I take my health seriously. Sometimes too seriously. To the point where years ago I paid for my dentist’s mortgage. Let me explain:
Summer 2009, I was about 6 months out of college, Bachelor of Arts degree in hand and student loans to match. I was also at a loss of health insurance. My parents insurance only covered me while I was a student and here I was, entering the real world sans career, sans health insurance. I worried but was reassured remembering having a physical and getting my vision checked prior to graduation (while still under my parents insurance). Then I thought of the last part of the trifecta: the dentist. I asked around for some references and no one really had a solid recommendation, so I opened up the phone book and took a look. I did some research and soon after, drove to a nearby dentist (let’s call him Dr. Cash Cavity).
Since I was a new patient, they needed X-rays before the cleaning. For these two services, I was quoted $300 + my first born child (at least this is what it felt like!). I almost went into cardiac arrest, but I didn’t want to put it off any longer. After the cleaning, Dr. Cash Cavity tells me I needed some fillings – 8 of them, for the casual price of $1,600. There was no way I was going to be able to afford that. But I was offered a financing option: a MasterCard with 0% interest for 12 months. Still, the thought of $1,600 echoed in my ears as I walked out the door. I spoke to friends and family members and was advised to finance it and pay it off over 12 months. I spoke to a friend who’s father is a dentist and he stated $200/filling is about right. Struck with a fear of my teeth rotting away, I went in and got all the fillings done. I charged it on the MasterCard, and thought to myself:
I just had $1,600 worth of dental work done.
Once the heist was complete, the receptionist hands me my card back says, “Ok, now you need to have 6 more fillings done on the other side of your mouth”. The $1,200 quote elicited a death stare and I thought “Are you serious, 14 fillings in total?” I stormed off as she gave me a confused stare. Once I got home and had time to cool off, I decided to do what I should have done in the first place: get a second opinion.
This time I was more careful picking a dental office. I found a place that offered a free consultation which included free X-ray exam and screening. Once my X-rays were taken I met with the dentist, was told I have healthy teeth but would need to come in for one filling…. one filling?!
I explained my previous situation and she says, “Nope, you only need one filling.” I again explained my situation and she assured me I only needed one. I couldn’t believe Dr. Cash Cavity took me for $1,600 and then tried taking me for another $1,200! As I was being checked out, I briefly told the receptionist my story. Without me mentioning the place or dentist she asked if I had been a patient of Dr. Cash Cavity. After confirming I was, she released a chuckle and while shaking her head said: “They’ve been known to give people unnecessary root canals!”
Always get a second opinion.
What is one purchase you were able to get for less than asking price?