Apr 1, 2010
154
0
41
Status
Pre-Dental
Here is the question...

so... 56 years old woman walks into your office and she's under great pain in the first molar. She is ready for an extraction but she says that she does not have money to pay. And your office is full of patients waiting for their turn for treatments. Would you continue the extraction or send her to reduced price dental services?
 

DrDDSman

10+ Year Member
Jul 19, 2007
692
2
0
Status
Dental Student
I would to the extraction, and work out a fee reduction/payment plan of some sort. No one deserves to be in excruciating pain.
 

FutureDent020

Senior Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 3, 2009
1,518
29
161
Status
Dentist
You ask her to get a loan from a friend or work some kind of payment plan out with her. If she can't come up with the money at all, direct her to a free dental clinic or run one yourself on a Saturday. You can't provide free dental care just because someone can't come up with the money. It also depends on the patients track record with you. This was what I was told by two dentists and asked this at an interview
 

FutureDent020

Senior Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 3, 2009
1,518
29
161
Status
Dentist
I would to the extraction, and work out a fee reduction/payment plan of some sort. No one deserves to be in excruciating pain.
Get duped once or twice by a patient and you may think differently
 

ArmyPilot

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Aug 25, 2007
50
0
141
Status
Pre-Dental
either treat for free (order of triage; but then again, thats how we work in the military - civilian world doesnt work like that apparently) or if you are hell bent on not treating her for free, local anesthetic/pain med perscription and directions to closest free clinic
 

FutureDent020

Senior Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 3, 2009
1,518
29
161
Status
Dentist
either treat for free (order of triage; but then again, thats how we work in the military - civilian world doesnt work like that apparently) or if you are hell bent on not treating her for free, local anesthetic/pain med perscription and directions to closest free clinic
:thumbup:
But then you have to watch out for people who just want pain killers.
 

Ostracized

New Member
10+ Year Member
Jun 30, 2005
178
7
251
Status
Dentist
I personally plan to do all my work for free. After all, everyone has money problems - how could I live with myself charging people to fix their teeth? Also, dentists are rich enough - we shouldn't ask our patients to pay for our services.
 

FutureDent020

Senior Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 3, 2009
1,518
29
161
Status
Dentist
I personally plan to do all my work for free. After all, everyone has money problems - how could I live with myself charging people to fix their teeth? Also, dentists are rich enough - we shouldn't ask our patients to pay for our services.
Haha, such an idealist
 

SeattleRDH

Moderator Emeritus
Mar 10, 2010
888
3
0
Duh
Status
If you are practicing in a small town be careful about sending someone away who is in pain. News travels fast and you don't want her to go telling everyone what an uncaring dentist you are. I would work out a payment plan with the patient. It's not like she's asking for a free crown.
 

dl9006

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jul 2, 2008
541
1
91
Status
Dental Student
I personally plan to do all my work for free. After all, everyone has money problems - how could I live with myself charging people to fix their teeth? Also, dentists are rich enough - we shouldn't ask our patients to pay for our services.
in a perfect world.:rolleyes:
 
Dec 17, 2009
58
0
0
Status
Dental Student
An extraction of the first molar takes less than 20 minutes on average. Pull the tooth, then work out a deal later... Or volunteer at a free clinic once a week and tell them to meet you there (if the date is not too far off). Anyone who has had a severe toothache will tell you they'd be willing to do anything to be relieved of the pain. I have even seen a dentist I shadowed barter with someone to get his lawn mowed for a month ;).

As for the drug abuse patients, send them home with extra strength tylenol. They will still be in pain, but once the tooth is out, they will feel better in no time.

But like you said, this should only be done once! No repeat offenders!
 

peanutb123

10+ Year Member
Sep 1, 2008
1,211
8
0
Status
Pre-Dental
pishhhhhhhhhh amateurs

I would recommend to the patient in pain to this famous dentist who does extractions for ohh... 20$ max.
to save money he will also use reusable needles.

[YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBsZ5fbZ0QY[/YOUTUBE]
 
Dec 1, 2009
30
0
0
Status
Pre-Dental
pishhhhhhhhhh amateurs

I would recommend to the patient in pain to this famous dentist who does extractions for ohh... 20$ max.
to save money he will also use reusable needles.

[YOUTUBE]JBsZ5fbZ0QY[/YOUTUBE]

Holy Hell!! My butt was puckered the entire time I was watching this... that is horrible... thank god for the evolution of dentistry!
 

diagnodent

Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Dec 9, 2005
164
0
141
Status
Dentist
In the real world the patient must pay especially if you have a waiting room full of paying patients. I wonder if the grocery store would just give out food to some one who is hungry but has no money....sure they would.

And if you work for a clinic or company and do free work then that company takes that amount out of your paycheck. So its a lose-lose.

Please remember dentistry is a business because when you're 200K in debt from school and another 400k in debt from a practice loan you leave all your idealism at the door.
 

12345a

Membership Revoked
Removed
10+ Year Member
Mar 9, 2009
359
0
0
Status
I plan on providing a service and being compensated for it. I plan on occasionally taking some pro-bono cases but I'll be looking out for the business first, then the pts.

Like Dwight Schrute said in the office "Listen Scott, it's a business...not a charity."
 

alexamasan

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Dec 17, 2008
145
1
91
Status
Pre-Dental
I personally plan to do all my work for free. After all, everyone has money problems - how could I live with myself charging people to fix their teeth? Also, dentists are rich enough - we shouldn't ask our patients to pay for our services.
I don't understand how this can be so. How would you get paid if you don't charge your patients?

But it seems that people are out of touch with the business side of things here. Whether you own your own practice or work for someone else's, you have to make profit or else you won't be practicing dentistry...period.
 
Feb 17, 2010
301
2
0
Status
Dental Student
I don't understand how this can be so. How would you get paid if you don't charge your patients?

But it seems that people are out of touch with the business side of things here. Whether you own your own practice or work for someone else's, you have to make profit or else you won't be practicing dentistry...period.

Clearly, he was being facetious.
 

GoldTigerPirate

I'm on a boat
Jun 29, 2009
63
1
0
Status
Dental Student
Type in "occupation" on Dictionary.com and you will get:
oc·cu·pa·tion

   /ˌɒk
yəˈpeɪ
ʃən/ Show Spelled[ok-yuh-pey-shuh
n] Show IPA

–noun1.a person's usual or principal work or business, esp. as a means of earning a living; vocation: Her occupation was dentistry.


I found it moderately amusing. Now, let a zealot run with it and say that the internet is conspiring against us by encouraging users of the dictionary to become dentists and thus adding to the competition! LoL

 

AmpedUp

The Legend Still Lives
7+ Year Member
Dec 1, 2009
657
6
151
Status
Dentist
Do the extraction on the spot and work out a payment plan or refer to a free clinic (for the repeat "offender"). Labor and materials are not free...How do you expect to live if you operate for free? lol

The truth is..Dentistry is an occupation/career; not a hobby..

Note: I do plan on working/volunteering at free clinics as a dentist...
 

12345a

Membership Revoked
Removed
10+ Year Member
Mar 9, 2009
359
0
0
Status
lol actually I amend what I said. Here's what I would do - do the extraction, put that dr.12345a has helped the poor and undeserved on my website, contact the local (and national) news, and bring in more $$$ from my well deserved publicity.....then buy an Aston martin.
 

cmonster11

5+ Year Member
Feb 1, 2010
31
0
91
Status
Pre-Dental
Type in "occupation" on Dictionary.com and you will get:
oc·cu·pa·tion

   /ˌɒk
yəˈpeɪ
ʃən/ Show Spelled[ok-yuh-pey-shuh
n] Show IPA

–noun1.a person's usual or principal work or business, esp. as a means of earning a living; vocation: Her occupation was dentistry.


I found it moderately amusing. Now, let a zealot run with it and say that the internet is conspiring against us by encouraging users of the dictionary to become dentists and thus adding to the competition! LoL
That is moderately amusing. Not only is dictionary.com creating more competition, they're encouraging more women to pursue dentisrty too! :laugh:
 
May 30, 2009
37
0
0
Iowa City
Status
Dental Student
I personally plan to do all my work for free. After all, everyone has money problems - how could I live with myself charging people to fix their teeth? Also, dentists are rich enough - we shouldn't ask our patients to pay for our services.
Was this a joke :laugh:

I'm all for helping others as I feel that is a large part of deciding to go into the health care field, but I'm looking at being a 1/4 Million dollars in debt when I'm done with dental school......so they, my patients, also need to help me out. After all, doing work for free does feel good....until it comes time to pay the bills....
 

coolslugs

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Jul 9, 2005
797
25
261
Status
Was this a joke :laugh:

I'm all for helping others as I feel that is a large part of deciding to go into the health care field, but I'm looking at being a 1/4 Million dollars in debt when I'm done with dental school......so they, my patients, also need to help me out. After all, doing work for free does feel good....until it comes time to pay the bills....
This seems to be the most common reason given in situations like this. What about after you pay off your debt? What would you do then?
 

oae

New Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Aug 6, 2006
407
0
141
California
Status
Pre-Dental
I plan on dedicating two days out of the month to help those in need for free.

There would be a semi-extensive paperwork/evidence process associated to determine whether the patients are truly financially limited.

Some people on here continue to express skepticism about the viability of doing this type of volunteer work for one reason or another. But they are all just excuses.

God gives some of us the privilege to work hard/be smart/become successful only to test whether or not we will share it with those who aren't privileged.

Those of you who dont plan on helping anyone have every right to decide that. It doesnt make you better or worse. Its just the type of person you are and you're outlook on life, which you are entitled to.
 

alexamasan

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Dec 17, 2008
145
1
91
Status
Pre-Dental
Was this a joke :laugh:

I'm all for helping others as I feel that is a large part of deciding to go into the health care field, but I'm looking at being a 1/4 Million dollars in debt when I'm done with dental school......so they, my patients, also need to help me out. After all, doing work for free does feel good....until it comes time to pay the bills....
This seems to be the most common reason given in situations like this. What about after you pay off your debt? What would you do then?
Debt is not your only expense, some people have to pay mortgage, save for retirement, feed the kids, pay for kids' college and their dental school tuition :p

For me, it would really depend on my situation. If I was pretty well off, I would initially try to find some way to work out a payment, but if it's not possible, then I might not mind doing the procedure without charging if it isn't a usual thing. But if the practice I was working for isn't very successful, then it would be much more urgent for me to find a way for the patient to pay somehow. Otherwise, I would simply not treat her and point her to a free dental clinic.
 
Last edited:

oae

New Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Aug 6, 2006
407
0
141
California
Status
Pre-Dental
Realistically speaking, MAJORITY (>90%) of dentists are doing very exceptionally well whether they work for a dentist or have their own office.

Even with the mortgage, kids, plastic surgery for the wife, and the annual Bahama vacation, I am certain that every dentist can help ATLEAST 2-3 people a month who may genuinely need the help. If every dentist made those contribution, alot of people in need would be helped out. (There are ways of determining patients who are truly in need and not lying).

Besides, What goes around comes around. Sometimes that little free dental service you provided may bring good karma for your dental office and increase sales. Life works in mysterious ways, as I have experienced this multiple times.
 
Sep 13, 2009
163
0
0
Status
Pre-Dental
Holy Hell!! My butt was puckered the entire time I was watching this... that is horrible... thank god for the evolution of dentistry!
Wow, If you really think that this is the state of Indian dentistry, you are incredibly stupid. Dentists in India are just like dentists in any other part of the world. This is just some idiot on the side of the road who is pulling people's teeth out. Trust me, he isn't a dentist, or at least not a real one licensed by the Indian Dental Association.
 
May 30, 2009
37
0
0
Iowa City
Status
Dental Student
This seems to be the most common reason given in situations like this. What about after you pay off your debt? What would you do then?

To be honest I have been thinking about doing the program where you work in a poverty area for 2-3 years where you get all your debt paid off.

I truly enjoy helping people, and get great satisfaction from the joy someone feels when I do something for them. This is why I chose to be a dentist. I'm able to work with my hands, interact with others, and the work I do improves the confidence (via-->better looking smile) of my patients.


However, even when your school debt is paid off, if you decide "Oh, i'm going to do all my dental work for free because I love helping people and don't care about the money." That is fine and all, and is a very respectable way do something, but you will not be in business for long. Just because you have your school debt paid for doesn't mean the bills stop coming. Examples?--Cost to replace supplies, pay your employees, pay your utilities on the building, pay your building rent (if you don't own it). Someone else also said it on here, but I feel people on this board don't realize that being a dentist also entails running a small business.

So in the end, would I do the work for free? Absolutely, but one time......the problem with doing this for free is if word gets out, your other patients (customers) will not be very happy the next time you charge them for a procedure when they are tight on money.
 
May 30, 2009
37
0
0
Iowa City
Status
Dental Student
Debt is not your only expense, some people have to pay mortgage, save for retirement, feed the kids, pay for kids' college and their dental school tuition :p

For me, it would really depend on my situation. If I was pretty well off, I would initially try to find some way to work out a payment, but if it's not possible, then I might not mind doing the procedure without charging if it isn't a usual thing. But if the practice I was working for isn't very successful, then it would be much more urgent for me to find a way for the patient to pay somehow. Otherwise, I would simply not treat her and point her to a free dental clinic.

Right On, Sorry i didn't see this post before my rant above LOL...
 

doc toothache

10+ Year Member
Jan 17, 2006
8,100
2,237
281
Status
Dentist
Here is the question...
so... 56 years old woman walks into your office and she's under great pain in the first molar. She is ready for an extraction but she says that she does not have money to pay. And your office is full of patients waiting for their turn for treatments. Would you continue the extraction or send her to reduced price dental services?
She sounds familiar. Oh yes, she's the one that parked her new Lincoln in front of your office.
 

coolslugs

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Jul 9, 2005
797
25
261
Status
To be honest I have been thinking about doing the program where you work in a poverty area for 2-3 years where you get all your debt paid off.

I truly enjoy helping people, and get great satisfaction from the joy someone feels when I do something for them. This is why I chose to be a dentist. I'm able to work with my hands, interact with others, and the work I do improves the confidence (via-->better looking smile) of my patients.


However, even when your school debt is paid off, if you decide "Oh, i'm going to do all my dental work for free because I love helping people and don't care about the money." That is fine and all, and is a very respectable way do something, but you will not be in business for long. Just because you have your school debt paid for doesn't mean the bills stop coming. Examples?--Cost to replace supplies, pay your employees, pay your utilities on the building, pay your building rent (if you don't own it). Someone else also said it on here, but I feel people on this board don't realize that being a dentist also entails running a small business.

So in the end, would I do the work for free? Absolutely, but one time......the problem with doing this for free is if word gets out, your other patients (customers) will not be very happy the next time you charge them for a procedure when they are tight on money.
Unfortunately >90% of dentists are in private practice, and therefore profit and keeping the business running is often the #1 priority. This is one of the reasons why there is such a large access gap in the country.

That being said...I think the bottom line is how much profit will make you happy. $150,000? $200,000? $300,000? It's perfectly understandable if you are barely keeping your business afloat.

Also, providing a few free cases here and there should be each dentist's professional duty to do so, and I hope your patients would be as understanding in helping people who are not as fortunate as them. It is another problem in this country in which there is too little government assistance to help the poor meet the free market fees.
 
Jul 10, 2009
158
1
0
Status
Pre-Dental
While all you suckers are giving away your services, I'll be happily charging a fair price for my treatments, and sending a few cases your way.

You can't get rich by giving away your $hit.
 
Mar 5, 2010
145
1
0
Status
Also, providing a few free cases here and there should be each dentist's professional duty to do so, and I hope your patients would be as understanding in helping people who are not as fortunate as them. It is another problem in this country in which there is too little government assistance to help the poor meet the free market fees.
Out of curiosity, have you spent any time in a business environment? This isn't a slam on you personally, but your post is extremely idealistic and the utopian world that you talk about does not exist. If you start handing out free services in your office, two things will happen. First, you will get a million sob stories from patients falling on hard times. Some of them might even be true, but that won't matter. You won't be able to help them all and some are going to be very upset that they didn't get free help. Second, you're going to get a huge influx of new "patients" looking for the freebies.

I'm all for donating time and giving back to the community. I'd just do it in a completely different place so that my volunteer time and my professional time were separated. They're like oil and water. Don't mix them!
 

coolslugs

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Jul 9, 2005
797
25
261
Status
Out of curiosity, have you spent any time in a business environment? This isn't a slam on you personally, but your post is extremely idealistic and the utopian world that you talk about does not exist. If you start handing out free services in your office, two things will happen. First, you will get a million sob stories from patients falling on hard times. Some of them might even be true, but that won't matter. You won't be able to help them all and some are going to be very upset that they didn't get free help. Second, you're going to get a huge influx of new "patients" looking for the freebies.

I'm all for donating time and giving back to the community. I'd just do it in a completely different place so that my volunteer time and my professional time were separated. They're like oil and water. Don't mix them!
You are absolutely right. I am being overly idealistic. However, I am also hoping that there are more dentists who actually do volunteer their time outside their practice.
 
Nov 23, 2009
32
0
0
Status
Pre-Dental
She sounds familiar. Oh yes, she's the one that parked her new Lincoln in front of your office.

or the one who smokes 2+ packs of cigarettes a day.....(that's like $10 a day...$300 a month!)
 
Nov 23, 2009
32
0
0
Status
Pre-Dental
Oh, and I've worked as a dental assistant for the past 2 years, and we charge almost all of our patients, on occasion though, the Dr I work for will either do an extraction or something for free, or will swap. We have an Amish family that comes in and brings us all sorts of baked goods, soaps, cheeses, etc... in return for dental work. When he was starting out he also traded dental work for flying lessons with one patient and is now a pilot... there's a lot of options out there for helping people! you just have to decide what is best for you, but you can't just give it all away for free, life doesn't work that way, wish it could, but....
 

dl9006

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jul 2, 2008
541
1
91
Status
Dental Student
Wow, If you really think that this is the state of Indian dentistry, you are incredibly stupid. Dentists in India are just like dentists in any other part of the world. This is just some idiot on the side of the road who is pulling people's teeth out. Trust me, he isn't a dentist, or at least not a real one licensed by the Indian Dental Association.
oversensitive much?

didn't seem like he was inferring that Indian dentistry is crap
 

dentalWorks

Nights Watchmen
7+ Year Member
Jun 25, 2009
5,646
157
181
Sterling Hts, Mi
Status
Dentist
Wow, If you really think that this is the state of Indian dentistry, you are incredibly stupid. Dentists in India are just like dentists in any other part of the world. This is just some idiot on the side of the road who is pulling people's teeth out. Trust me, he isn't a dentist, or at least not a real one licensed by the Indian Dental Association.
relax, its overly immature of you to call people names like that. If you disagree with what they say, simply state your opinion, demonstrate to everyone how their logic is "flawed" and move on with your day. Calling someone stupid is just a no-no :uhno: