root canal treatment Archives - The Wealthy Dentist

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?

Dental Care: Dentist Uses Paper Clips for Root Canals

Dental Care: Dentist Uses Paper Clips for Root CanalsPaper clips for dental patient root canals and Hydrocone for the dental staff — does this sound like a normal dental practice to you?

It doesn’t to Maryland Superior Court Judge Richard Moses, who is scheduled to sentence former dentist Michael Clair on one count of tampering with evidence, one count of witness intimidation, two counts of assault and battery, three counts of illegally prescribing controlled substances, three counts of larceny, and five counts of Medicaid fraud.

Sounds like the legal system is having a good time working Dr. Clair over. But was it deserved . . . absolutely!

Dr. Michael Clair fraudulently billed Medicaid for $130,000 between August 2003 and June 2005. At that time he was licensed to practice dentistry, but had been prohibited from doing work on Medicaid patients. Investigators allege Clair performed the work and then had other dentists in the practice submit bills to Medicaid.

The investigation also charged that Clair twice used paper clips rather than the more expensive stainless steel posts to strengthen teeth given a root canal. Investigators also charged Clair with prescribing Hydrocodone, Combunox and Percocet to staff members, who in turn gave some of the medicine back to him.

Clair has admitted guilty to all the charges.

Read more: Fall River dentist who used paper clips pleads guilty before trial

The Truth About Dental Tourism

The Truth About Dental TourismDental tourism has become a common practice among many Americans as a way to save money on dental treatments.

Statistics on this trend are hard to come by, but it is estimated that each year over one million people from around the world travel outside their country for some form of dental treatment, with summer being the busiest season for dental tourism.

The highest number of dental tourists is believed to come from the U.S., while Europeans are the second largest group to travel abroad for cheap dental treatments.

There are around 600 – 800 private clinics for surgical medical tourism, of which 80% offer dentistry services.

In recent years, medical travel companies all over the U.S. have sprung up to guide Americans through the dental insurance and logistical hurdles of treatments at medical facilities abroad in places like Mexico. One popular destination for Americans to receive dental treatment is in the Mexicali area, where the dental hub of Los Algodones is located.

Mexicali’s city tourism director, Omar Dipp even meets traveling medical tourists in the lobbies of their hotels.

Dipp recently told the online publication Fontieras that Mexicali received $16 million from medical tourism in 2010. His office is trying to boost that number by 50%.

The top 4 dental treatments patients travel for are –

1. Dental implants.
2. Crowns and bridges.
3. Root canal procedures.
4. Smile makeovers.

Some experts feel the rise in this trend is due to lack of dental insurance among patients, while others feel it is due to the rising costs of what patients have to pay over what dental insurance is willing to pay.

The American Dental Association has acknowledged that dental tourism is an increasing phenomenon that confronts dentists in the United States.

The ADA recommends the following to dentists:

1. A patient’s freedom of choice is an overriding consideration in any situation and is one in which dentists must recognize (ADA Code, Section 1, Patient Autonomy).

2. The ethical dentist will treat the patient who has received dental treatment outside the United States in the same manner as he/she would treat a patient who has transferred their care from any other practice, irrespective of the fact that the treatment performed outside of the United States might or might not be substandard and, in some instances, a possible detriment to the patient’s health.

3. A dentist should consult applicable state law to determine the definition of “patient of record.” Failure to treat such a patient may raise ethical concerns under ADA Code Section 2.F, Patient Abandonment.

4. A dentist should clearly describe to the patient his/her oral health status (ADA Code, Section 4.C, Justifiable Criticism) and maintain carefully documented records of treatment provided. Records should detail the patient’s baseline condition so secondary dental care can be clearly differentiated from treatment performed by another dentist whether in or outside the United States.

5. Where there is an emergency situation that develops as a result of dental tourism and the patient is not—or is no longer—one of record, dentists are obliged, at the least, to make reasonable arrangements for emergency care (ADA Code Section 4.B Emergency Service).

6. Dentists, especially those practicing in border states where dental tourism occurs more frequently, should begin to educate their patients about optimal oral health and costs versus the perceived value of dental tourism and advise them of the potential difficulty in seeking redress if problems are encountered with dental treatment performed in a foreign country.

Dentists, have you dealt with patients receiving dental treatments outside of the U.S.?

Have you lost dental patients due to dental tourism?

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?

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