A Trip to the Oral Surgeon

My grandmother had a bad tooth, it was abscessed and she was in a lot of pain. We FINALLY got her to the dentist but he couldn't do anything for the tooth so he referred her to an oral surgeon. After two cancellations- she did not want to go, she doesn't like dentists- we finally got her to the surgeon today. The oral surgeon came in, examined the tooth, told us there couldn't be anything done with it and it had to be extracted. We all came up with a plan- twilight anesthesia and he left the room for a few minutes. A lady from the accounts office then came in and told us what the cost would be- $380 for the whole shebang. No payment plans for those without dental insurance. She said the anesthesia cost $215. My grandmother's response was Uh-uh and shoo that's way too expensive. The money lady then offered the alternative of local anesthetic-which would bring the cost down to $165- that price made my grandmother happy. Her tooth was then pulled and all was good with the world. I stated before there is no payment plan- except a patient does have the option of getting a medical credit card to pay for expenses if they're eligible. Um, that doesn't sound like a good thing to me and before the oral surgeon performs the procedures patients have to pay the total amount. Don't people pay for services AFTER they're done? So, for those needing teeth pulled, but don't have insurance, on a fixed income, and no payment plans except a credit card I guess they're out of luck. Ain't our health care system grand? To me doctor's offices having payment plans are reasonable-medical credit cards, not so much.

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