an estimate at dentist?

posted 6 years ago in Wellness
Post # 3
6248 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 1900

Can you call them and ask if they will do a consultation at no cost?

Post # 4
2104 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

A good dentist should understand the situation!  Mine always worked with me on payment plans, since I have craptastic dental insurance and had an extraordinarily bad year.  Sometimes the waiting list at the endodontist can be a while, too, so I would go in as scheduled.

Post # 5
78 posts
Worker bee

Are you due for a cleaning?  Usually if you go in for a routine cleaning appointment they will do xrays as well and address any other work that may need to be done.  

At my dentist, I was given a full treatment plan showing all the work they recommended and how much they estimated insurance would pay and what my portion would be.  I had numerous old fillings that had cracked and needed a crown on one tooth.  I spread the work out over about 4 appointments in the course of a year.  

They usually understand that people need to plan for that kind of expense.  Unless the pain is so bad that you need an emergency root canal, you can probably get an estimate and come back in a few weeks to have it done.  

Post # 7
240 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Check your plans website. Every plan has listed either the cost of the procedure or the percentage of what is covered by insurance. For example, I have BlueCross BlueShield Traditional coverage:  routine examines, fillings, xrays, and extractions are covered 100%. Roots Canal 80%. Braces up to $3,500 etc….

Post # 8
7771 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

I chose my dentist because he does free estimates. 


Post # 9
1400 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I work for a dental insurance company. A dentist can ALWAYS do what is called a predetermination. Basically it’s like submitting a claim without an actual date of service and it will show what your cost would be if you chose to have the work done, so basically an estimate.

They may have to do an exam, to determine exactly what it is you need done: root canal, crown, etc….but the exam shouldn’t cost much, most insurance cover those between 50-100%. Then once they determine what the proper treatment is, they can submit the predetermination to your insurance. I don’t know how other insurance companies work but my company has an online service where the dentist can even submit the Pred online and get an answer back immediatly, as long as it’s not something that required xrays before a determination can be made, which a crown or root canal should not require.

Hope that helps!

Post # 10
967 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I too, Have a fabulous dentist…My insurance is so-so when it comes to dental work, and he “absorbs the cost” if it’s not fully covered….he gets me in when I need to…

I would get your tooth seen to ASAP because if it is decaying there is a chance of infection if it’s not filled…..my wisdom tooth and the tooth in front of it started to decay and pieces came off….i had no pain, but since the risk of infection is high since it’s hard to brush back there….so I got put in asap and he did what he could…now I need to see an oral surgeon for removal….

Definitely shop around for a good dentist….I am VERY lucky with the one I have…..I had a couple really bad ones that now make me have anxiety about going to the dentist….

Post # 11
6598 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

Yes – they will charge you for the exam. At my dentist this is $36. They can then put through an estimate, of the work you need to have done, with insurance to see what they will cover.

I just did all of this for a root canal retreatment. I had to wait a month for all of my insurance to be ready but it all worked out!

Post # 13
3148 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2010

I’ve had dentists do estimates for me. in fact, they always tell me how much a procedure is going to cost out of pocket w/o me even asking for it. they are almost always accurate too.

Post # 14
2299 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

@mrs_pugetsound:  Yay! I’m so happy it worked out! I really think you should call for the prescription though, there’s no sense for you to be in pain. Don’t feel guilty about calling and asking…that’s why they’re there!

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