Fees for PPE at Dentist Office?

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By an edhat reader

I was recently charged a PPE fee at a dentist's office here in Santa Barbara. I questioned the fee and was met with anger by the staff who said it was becoming an industry standard and that I was wrong for even questioning it. I have asked around and while this is not commonplace just yet it may be becoming the norm. Is this acceptable? Charging an extra fee for safety during a time when many people don’t have much extra cash to spare?

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SBLIFE Aug 14, 2020 12:04 PM
Fees for PPE at Dentist Office?

Yes, very common now. You can insist they bill your insurance for it first, before billing you. Insurance providers are often covering these costs, even though they are not part of the dentist's agreement with them.

forrealnews Aug 14, 2020 12:14 PM
Fees for PPE at Dentist Office?

All doctors charge for materials used. It’s just that generally that is lumped into their fees. Covid is new and changing fees is complicated. You can send to insurance to see if they will cover if it’s part of routine covered service. They can’t be expected to take on the additional cost of all the new materials they have to use for every patient. Otherwise they can just raise lumped fee. However they shouldn’t have gotten mad at you asking about it unless you were rude about how you asked. If it was a nicely inquired question and they were jerks just change dentist. Although they should have told you beforehand that charges would be different and I wonder if they charge a markup

sandy1 Aug 14, 2020 12:16 PM
Fees for PPE at Dentist Office?

The Dr. Offices and Major Clinical Laboratories that have recently visited provide No PPE except latex gloves for their employees and only 1 had hand sanitizer available to the public. 2 or 3 in person visits next week. O boy :(

sandy1 Aug 14, 2020 12:22 PM
Fees for PPE at Dentist Office?

Forgot: I asked several workers from medical assistants, phlebotomists, receptionist , and was told they have to BUY their own .

a-1597434145 Aug 14, 2020 12:42 PM
Fees for PPE at Dentist Office?

"Patients with gum disease are more likely to experience severe, potentially life-threatening complications if they contract COVID-19 and need to be hospitalized, according to a new report published online in the Journal of the California Dental Association.
Chronic gum disease, or periodontitis, is characterized by swollen, bleeding gums and bone loss. It produces a bacteria that releases a harmful protein known as IL-6 (interleukin-6). IL-6 is an inflammatory cytokine that can trigger the out-of-control reaction of the immune system known as a cytokine storm." (SFGate)

oceandrew Aug 14, 2020 01:08 PM
Fees for PPE at Dentist Office?

Of course your dollars are more important to you than the people's well being who'd be attending to you. The PPEs are to protect THEM from any biological particles who've hitched a ride in YOU and it stands to reason they hold YOU fiscally responsible. They also have to disinfect the room before you enter to ensure any biological particles left behind by the previous patient don't infect YOU. As cost of doing business goes up so do fees for services. It's called capitalism, baby.

SBSand Aug 14, 2020 02:38 PM
Fees for PPE at Dentist Office?

I went recently to get my teeth cleaned at Johnson's family dental on La Cumbre and they told me that they were going to charge me a $10 PPE fee too, and they didn't actually USE any, they don't for cleanings, just masks and gloves, which they ALREADY ALWAYS used before. I told my employer and they were going to inquire.

uptown Aug 14, 2020 02:55 PM
Fees for PPE at Dentist Office?

When I saw the headline I immediately thought "Johnson Family Dental." I was a Johnson Family Dental (formerly La Cumbre Dental) patient for decades until I had enough of their gouging and insistence that I needed treatments that seemed unreasonable; scaling and root planing followed by periomaintenance (not covered by insurance) instead of biannual prophylactic cleaning, a night guard. I have been seeing a different dentist the last five years. My teeth and gums are in great shape and my dentist has told me that I should not have been put on periomaintenance, nor been sold a night guard. Incidentally, at my July cleaning visit I was not charged a PPE fee, even though the hygienist was wearing extra PPE. All this is to say that my impression of Johnson Family Dental is that they care more about making money than about keeping patients healthy.

a-1597460794 Aug 14, 2020 08:06 PM
Fees for PPE at Dentist Office?

UPTOWN, which dentist would you recommend? Mine has retired. (Or anyone in addition to UPTOWN?)

Sbrysa Aug 14, 2020 03:11 PM
Fees for PPE at Dentist Office?

They are doing things behind the scenes that you don’t see. For example my moms dentist in between each patient has some disinfect bomb thing that they use in between each person to kill particles in air and everything idk what it is that’s her description not mine. That is probably pricy. It’s already hard doing business right now, and as business owners we are having a lot of extra expenses that the consumer might not see or be aware of. But if u sat on it touched it breathed on it it’s getting disinfected and they have to pay someones to spend 15 minutes to do it so maybe your also paying for that persons wage. It really baffles me that ppl that have never owned a business truly don’t understand anything about how expensive a business is to run. I myself am just eating the costs into my already non existent profit margins due to covid. And being shut down for now 6 months. Maybe instead of griping over $10 u should just see a new dentist that won’t take the care to disinfect everything properly and you can keep your $10.

shorebird Aug 14, 2020 03:18 PM
Fees for PPE at Dentist Office?

I think the best way to approach a dental visit now is to ask ahead of time that they not do anything not covered by insurance unless they check with your first and tell you what the charge will be. My last dentist thought that I was a pit of money. According to my Delta Dental insurance my last visit co-pay should have been $55. But my bill was $200. Seems like a kind of fraud is going on here. Honesty would be nice but seems to be in short supply in Santa Barbara dentist. Anybody got a suggestion for a Delta Dental HMO honest dentist?????

a-1597501825 Aug 15, 2020 07:30 AM
Fees for PPE at Dentist Office?

3:18 p.m. I don’t know what insurance he takes, but try Dr. Fred Hepp on State St.

Ahchooo Aug 14, 2020 03:32 PM
Fees for PPE at Dentist Office?

Delta Dental doesn’t really pay what it costs for dentistry these days, at least for some procedures. I’d like to hear what local dentists have to say about all this. Any dentists or hygienists reading Edhat these days?

pstarSR Aug 14, 2020 05:24 PM
Fees for PPE at Dentist Office?

how is this "very common", the dentists already wear PPE, as its part of their job. why would they charge you for it? unless they handed you a mask? This is not a standard and should not be, as it was ALREADY required for people working as dentists or doctors to wear PPE during procedures. when was the last time you sat in a dentist chair and the dentist did not have a mask on? Not like dental is cheap, they already charge you for the " common " gear needed to do the procedure. this seems off to me. but of course others will say im crazy and this is normal and get over it. so next time im asked to work on a project im going to charge $10 per day for a mask, even though in order for me to be open and a business I should already have acquired masks for myself. but its ok to charge for it from what everyone else is saying.

GeneralTree Aug 15, 2020 08:06 AM
Fees for PPE at Dentist Office?

Your assessment is uninformed. The PPE the dentists use has gone up in price 6 times since covid started.

a-1597456467 Aug 14, 2020 06:54 PM
Fees for PPE at Dentist Office?

Dentists got into their profession to make money. They are, in my experience, the most avaricious profession.

a-1597517775 Aug 15, 2020 11:56 AM
Fees for PPE at Dentist Office?

I have a great dentist, and though he is not cheap, his work is excellent and lasts a long time. He does not push unnecessary treatments. Alas, I think he’s about to retire. (And I haven’t been to him since covid, so I don’t know if he now charges extra.)

JB86 Aug 14, 2020 07:02 PM
Fees for PPE at Dentist Office?

I've been on a 4-month cleaning cycle for years. last scheduled in April. Well obviously that didn't happen and the office advised me they would contact me when hygienist services were available. Nothing has happened, so basically it seems I am without a Dentist. Just need to brush and floss a lot I guess.

a-1597507815 Aug 15, 2020 09:10 AM
Fees for PPE at Dentist Office?

I have been to four local dental practices over the years + I highly recommend Dr. Walter Dukes at Mesa Dental. He + his staff are knowledgeable, professional + friendly. Dr Dukes collaborates with other specialists, e.g. periodontists (implants) + MDs who specialize in sleep disorders (sleep apnea, snoring). While not inexpensive, when it comes to dentistry, you get what you pay for.

bluesky_ca Aug 15, 2020 11:56 AM
Fees for PPE at Dentist Office?

My dentist in La charged $15 at my last appointment for PPE. I did not ask them to try to bill it to the insurance company. They did a lot of extra stuff including two masks, a face shield, a gown, and a special air flow unit that cleaned the air with UV rays. I did not mind paying the fee.

Sagepup Aug 15, 2020 11:59 AM
Fees for PPE at Dentist Office?

I highly recommend Del Pinho on Mitchelteraina, The whole staff is awsome. He is a great Dentist and a really nice guy.

hunkymon Aug 15, 2020 01:39 PM
Fees for PPE at Dentist Office?

Time to get a new dentist. Not because of the fee, but because of their response to you when you asked about it.

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