OK, so I went and saw the oral surgeon (snicker) last week for a consultation on getting my wisdom teeth out. When I had originally booked the consultation, the receptionist was all “hey, let’s just book the surgery for the next week, even though you haven’t even had a consultation yet!” After checking that I wouldn’t be charged1 if it turned out I cancelled because I didn’t need the surgery (I mean, theoretically, isn’t it possible that the consultation would show I don’t need them out after all?) , I said OK. So I go to the oral surgeon this week and discover some interesting things:
- the guy my dentist referred me to is an oral & maxillofacial surgeon. Which means he not only extracts wisdom teeth, but he does cosmetic facial surgery. All over his office, there are “before” and “after” photos of nose jobs, skin resurfacing and facial liposuction. Seriously, this guy does liposuction of the face. Buh-bye double chin!
- When they tell you that they have to take a new x-ray because the ones that the dentist took don’t show the roots of your teeth but “don’t worry, it’s a different kind of x-ray so your insurance will cover it”, they will neglect to tell you that there is a yearly maximum for all dental x-rays, which your dentist has already so surpassed, so yes, you will be paying that out of pocket. Buh-bye $60!
- Despite the fact that you will only see the oral surgeon for a grand total of 5 minutes, you will spentda considerable amount of time filling out forms, waiting in the waiting room, getting that x-ray that they promised is covered by insurance but really isn’t, waiting in the waiting room again, waiting in the exam room, talking to two different receptionists about insurance for the surgery, waiting in the waiting room again and paying the bill that the insurance should be covering all $140 of, but it turns out they are only covered $40 of instead. Buh-bye 1.5 hours of your life.
- The receptionist who originally told you to book the surgery for the following week neglected to mention that you’d have to pay out of pocket for the entire procedure and then just hope that the insurance company would pay you back. Because clearly you just have $1700 lying around that you can be out of pocket for several months. So you decide to re-book the surgery for the end of the summer as one receptionist tells you that it will take 2-4 weeks, and another tells you 4-6 weeks, to get pre-approval for the surgery so that they can bill the insurance company directly (and since this puts your surgery smack in the middle of the bachelorettes/showers/weddings that you are going to, you decide end of the summer is better). As it turns out, it took a grand total of 6 days for the pre-approaval and you could have had the surgery done as scheduled, had you not cancelled it because you were told pre-approval takes weeks.
Oh well, at least I contaminated their office with the plague.
1Experience has taught me that you have to check, re-check and triple-check that these dental health professionals aren’t going to charge you for something before you do it. ‘Oh, didn’t you know about our “you breathed air in our office” fee? That’s too bad – now give us $1 million.’