Dentist Acworth: How Much Does Teeth Cleaning Cost?

So you got a mailer coupon from a dentist that says they only charge $79.95 for a regular cleaning & $19.95 for an exam & x-ray.  Seems kind of a cheap gimmick?  And a lot of the times it might be.  It just depends of on the practice.  If it’s a mature practice you might want to question why they are giving away services.  Usually, it’s a loss leader.  Something they use to get you in and pressure you into other dental procedures.  If it’s a new practice, then providing discounted services is one of the few methods a new practice has to introduce itself to the surrounding community, no different than a new restaurant trying to showcase its menu.

Dental costs will vary widely. With respect to continuing care (on your next 6 month visit), a teeth cleaning really depends where you go and the quality of the practice you see.  The charge is going to be somewhere around $65 to $89, but it can be more if there’s a need to do a full mouth root scaling. Often dental insurance will cover some or all of this cost for a specific number of cleanings per year.  The exam is $45 to $55 and the 4 basic bite wing x-rays are around $59 to $72.  Depending on your insurance this might be covered anywhere from 60 to 100% after a small deductible is met.   Periodic X-rays ($32 -$135) are needed to see if any problems are developing inside the teeth or around the jaw bone, and are generally required before cleaning the teeth of a new patient (which is why some practices offer coupons to defray the initial cost of a first visit). These are also often covered by dental insurance.

The main goal of professional teeth cleaning is to prevent gum disease, which is the primary cause of tooth loss.  Dental hygiene is imperative, and cleaning your teeth is the first step toward their long term preservation.  In a standard cleaning, a dental hygienist (working under a dentist’s supervision) removes soft plaque and hard tartar (mineralized plaque that builds up on the teeth and can only be removed with professional instruments) from above and below the gum line on all the teeth. The process requires one office visit and usually takes about 30 to 60 minutes.

The more extensive deep cleaning process called scaling and root planing is done by quadrants (upper right, upper left, lower right, lower left) at a cost of about $100 -$400 per quadrant depending on the severity of the problem or $400 -$1,600for the entire mouth, but more often than not, if the mouth is in such poor health the dentist will refer the patient out to a periodontist.   Most dental insurance includes these procedures.

Again, the goal is a healthy mouth which an integral part of your overall health.  Oh, and by the way, just because you had your teeth cleaned professionally, the jobs not done.  You have to do your part and brush and floss daily if you want to keep them.   If you have additional questions, feel free to email or call our office.  Our goal here is to create an informed patient.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta, GA 30328

404-256-3620

www.rightsmilecenter.com

info@rightsmilecenter.com

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Dentist Woodstock: The Difference between Dental and Physician Health Care Costs

Why the cost of your dental care really hasn’t increased that much?  In fact it has either tracked or lagged behind the consumer price index and this is despite all the advances in dental technology.  Compare that observation to your medical care costs.  If you go in to see your dentist and ask for an estimated cost of treatment, 9 times out of 10 you will get a quote.  Try doing that in your physician’s office.   Why?  Because your dental care has been a product of the free market system.  The insurance companies have never yet to invade the purview of your oral health the way they have dominated, if not destroyed your overall health care.

You get your teeth examined, cancer screening, teeth cleaning and x-rays twice a year for less than $300.00.  And that’s about two hours of actual treatment from your dentist and his/her team.  At the physician’s office you go in once a year, see your physician or his PA for about 10 to 16[i] minutes on average and it costs $300 to $900.00, depending on possible immunizations and your blood work (which costs more than twice what an independent lab charges if you have it done outside of your physician’s office).   Physicians are paid by insurance and Medicare submittals based on the procedures they perform and not by the amount of time they spend with you.  So the quicker the visit the more procedures they can bill your insurance.  If they take too long it cost them money, not you.  And all their revenues are based on negotiated fees with your insurance company, not the free market system.  Ah, the key phrase – free market system.  Dentistry never bought into insurance coverage for your treatment and care, and as a result of the free market system there has been a reasonable or to put it better, a withstandable increase to the cost of your oral health care based on the supply and demand curves.

So how much does insurance influence the cost of your health care?  Anecdotally, let me tell you about my daughter’s, but really my experience with health care and why we are the losers in this battle to secure adequate health care treatment at an affordable price.  My daughter had a cyst under her eyelid.  It was not visible to you or me, but it irritated the dickens to her cornea.   I found a specialist and accompanied my daughter to the physician.  It was determined that the treatment required general anesthesia to safely perform the surgery.  When I asked ‘how much’, I received no answer.  I was passed on to the patient coordinator for that physician.  So I asked ‘how much’, and again I received no answer.   They didn’t have a clue what this was going to cost me.  So I immediately said ‘sign me up, I’ll take two’.   Seriously though, they needed my insurance carrier and they would let me know, great.

I get a call from the physician’s office.  It’s going to cost you $800 and change.  Ok, great, and is that my drive out price?  ‘Oh no, that’s just the doctor’s fee.’  Ok, so what else?  I have to call the surgical center.  Ok, how much does that cost?  We [the doctor] don’t know, you just have to call and find out.  So I called.  The gentleman quoted me $1540.00 including 2 hours of facility and the anesthesiologist.  ‘Oh, and you won’t be needing a biopsy, since this is cosmetic.’  No wait, this is not cosmetic, it’s required surgery.  So the gentleman backs up and re-quotes the price.  It will be $4 to 7 thousand for the surgical suite, $1800 & change for the anesthesiologist and X amount of dollars for the biopsy.

Wait, hold on, back up a minute, you just quoted me a price that is almost 7 times what the same procedure would cost if it was elective surgery.  Ah, that key phrase creeps back in to the conversation.  Under a free market system, elective surgery only garners what the market will bear.  But under an insurance based system, physicians don’t know what it costs, so they inflate the costs and hope for some remuneration equal to or in excess of what it really costs under a free market system to treat you.  In other words, it’s a crap-shoot your physician is playing with your health insurance company.   And the loser is you.  So the next time you go to the physician or the dentist, remember why you’re paying what to whom, the physician or your insurance company.  And the next time you discuss health care reform; you’re probably talking about insurance reform.  If we can answer your questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

5471 Bells Ferry Road,

Suite 200

Acworth, GA 30102

770-928-7281

info@rightsmilecenter.com

www.rightsmilewoodstock.com

 

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[i] About.com, Trisha Torrey, November 14, 2008.

 

 

Dentist Woodstock: Sinusitis Got You Down?

Winter is getting cranked up and we need to take measures to maintain our health because during the winter months and at other times when the air is very dry, it is important to keep our nasal passages moist. When I was young I used to think my mother’s practice of medicine was just one more of her old wives tales, but practically applied her easy way to moisten your nasal passages is to sniff salt solution into both sides of the nose 2-4 times a day seems to work. To prepare a solution of proper strength, add 1/4 teaspoon of table salt to a cup of warm water, and stir it until all the salt has dissolved. Sniff some from a spoon or other small container into each nostril. Alternatively, you can buy ready-prepared nasal saline products, such as Ocean, Simply Saline or generic equivalents from drug stores. Such solutions can be used to wash away mucus from the membranous lining of the nasal passages. They also help by shrinking any parts of it that are swollen. This may save you a trip to the doctor.  If this is not done, mucus and the swollen membranes around these openings may block openings of the sinuses into the nasal passages. Sinusitis will then occur if nasal bacteria infect the mucus, which can no longer drain from the blocked sinus. Treatment of sinusitis (rather than its prevention) often requires the use of antibiotics.

Some doctors are not enthusiastic about nasal saline irrigation since researchers found that it does not significantly reduce the incidence of colds. Personally, I am a little skeptical about a doctor’s hesitation to try a home remedy rather than popping a few pills. I don’t mean to confuse colds with sinusitis. Viruses cause colds, while sinusitis is a bacterial-induced complication for some colds. Irrigation of the nasal passages with saline cannot kill viruses or bacteria, but according to my favorite ENT patient, it can help to reduce the incidence of sinusitis in people with a tendency to develop this common complication of colds.

Part of the source for this article came from my mom and part from the American Family Physician (70:1685 & 1697, “04) & Wall Street Journal (Dec.7″04, page D6).

Novy Scheinfeld DDS PC 5471 Bells Ferry Road

Suite 200

Acworth, GA 30102

770-928-7281 info@rightsmilecenter.com http://www.rightsmilewoodstock.com

Dentist Woodstock, Ga: The Right Smile (by a prosthodontist)

The right smile, like all good things in life, is a collaborative effort of your input and our expertise.   We’ve found that by truly catering to our patients, your visits become more of a pleasurable experience, rather than just a necessity.

Our Acworth dental office (located half way between Woodstock and Acworth on Bells Ferry Road) is open on Fridays, but on occasion we schedule patients who need additional treatment time on Saturdays.  We see emergency cases immediately and provide our patients with 24/7 access to your dentist via mobile numbers. In addition, your entire family is welcome in our office.   We have as many as four generations in the practice.  We offer comprehensive family care coupled with modern technology, bringing what we consider to be the best of contemporary dentistry to our patients.

 

You’re more than a patient to us; you’re an individual with unique concerns and needs.  And you’re the reason we are here.  My associate or I are dedicated to taking the time to learn about you and your needs, and then and only then develop a practical treatment plan to create the right smile. We’ll discuss options and explain procedures, which may involve multiple of techniques and disciplines.

 

Your smile is the first thing people notice and our goal is to help you smile.  But we want to make sure it’s the right smile, one that’s natural and comfortable for you.  If you have questions, please ask. And if we can do anything to make you more comfortable, let us know. We are here to serve you and we have a history of making oral healthcare easy and convenient for your lifestyle.

 

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

5471 Bells Ferry Road, Suite 200

Acworth, GA 30102

www.rightsmileacworth.com

info@rightsmilecenter.com

 

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