A dentist recently went viral when he explained how to ensure that the costs of your dental work don’t eat up all your savings.
Dr. Brady Smith (@drbradysmith) made the viral video in response to user @beautifulkarma67 after she claimed to have spent $1,200 on a root canal, even with insurance. Viewed over 465,000 times as of publication, viewers flooded his comments section with further questions about dental work.
“Don’t ask your dental office if they take your insurance,” Dr. Brady begins. “It’s a bad question. Ask your dental office, ‘Are you in network with my insurance?’ if price is the most important thing to you because you will pay more every time at an out-of-network office, and sometimes that’s not fully transparent.”
“It’s one of the less transparent but yet common practices of many dental offices that are out of network,” he continues. “And so you have patients who say this, and then they blame dentistry. ‘Dentistry is so expensive.'”
“Well, no, you went to the wrong dentist because with your insurance, if you came to my office or an in-network dentist, your insurance is going to cover 80 percent of the fee, which the dentist is contractually obligated to honor,” Dr. Brady explains. “And you’re going to end up paying two or three hundred dollars for a root canal instead.”
“Being an out of network allows the dentist to take the insurance, meaning they can bill the insurance, but they can tack on literally any amount they want to. And they’re not super forthcoming in many situations with that information,” he concludes.
@drbradysmith Replying to @BeautifulKarma67 ♬ original sound – Drbrady
Many viewers were grateful for the information. “Thanks for spreading the word,” one commenter wrote. “I felt taken advantage of when this happened to me.”
Others realized they’d been taken advantage of.
“Yeah, I spent $2,500 on my deep cleaning and haven’t ever gone back in 7 years,” a viewer said.
“After seeing this video I’m realizing the dentist I’ve went to for 11 years is not in my network,” a second added.
Many Americans avoid dental work due to the cost. According to a recent survey, 22.9% of adults don’t plan on seeing a dentist in the next year, and 40% of them claim it is due to cost concerns. One of the best ways to lower costs is to use a doctor within your insurance network.
There are simple ways to ensure that your dentist is in your network. First, you can ask them if they are part of your insurance network. Secondly, you can contact your insurance company directly and search for dentists in your area who are within your network.
Delaying dental care will only worsen the situation, but there are ways to keep your costs down. These include maintaining an oral hygiene regimen. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Brush your teeth for two minutes, and make sure to brush the inside, outside, and chewing surface of each tooth. Another way to protect your teeth from damage is by avoiding hard objects that can chip or break teeth, like ice, hard candy, and popcorn kernels.
The Daily Dot reached out to Dr. Brady via TikTok comments for further information.