Dental Decisions

With my new job comes new health insurance.  Before I accepted my new position, I made sure the two doctors/group practices we use on a regular basis we part of the plan.  (They were, which was a load off my mind.)

Now comes the dental decision.  Currently we use two dentists locally; neither of which we are very pleased with, but both are accessible without a car.  Both are part of our new plan, although I believe one MAY be "preferred", which I believe means that our cost would be less for any needed dental work (beyond the routine).  However, I'm not 100% sure of that yet (I'm not in the plan yet), so I'm still weighing my options.

There are of course, other dentists in the area.  I haven't heard much good about ANY local dentist.  And I would prefer a local dentist that was in walking distance from our home.  So, if anyone reading this knows me personally, feel free to make suggestions.

With that said, if both dentists that we have used are in the plan, which one do I chose?  Maybe you can help me decide...

The Story of Dentist A:  My husband found a great dentist shortly after we had been married and he had some dental problems.  We had no insurance at the time, which meant his visits were costly, but the treatment was worth it.  So when I had a problem, I called his office and got right in.  We both really liked him.  He was within walking distance and he treated us well.  He did not take young children, which is why we took our son to Dentist B.  Sadly for us, this great dentist retired and sold his practice to Dentist A.  I figured we'd stick with Dentist A.  As the switch over from one practice to another began, I could not find Dentist A in our dental plan, but could find the old practice listed.  I was given the impression that Dentist A would be in the plan as things were transferred from our "old" dentist to "new" Dentist A.  However, every time my husband and I went, there was an issue.  We'd get a bill.  I'd call and say the routine cleanings should be covered.  They'd make a correction (or so I was lead to believe) and that would be that.  This went on for over a year and I was getting tired of their mistakes when we got a postcard reminding us to make an appointment.  Now we already HAD appointments with Dentist A.  My husband called to find out what was going on and found that they had made a scheduling error.  Instead of having a morning appointment on Day X, he was not schedule at all.  And instead of having an evening appointment on Day X, I had a morning appointment.  So, my husband took MY appointment and I was pushed back another month and a half so that I could get an evening appointment.  When my husband went in, they found a filling that needed to be replaced.  The ensuing bills had my husband on the phone with the insurance company and the office of Dentist A.  Turns out, despite what we had been told over a year ago, Dentist A did NOT accept our insurance.  It was "too complicated" to get into the program (even though before Dentist A purchased the practice, it was part of the network.  Fed up (and not willing to pay for a routine visit), I cancelled my appointment and have yet to decide if I want to return to this office or not once I have my new dental insurance.

The Story of Dentist B:  When he was young, we wanted to take our son to a "child friendly” dentist.  With research we decided to Dentist B.  Dentist B was further away from our house, but would be within walking distance.  (Although it would be a long walk.)  We were all pretty happy with Dentist B, although as time went on we were seeing less of the dentist and more of the hygienist.  Then there was the wait time.  Due to school and scheduling, most of my son's routine appointments were set up at the end of the day, around 6 PM.  On more than three occasions, we had to wait an hour or more before he was seen.  Since he was already skittish on the whole dentist thing, this didn't make things any easier.  On our last visit (aka the straw that broke the camel's back), once again we had to wait over an hour and I decided enough was enough.  When asked if I wanted to make another appointment for 6 months down the road, I declined.  I wasn't going to go back.  But that was before the whole issue with Dentist A.

So what do I do?  I'm not happy with Dentist A.  I'm not happy with Dentist B.  Do I search for Dentist C?  (There are two other dentists close to my home, but to be honest I haven't heard good things about them.)  Do I suck it up and stick with Dentist A or Dentist B?

Although none of this is life shattering, it is enough to make you grind your teeth in frustration.  And maybe that's what these dentists want.  I'll better go check and see if that will be covered under my new dental insurance plan!


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