I asked what an overlay was and Dr. Chess explained (as I understand it in regular people terms) it will cover my filling and keep it sealed in. I just think it's part of the filling process.
When I go to check out, I'm informed the overlay is going to cost me 1,300 because my dental insurance won't cover it.
WHAT??? I had a mini heart attack - I had NO IDEA this "overlay" wasn't part of the filling. Had I been informed this was an added procedure - I never would have agreed or would have sought a less expensive solution.
I'm taking some responsibility here - I should have made sure I understood EXACTLY what they were going to do, what my treatment plan was going to be. I did research my dental insurance (and therefore, knew my filling was going to be covered.). I cried all the way home (coming down from the Valium) and then when the valium wore off - I was PISSED. First I'd had a dentist and oral surgeon tell me 4 teeth needed to be extracted - then I go to my old dentist who said I only needed 2 extracted, and felt I was dealing with an honest dentist, then after my second treatment, I'm presented with a 1,300 bill. WHAT THE FUCK! Do I have idiot written all over me? I mean, I know I can be an airhead but listen, I felt like I was totally taken advantage of. The receptionist, upon seeing my face after being told the bill, said, "Didn't anyone go over this with you BEFORE your treatment?"
To me, this is like going to a hair dresser and asking for a shampoo and then while they are "shampooing" your hair, they add color and then charge you for something you never asked for.
I get a call from Arlene the next day (she is wonderful - everyone in the office is super sweet) and said "Good news, your insurance will pay for 800.00!" Well, I guess that depends on how you look at it. Because to me, I'm still being charged for something I had no idea about. I believe this should have been made perfectly clear to me that an overlay was not part of the filling process - and HOW MUCH IT WOULD COST and what other options were available.
This is why I'm unhappy.
Then that stupid tooth broke that night (the temporary overlay came out) and they had to rush me in to fix it in the morning (which they did squeeze me in, so that's great.)
During the check out, I asked that Arlene print me out a treatment plan with potential cost, which she did...but what I really wanted was for someone to sit down and describe everything and give me options. If I were a doctor or dentist, I would start FIRST by a sit down consultation - get to know the doctor & also be given a list of procedures and the cost!!! THEN, if I had a good feeling about the doctor and the office, I would book an appointment for an exam. It's fkin RIDICULOUS that you make an appointment with a new doctor, fill out a bunch of forms about YOURSELF so they know everything about you, then get subjected to ex-rays poking, and prodding, then a Dr. shows up at the end and says, "This is what you need. Nice weather, eh?" And you walk out with a bill that has codes and words you do not understand.
Oh, and of course, if you take your health into your own hands and question procedures you can tell the doctor and staff peg you as difficult.
Again, I will affirm that the staff and Dr. Chess are super fabulous, sweet, friendly, people. My criticism is the lack of communication or rather mis-communication.
Yes, it's great that my insurance company will pay 800.00, however, I only have 1,500 a year to work with. My solution if I had a dental practice and this happened? I'd eat the charges. I wouldn't charge the patient nor the insurance. As a doctor, I would make sure my patient is in total agreement and understands exactly what the procedure entails.
Dr. Chess's office, unfortunately, made it seem like a happy occasion that I would only have to pay 200.00 for a procedure I didn't ask for.
I asked my friends for more local recommendations and spoke with a few receptionists on the phone. They assured me that they would go over a treatment plan and one receptionist was horrified and said, "They are still charging you?"
So, lesson learned. I will question and get treatment procedures in writing PRIOR to any work being done. If they make me feel like a difficult patient because I want to be educated on procedures and billing, then NEXT...there are plenty of dentists - it took me years to find the best doctor (Dr. Notte!!! Who is not naughty (that's how his name is pronounced) - but very funny, conservative with treatment, and explains everything) - and it took me a zillion shmuck boyfriends till I found the love of my life (my ex husband wasn't a schmuck - we just weren't a good fit - he's a good guy - but all the rest are total shmucks).
I hope MY experience helps you be more vocal and communicative when dealing with the medical community. And when you find the "right" fit - make sure to spread the word!
This was updated on 12/19/2012.
Original review was 12/11/12
I had been a patient of Dr. Chess years ago but then left the area. I despise dentists almost as much as spiders...so of course...no dental pain - no new dentist when I moved.
Fast forward 5 years and a bad tooth later.
I had had a great experience at Chess & Taub BUT they are almost 40 minutes away from my house now. And I hate driving too (I swear, I do like most things though...) so I made an appointment with a dentist in Chalfont.
I liked the office staff (though they only had guy magazines in the waiting room!) and the hygienist was very nice but the dentist made me feel like a big baby because I asked about nitrous oxide or anything they could give to help w/ anxiety. Then he told me I needed 4 teeth pulled. What??? He sent me to an oral surgeon (that they work with). The oral surgeon also said 4 teeth should come out. I was only having a problem with one, and when he showed me the xrays - I just didn't see why ALL 4 had to come out. I just had a gut feeling that something wasn't right.
Though they are far away - I decided it would be worth the trip to re-vist my old dentist and made an appointment with Dr. Chess and Taub to get a second opinion.
They made me feel like party of the family as soon as I walked through the door. Ally (Allie?) my hygienist TOTALLY put me at ease and so did Dr. Chess. Dr. Chess is totally relaxed, and you know how you just get a gut feeling a person has the best intentions? That is Dr. Chess. He looked at my xrays and teeth and agreed that 2 teeth needed to be removed, but that the other 2 were very much salvageable. He didn't force the issue and maintained total professionalism and never came out and said that the other dentist was wrong - just that they could easily work with the teeth and it's better to keep your teeth as long as possible - but ultimately he said the decision was up to me.
Yes, I admit I'm a baby when it comes to dental work, but Dr. Chess and Ally and the whole staff made me feel like it was no big deal.
It's totally worth the 40 minute drive for my peace of mind and they almost make dental work something to look forward to. I have another appointment this week and I'm not apprehensive at all - THAT IS A MIRACLE!!!
I can't recommend them enough.
I seldom go home and write a review within a few hours - but I wished there had been more dentist reviews when I was searching locally - so I'm hoping this helps someone.
Bottom line - I would highly HIGHLY recommend Dr. Chess (and the office staff is also totally friendly - rare to find great doctors and great office staff!).
Chess & Taub Family Dentistry
201 Old York Road Suite 200
Jenkintown, PA 19046