{1 - 24} GreyGrey
{25 - 49} GreenGreen
{50 - 499} BlueBlue
{500 - 4999} OrangeOrange
{5000 - 24999} RedRed
{25000+} BlackBlack

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$99 Cleanings

I was just recently offered a job at a dental office that states that they offer $99 cleanings for patients who do not have dental insurance. The first thing that I thought of was that this offer will be attracting people who potentially have not had a dental cleaning in many years and who may have moderate to abundant buildup that will take longer than the 30 minutes to 45 minutes the dentist at this practice allows for this cleaning offer. I asked if this situation occurs and I need more time to properly complete the cleaning what do you normally do. He states that he would want me to supra scale for 45 minutes and then have the patient come back in 6 weeks and subscale for 45 minutes. This situation is definently not right and I am wondering how others feel about this. I do not want to put my licence at risk as well as know that I am potentially not doing what is the best for the public.



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2 Answers

When this type of offer is advertised it normally applies to patients who qualify for a prophy. If they need SRPs, then the offer does not apply. To only scale supragingival is not a cleaning and in my opinion is not the best treatment for a patient. The patient will feel like they’ve had a cleaning and probably not come back for subgingival scaling, which is what they need the most. Further, if the tissue heals around sub cal, there’s a risk for perio abscess. We live in a litigious society and if a patient filed suit because they needed RCT/Crown or lost the tooth due to the consequences of poor treatment planning, things could get messy.
 
It seems that right off the bat, you don’t agree with the treatment protocols or standard of care of that office. If you aren’t on the same page, I wouldn’t take the job. It’s a red flag for further issues in the future. When you need a job it’s easy to look past these things, hoping things will get better, but in my experience they don’t. Listen to your gut on this one, your ethics are spot on!

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Another issue with this is offering a cash price of $99. If the amount being charged to insurance companies is not the same as the cash price, that is insurance fraud. So, not only is the treatment ineffective and unethical on some patients, but is also illegal. I agree with Kara, that might not be an ideal hygiene home for you.

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