Dentists Say Specialists Usually Refer Patients Back

Prosthodontists and Periodontists Suck; Oral Surgeons and Orthodontists Rule

Dental Survey ResultsThis survey asked dentists how frequently their patients are referred back after being sent out for treatment by specialists. The clear majority said they always or almost always got their patients back.

Dentists reported that prosthodontists were the worst offenders when it comes to not referring patients back. There were also complaints about pediatric dentists and periodontists. Dentists were happiest with oral surgeons, orthodontists, and endodontists.

Here are some comments from dentists about specialist referrals…

  • “Periodontists only have incoming phone lines. They never refer back.” (Arizona dentist)
  • “Building a good relationship with your specialists is critical. Specialist referrals are our second greatest source of new patients, after existing patient referrals.” (Pennsylvania cosmetic dentist)
  • “Endodontists love to do it all, endo and restorations. They’re too greedy.” (Arizona dentist)
  • “The endodontists to whom I send patients are tremendous.” (Illinois dentist)
  • “Oral surgeons and orthodontists are a great source of new patients, especially in a growing area.” (North Carolina dentist)
  • “Orthodontists will not share or help with easy cases, and refer existing patients to oral surgeons, not back to us.” (Arizona dentist)
  • “I enjoy the relationship with my periodontist. He does the perio and I do the restorative. I’m not afraid that when I refer the patient that they will get lost.” (California dentist)
  • “Periodontists attempt to take over patients’ care and regular hygiene visits.” (North Carolina dentist)
  • “Pedodontists never, ever refer back! They are by far the worst of all specialists.” (Arkansas dentist)

about specialist referrals or read the complete results

Root Canal Dentist Uses Paper Clips in Surgery

Root canals with paper clipsA Massachusetts dentist accused of using paper clips in root canal procedures has been indicted on 13 charges.

The dentist pinched pennies by using pieces of paper clips instead of stainless steel posts – though that didn’t stop him from billing Medicaid for the more expensive materials he didn’t bother to use.

The charges against him include assault and battery, larceny, submitting false Medicaid claims (using other doctors’ provider numbers), and illegally prescribing drugs (Hydrocodone, Combunox and Percocet).

Between 2003 and 2005, he is estimated to have submitted at least $130,000 in fraudulent Medicaid bills. But it’s his use of office supplies in root canal therapy that’s garnered the most attention. (This root canal treatment is definitely not endodontist-approved!) In fact, some of his root canal patients still have paper clips in their mouths.

Read more about how NOT to cure root canal pain: Charge: Paper clips used in root canals

Root Canal Fees: General Dentist Vs Endodontist

root canal feesThis survey found the average root canal fee is $887 if treatment is performed by a general dentist and $1,500 if done by a specialist, with the majority of dentists surveyed saying they perform root canals.

Fees for different teeth vary only slightly regardless of whether performed by a generalist or a specialist.

At a general practice –

  • D3310 – anterior tooth: $745.00
  • D3320 – bicuspid tooth: $850.00
  • D3330 – molar: $1,013.00

At a specialist practice –

  • D3310 – anterior tooth: $1,300.00
  • D3320 – bicuspid tooth: $1,195.00
  • D3330 – molar: $1,268.00

Root canal therapy costs somewhat more from endodontists than from general dentists, especially on posterior teeth. Of course, an endodontist will perform a difficult root canal, while a general dentist might refer out that endodontic procedure.

Here are some dentist comments about root canals:

  • “I don’t do endo in my office any more. With microscopes and all the other technology available in endo offices, I feel my patients are getting a better quality service with the specialist than I can provide.” (General dentist)
  • “How about when the root canal needs to be extracted 4 months later and the patient demands a refund and/or free extraction?” (General dentist)
  • “Root canals performed by endodontists are a better alternative to tooth extraction.” (Tenessee endodontist)
  • “What used to take several long appointments can now be performed in one appointment, but some require more, so it’s better to refer to an endo.” (General dentist)
  • “I need to raise my fees.” (Texas dentist)
  • “About twenty years ago, the Federal Government prosecuted a small group of dentists who discussed their fees over coffee. The government considered this to be “price fixing” which is against the law. Since then, dentists have been publicly warned not to discuss their fees among themselves or face prosecution.” (California dentist)

Read more: Fees for a Root Canal Average $887 – $1,195 and Root Canals: Who Needs an Endodontist?

New Root Canal Patient Gross Production Value

New Root Canal Patient Gross Production ValueThe latest The Wealthy Dentist survey reveals that the average gross production of a new root canal patient in the first 9 months of treatment in 2012 was $2,300.

Suburban dentists reported higher production figures with amounts between $2,200 – $5,000.

Charles Blair of the Blair, McGill and Hill Group with Dr. Michael D. Goldstein have stated that “there is no greater potential for increasing your net hourly revenue than by doing your own uncomplicated endodontic procedures efficiently… analysis has consistently shown endodontics to have the highest dollar-per-hour and highest dollar-per-visit payoff of any [dental] procedure…(Source: Dr. Michael D. Goldstein)

It has been estimated that approximately 40 million root canals are performed annually in the U.S. with a greater than 95% success rate.

A UCL Eastman Dental Institute systematic review of human clinical studies on tooth survival following non-surgical root canal treatment found four conditions that significantly improved tooth survival, making it an attractive dental procedure for many dental patients. In descending order of influence, the conditions increasing observed proportion of survival were as follows:

1. A dental crown restoration after RCTx.
2. Tooth having both mesial and distal proximal contacts.
3. Tooth not functioning as an abutment for removable or fixed prosthesis.
4. Tooth type or specifically non-molar teeth.

In The Wealthy Dentist root canal survey, general dentists were performing root canals and reporting average production profits between $1,800 and $3,000 for new root canal patients, while endodontists average $1,000.

One dentist responded, “Root canal therapy is a big money maker. It’s a great way to beef up the bottom line.”

What are your thoughts on the value of a new root canal patient?

Root Canal Treatment a Favorite Procedure, Dentists Say

Root Canal Treatment a Favorite Procedure, Dentists SayIt is estimated that almost 60 million root canal treatments are performed each year and that number continues to climb as aging baby boomers work to save their teeth.

Root canals might be something dental patients dread, but it’s a dental procedure a lot of dentists seem to love doing.

With the demand for root canals growing, The Wealthy Dentist conducted a survey that asked dentists if they treat root canals, or refer them out.

On dentist replied, “I love doing root canal treatments. It’s most pleasing to me personally. It keeps me motivated and challenged.”

Not all dentists are so eager to perform root canals and prefer to refer them out to an endodontist for treatment.

To hear what dentists had to say about performing root canals, Click on Play —

Do you enjoy performing root canals, or do you refer them out?

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