The Patient as a Consumer
When you are at the dentist, it is a good time to ask lots of questions. Your dentist wants you to fully understand your treatment options and the associated costs before making dental care decisions. It is always important to ask about the potential consequences of not proceeding with the recommended dental care.
Your dentist will provide you with an estimate before proceeding with any service. If you have a dental plan, your dentist will often submit a predetermination (proposed treatment) form to your plan so you will know what your plan covers before any treatment has begun. Be sure you ask about payment options. Understanding the expectations before you proceed makes a world of difference.
Discussing fees with your dentist is always best. It is difficult for a dentist to tell you what a procedure will cost before they have examined you because everyone's dental health and dental care needs are different. You can contact dental offices for fee comparisons for some common services that generally do not vary such as a recall examination or radiographs (x-rays).
Remember, good dental health care helps limit the amount of time and money you need to spend with your dentist. A good diet and preventive care at home is vital to your dental health and your overall health.