Overcharged for a crown and root canal?

by Bruce
(Las Vegas, NV)

Hi Shelly. I went to have a broken molar #13 fixed at my dentist. The tooth was split and the dentist did a root canal and temporary cap. The total charge was for $2040 which was presented to me while I was in the chair. I don't have dental insurance.
I went home and did some research and believe that I'm being grossly overcharged. It seems that people are being charged anywhere between $890 and $1400 for this. Also, I financed $1518 of it and put $522 on my credit card. The work is still not completed as they charged the financed part right away, which really burned me up. Is it a usual practice to fully charge before the work is even done?? I fought the charge but the credit company has sided with the dentist. There's been a number of incidences with this dentist and his staff that have really angered me.....in other words short story long!
Anyway, I wish I had found your site BEFORE I went, but lesson learned.
Thanks!
Bruce

Reply:

Hi Bruce, That is a lot of money. So sorry your tooth broke and then you had the additional trauma of the expense. I hope you don't have any further issues. It is good that they were able to save the tooth as it is still quite a bit cheaper than an implant. If it makes you feel better those fees are not unheard of but I would guess higher than average for most areas.

It is normal to charge for the crown before it is made by the lab. Otherwise the dentist would incur lab charges and not be sure the patient would return to have it cemented. I know it sounds crazy but it happens ...so the standard is to charge when the crown is prepped and the temporary crown is placed.

Dental fees vary depending on where you live. Dentists practicing in large cities or any place where the cost of living is high tend to have higher fees because they have more overhead; their rent is higher and they have to pay their employees more than those who practice in less expensive areas. Fees can vary quite a bit within the same city as well. It's definitely worth asking your friends for a referral especially if you are unhappy with other things.

Thanks for writing,
~Shelly

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