Dentist overcharging for a filling

31 posts in this topic

So, I have started going to a new dentist as my old one is too far to travel after we moved. So far I've had 3 appointments with her. The first visit was a general check up to discuss what treatments were needed etc...At this point, I pointed out that one of my teeth on the upper jaw on the back needs filling as the old one had fallen out a few weeks earlier. As it was not the tooth that shows, I requested the filling that is covered by the health insurance. On the second appointment, I received the filling that the insurance pays for. On the third appointment, I had the professional cleaning. Which I was told I would be charged around 80 Euro.

A few days later, I received a bill for the cleaning (which was around 80 Euro as expected) and for the filling. Unexpectedly, I have been billed 150 euro for the filling, although I requested a basic one. Despite of the fact that the doctor never mentioned about the cost for the filling, not before nor after the treatment.

 

I've called them up to ask about the bill and the receptionist insisted that the doctor told me on the first visit that it would cost around 100 euro for a filling (which was not true), and they no longer use "the horrible filling that insurance pays for". I am charged for composite material, although it looks like I have amalgam (it is silver in colour).

 

I am willing to pay for something if I received the cost estimation and the service as described. Is it normal to be charged 150 euro for a basic amalgam filling? If so, isn't the doctor obliged to give the cost estimation before the treatment? I have made an appointment to see her in 2 days. What should I be prepared for?

 

Any advice would be appreciated :)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First, have another dentist (who will probably charge you for it) verify what kind of work was done and if it could have been done differently (more cheaply).

 

Then, and this is the fun part, prove to your dentist that you refused the more expensive treatment. She will have her assistant as a witness, you will have squat all.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry but...you are gonna have to just grit your teeth and get on with it!! :D

Well I did say sorry B)

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agreed - best to go to another dentist and get it checked out. I always go to a dentist that speaks fluent English (despite my decent German) so nothing's left to chance. And I always make sure of the price beforehand, no matter what. It's quite annoying but I guess you'll just have to live with it and know for next time.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You got off lucky. A co-worker of mine got a bill for over 1.500 € for a clearing and check up! The dentist did all kinds of checking that was not requested and not discussed. I learned (through him) not to sit in that chair without written estimates.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does seem expensive.

 

I'm about to get 3 amalgam fillings replaced to the tune of €50 for one, €80 for another one and the third one needs a ceramic inlay for €150. I'm pretty sure that is after the insurance pays their tiny part.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Always get a quote from the dentist. Always ask your public insurer what they think of it and how much they´ll pay. Same goes for the privately insured - always get a quote (except for emergencies, of course ) and find out how much they´ll take over for you - depends on the policy and how long you´ve been insured with them ( private insurance usually has staggered refundable amounts, starting with X euros in the first year, rising to X+ in the second year etc. ).

 

If you might need extensive work, maybe best to get a second quote from another dentist.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a crown with root canal treatment including cleaning in China for 60 Euro. They don't use anaesthetic in China was a small problem its not as bad as you would think and no numbness afterwards, and the crown was actually made by a German company.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Boy am I reviving a lot of threads pertaining to healthcare, but I'm resident in Germany (insured via TK) and visiting family in the US, went for a dental checkup in the US (dentist family friend of my parents') and lo and behold, I have a deep cavity.

 

He is offering a 50% family/friends discount of $180 USD for the filling and, if it is discovered that a root canal is necessary, $780 USD for the root canal. This is the out of pocket price for an uninsured patient. I can swallow that, and given how stressed out I'm getting over this (among other things) I've scheduled the appointment for tomorrow, but maybe it's worth it to see if this is comparable to the costs in Germany.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

2 hours ago, Pandekage said:

Boy am I reviving a lot of threads pertaining to healthcare, but I'm resident in Germany (insured via TK) and visiting family in the US, went for a dental checkup in the US (dentist family friend of my parents') and lo and behold, I have a deep cavity.

 

He is offering a 50% family/friends discount of $180 USD for the filling and, if it is discovered that a root canal is necessary, $780 USD for the root canal. This is the out of pocket price for an uninsured patient. I can swallow that, and given how stressed out I'm getting over this (among other things) I've scheduled the appointment for tomorrow, but maybe it's worth it to see if this is comparable to the costs in Germany.

 

Deepl-translation from https://www.tk.de/techniker/leistungen-und-mitgliedschaft/leistungen/zaehne/zahnbehandlungen/kosten-zahnfuellungen-2002386 :

 

Quote

What costs are covered by TK for dental fillings?

TK bears the costs for the following dental fillings:
Further details

    Amalgam fillings
    Pregnant women, nursing mothers and children up to 15 years of age must not use amalgam - the dentist will settle the costs for plastic/composite fillings directly with us.
    Composite fillings, i.e. plastic fillings, in the visible front tooth area up to and including tooth three (counted from the middle of the upper or lower jaw to the back, left or right)

    If an amalgam allergy has been proven in your case or in case of severe renal insufficiency, TK will also cover the costs of composite fillings in the posterior region.
    Glass ionomer cement, a special mineral cement used mainly for temporary fillings and milk teeth
    Compomer, a mixture of glass ionomer cement and composite, also suitable for temporary and deciduous teeth

Other materials

Dentistry also continues to develop. New filling variants are constantly coming onto the market. Your dentist is ultimately responsible for the selection of the material. It makes sense to get advice from him.

If, together with your dentist, you decide on other types of fillings than those mentioned above, for example for aesthetic reasons, you will bear the additional costs yourself.
Inlays

In the case of one-piece inlays, your dentist will bill the costs of a comparable amalgam filling via your TK health card. You bear the additional costs yourself.

If you want to know more
Read more about the advantages and disadvantages of different types of fillings and inlays and how they are made:

fillings
Additional rates for inlays and fillings

TK's cooperation partner, Envivas Krankenversicherung AG, offers supplementary insurance policies which also cover additional costs, for instance for inlays or dental fillings:

 

IIRC correctly what I read on TT people paid between € 30 and 60 for choosing a non-amalgam filling (can´t tell from experience as my dentist is a friend and doesn´t charge me).

 

Root canal would be covered in full. Just show your medical card and you won´t even come to know the cost.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, jeba said:

 

 

Deepl-translation from https://www.tk.de/techniker/leistungen-und-mitgliedschaft/leistungen/zaehne/zahnbehandlungen/kosten-zahnfuellungen-2002386 :

 

IIRC correctly what I read on TT people paid between € 30 and 60 for choosing a non-amalgam filling (can´t tell from experience as my dentist is a friend and doesn´t charge me).

 

Root canal would be covered in full. Just show your medical card and you won´t even come to know the cost.

Thanks for the answer... I'm stressing a bit and thus not doing my due diligence in research.

I gotta find myself a dentist friend! :D

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, Pandekage said:

Thanks for the answer... I'm stressing a bit and thus not doing my due diligence in research.

I gotta find myself a dentist friend! :D

 

Definitely cheaper in Germany. I'm with TK myself and the last filling I had (2 years ago) was around €40 euros or if I wanted it to match the colour of my tooth perfectly then €80. The non-matching colour isn't massively different from the actual colour of the teeth but if it was on one of the front teeth it may be noticeable if you looked carefully. I also had a root canal about 8 years ago and the TK paid fully for that and I didn't have to contribute anything

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, warsteiner70 said:

 

Definitely cheaper in Germany. I'm with TK myself and the last filling I had (2 years ago) was around €40 euros or if I wanted it to match the colour of my tooth perfectly then €80. The non-matching colour isn't massively different from the actual colour of the teeth but if it was on one of the front teeth it may be noticeable if you looked carefully. I also had a root canal about 8 years ago and the TK paid fully for that and I didn't have to contribute anything

Okay - Update. Just to calm my nerves and get a clear answer I had my US dentist do the procedure here... Turns out that a root canal was required. So that's done and I'm now sipping soup post-op... However I still need to have the crown attached in a following procedure. The dentist is okay with me flying back to Germany and getting a crown there, but was insistent on gold with ceramic. Given my unique scenario I am really uncertain how my base TK insurance tackles this, as well as how much a crown procedure (gold/ceramic) would cost.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, Pandekage said:

Okay - Update. Just to calm my nerves and get a clear answer I had my US dentist do the procedure here... Turns out that a root canal was required. So that's done and I'm now sipping soup post-op... However I still need to have the crown attached in a following procedure. The dentist is okay with me flying back to Germany and getting a crown there, but was insistent on gold with ceramic. Given my unique scenario I am really uncertain how my base TK insurance tackles this, as well as how much a crown procedure (gold/ceramic) would cost.

Make sure you get a report from your dentist and submit to TK. Call and speak with them.

TK will question why gold is required, so they need to see the reasons. They will usually give you costs of several options for a crown.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, RedMidge said:

Make sure you get a report from your dentist and submit to TK. Call and speak with them.

TK will question why gold is required, so they need to see the reasons. They will usually give you costs of several options for a crown.

Understood. My concerns are more of TK recognizing prior work done (root canal) and thus willing to subsidize the costs for the remainder of the operation (crown).

I'm kinda okay with paying additional for the gold crown, as my dentist mentioned chance of failure/explosion with the cheaper alternative, but if anyone knows how much more extra that type of crown generally is I'd really appreciate it.

P.S. my US dentist gave me a ballpark quote of the crown: $1150 for everything. I'm really hoping that's a lot lower in Germany.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Pandekage said:

Okay - Update. Just to calm my nerves and get a clear answer I had my US dentist do the procedure here... Turns out that a root canal was required. So that's done and I'm now sipping soup post-op... However I still need to have the crown attached in a following procedure. The dentist is okay with me flying back to Germany and getting a crown there, but was insistent on gold with ceramic. Given my unique scenario I am really uncertain how my base TK insurance tackles this, as well as how much a crown procedure (gold/ceramic) would cost.

 

So I have a question, maybe I missed it. Were you in pain? How much longer are you visiting family in the US? Living in the US myself I would have jumped at the opportunity to have this work done in Germany instead. In my experience the root canal itself should have been covered, if not in full then almost. 

 

Glad you're feeling better though and have the dentist maybe write something up saying the work couldn't wait re. the previous work done on the tooth. 

 

C

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, LostBetweenCountries said:

 

So I have a question, maybe I missed it. Were you in pain? How much longer are you visiting family in the US? Living in the US myself I would have jumped at the opportunity to have this work done in Germany instead. In my experience the root canal itself should have been covered, if not in full then almost. 

 

Glad you're feeling better though and have the dentist maybe write something up saying the work couldn't wait re. the previous work done on the tooth. 

 

C

I wasn't in pain, was actually at the dentist's for an unrelated inquiry and an x-ray was suggested... And that's how it went downhill. And in the following night of intense worry and stress I caved in and went in for the root canal the following day. I'm flying back to Germany on the 6th.

 

I guess I feel better now, but now the costs of the imminent crown procedure are making me worry all the same. Given that TK generally covers root canals, would they still cover the remaining crown procedure if the initial root canal was done elsewhere? Given that the US dentist was a family friend, she could possibly write something arguing my case, but now I'm concerned TK won't cover. And I'm guessing it's a €1000 procedure at the very least.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have went for regular checkups and had the book stamped every year they will pay more for crown with 5 or 10 years of stamps i don't remember how many years are needed. But they don't pay that much to have it done.  And not sure how it will be with have work do es somewhere else first. If too expensive make a quick trip to poland and have it done there.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, lunasuenos said:

If you have went for regular checkups and had the book stamped every year they will pay more for crown with 5 or 10 years of stamps i don't remember how many years are needed. But they don't pay that much to have it done.  And not sure how it will be with have work do es somewhere else first. If too expensive make a quick trip to poland and have it done there.

@jeba But isn't it a bit strange that root canals are apparently covered in full, while crowns (which are generally necessary for root canaled back teeth) are barely covered..?

And indeed if that's the case I guess I screwed myself over financially by having the root canal (which is fully covered by TK) done in the US and the crown (which is not) done in Germany. Happy €2000 lesson learned.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Pandekage said:

@jeba But isn't it a bit strange that root canals are apparently covered in full, while crowns (which are generally necessary for root canaled back teeth) are barely covered..?

And indeed if that's the case I guess I screwed myself over financially by having the root canal (which is fully covered by TK) done in the US and the crown (which is not) done in Germany. Happy €2000 lesson learned.

 

From https://www.tk.de/techniker/leistungen-und-mitgliedschaft/leistungen/zaehne/zahnersatz/zuschuss-zahnersatz-2002872 (deepl-translation):

Quote

TK participates in medically necessary dentures, such as dental crowns, bridges or prostheses, with a fixed subsidy. Regular participation in preventive medical check-ups at the dentist "rewards" TK with a higher subsidy.

I have no idea how much they´ll pay towards a crown. I doubt that the cost of a crown will be $1000 though - but what do I know? Of course, you screwed yourself by paying for the root canal. But that´s water under the bridge now.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now