Marti Zimmerman: Dentist expensive

— To the editor:

I would like to know how the Dental Coalition here in town advertises for the low income.

In reality, they are the most expensive dental place in town. I recently had a root canal quoted. I qualified for a sliding scale of a 40 percent discount. I thought the price was way too high, so I called around to all the dentist offices here and in Meeker.

I also called a few in Steamboat Springs. On average, the normal price for the Dental Coalition was 20 to 40 percent higher than the other dental offices.

How does this happen? I can not afford a regular dentist and thought the coalition was helping low-income people. They also receive government assistance, grants and donations locally.

This seems like a big scam. I called to talk to the office manager and was told that either I take the appointment or don't. How can they justify saying they are helping the community when they are the most expensive dentist in town? And they receive all that assistance. It's time to monitor government-assisted programs (especially this one) to make sure we are not being ripped off.

Marti Zimmerman

Comments

freeman 4 years, 11 months ago

the lady that works the front desk also works for the DOW,,so i could not imagine why that is

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JAHM 4 years, 11 months ago

I agree! I Have a friend here in town that has been quoted way way way more than she should have! even going through them she can't afford to have her teeth looked at or fixed. I think Dental co. is a big scam and a rip off and they should be shut down.

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Monoplex 4 years, 11 months ago

You're looking at a root canal like it was an interchangeable commodity like, say, a toaster oven.

It's really, really easy to leave infection behind (ever hear of root canal failing?) unless you have additional training in doing root canal and possess things like apex locators and microscopes.

If you want to compare the offices, do it on something other than just the price.

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max2009 4 years, 11 months ago

Root canals are based on cost. Are you implementing that other dentists in town are not as qualified as the Dental Coalition? They don't deceive the public or exploit the low income. This should be a concern of the public

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Cole White 4 years, 11 months ago

Most dentists are only open 7 hours a day and work only four days per week, but they make more than most doctors (see the link below).

http://mdsalaries.blogspot.com/2007/04/dentist-versus-primary-care-doctor.html

Ever try to get seen by your dentist without your payment made in full before the visit? Go to your local doctor and they bill you. You can go spend 30 mintues getting a tooth exctracted at the dentist and its 200 bucks. If you go and get a root canal you are their for 45 minutes and it costs 800 bucks. What's up with that? And how come the people who clean your teeth make 40 bucks an hour? They scratch on your teeth with a metal pick and make your gums bleed. How hard is that? Do you even have to go to school for that?

It really boils down to a monopoly. Dentists can charge what they want and you have to take the price. They all charge very similar prices because they know what the other guy is charging. It's not like you can go someplace else to get services for cheaper.

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lonelyone 4 years, 11 months ago

Highway 1340, your pretty funny this morning. Yes the lady that scratches on your teeth with a metal stick goes to school for that!! That and they also learn how to give the shots to numb you up for the dentist to work on you. I agree they cost alot and I've often wondered if any of them have cheaper prices, but I love my dentist and don't want to change. And as long as we're complaining why does it take so long to get into them. Cripes, waiting a month or more when you have a tooth that is killing you is way out of line. But I feel MD's are the same as far as pricing goes. They all have their usual and customary charges and that is what your insurance pays on. If they charge more then what your insurance considers to be normal for your area, your stuck paying those extra dollars out of your pocket. And unless you've been going to them for years, they too want you to pay up front......well, ok, as soon as your appointment is over with!

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daybyday 4 years, 11 months ago

highway,

I wonder about the costs of a lot of things...e.g. plumbers, auto repairs, etc., but I always check around before I buy and compare. Sometimes I've found a better deal at a lower price and sometimes I've found you get what you pay for. When I go to the doctor, payment is due when services are rendered, just like when I go to get my vehicle engine repaired.

No doubt health care costs are out of this world, including dental care, and no doubt we need change in this country so every American can afford the basic necessity of health care, including dental and mental health. But, not everything in your link was factual or complete. Dentists "are" doctors, just like veteranians are doctors, and attend 6-8 years of medical school or more, and like doctors in other fields have to pay for and take continuing education to keep their medical licenses. If dentists go into private practice, they have multiple additional expenses of their buildings, medical and office equipment, staff, several types of insurance, supplies, etc. Dentists do get emergency calls and are called out in the middle of the night, e.g. a tooth knocked out, etc., although obviously less because there are less situations that are actual dental emergencies.

In denistry, like any field, there are great ones, good ones, bad ones and terrible ones. Some really care about the health and welfare of people, some don't. I hope you find a great one.

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max2009 4 years, 11 months ago

It's about cost. The problem is that the Dental Coalition receives government funds for allowing sliding fee for the low income. This is a big scam. They raise their cost to 30 to 40 % higher than any other dentist in town. I'm sure they have qualified care, but so do a lot of other dental offices here in town and they don't scam the public or the government. The public should be outraged at the allocation of these funds.

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