Healthy teeth can be awfully expensive, and you are not always prepared for the high costs. The dentist will do everything possible to keep your teeth healthy, but you will have to bear the financial consequences. Here you will find tips on what to look out for avoiding the tooth cost trap.
Cost trap tooth 1: No cost disclosure
The dentist should inform the patient verbally, or better in writing, about the amount of the treatment costs. They should do this before treatment, so the dentist gives the patient some time to think about it and give him the opportunity to get information from his insurer.
Clarification of legally insured persons:
People with statutory health insurance usually assume that statutory health insurance companies will cover dental services. Therefore, the dentist should always clarify if it is not a health insurance benefit. In addition, they should give free or cheaper alternatives. An additional cost agreement is therefore definitely recommended for private dental services.
Education of private patients:
There should be a direct relationship between the patient and the dentist. The patient pays the bills and then submits them to his private health insurer. Because of the many insurance tariffs, it is impossible for the practitioner to know which private insurance will cover which parts and which will not.
The patient should get detailed information from his insurance company before starting expensive treatment. However, if the doctor knows that private insurance does not cover the costs, he should inform the patient.
Cost trap tooth 2: No cost estimate before the start of treatment
As soon as treatment with chargeable additional services is planned, you receive a written agreement regarding the costs. Although a written agreement on additional costs is not a price guarantee, the dentist can only deviate from the announced prices by a maximum of 20 percent and only with good reasons.
With the help of a cost estimate, you can also clarify the assumption of costs with your insurer in advance. With dentures, a treatment and cost plan are always created and sent to the health fund, but you should not only have the prices confirmed in writing for dentures but also for all dental treatments.
The advice centers of the dental associations also offer a free check of the appropriateness of prices. You can also contact this center if you would like to have the recommendation for a chargeable service checked.
Pay attention to the rate of increase
Dental service and a score are assigned to each fee number. One point corresponds to about 5.62 cents. The rate of increase ranges from 1 to 3.5 or higher. The dentist must justify the corresponding increase and should reflect the increased effort of the dental service. The 2.3 times the rate corresponds to an average level of difficulty of the dental treatment. The number of points for individual performance multiply by the rate of increase.
Check material and laboratory costs
It usually involves a dental laboratory in the manufacture of dentures. The dental technicians calculate their workload on the one hand and the material used on the other.
When calculating costs, you ensure your cost estimate also includes these materials and laboratory costs. The basis should be an individually prepared cost estimate from the technical laboratory to determine the prices more precisely.
Cost trap tooth 3: Several costly treatment steps
Split costs for the implant supply
Many patients experience a nasty surprise at the end of the implant restoration: the practitioner only provided information about the initial prices of the implant operation. After the implant has healed, however, it builds up with the actual dentures. This can be done with a crown or bridge, for example, and associates with further excessive costs. Because here too, the health insurance only pays the fixed allowance, which is why a substantial portion remains.
So, make sure that you receive a cost estimate for the surgery and for the dentures before starting the treatment.
Cost trap tooth 4: installment payments or dental loans
Installment payments for expensive dental treatments is a frequently used financing option. The patient agrees to pay off a monthly amount over a specified period. Interest must often be paid for long terms. However, the supposedly low rates also lead patients to expensive treatment who cannot afford it. We only notice this when it is too late.
The same situation is with loans taken out to finance dental treatment. Here, too, it should be checked beforehand how high the interest rates are and whether it is financially workable.
Unemployment or illness can mean that installments cannot be paid any longer.