Does she have dental insurance of any kind? Sad thing the Dentist and insurance companies will negotiate and probably settle for less than half that. The uninsured get charged full price.
Not quite. This is how dental insurance operates:
1. Young dentists who need to build their practice sign up for every insurance available based on the idea that even at 70% of their usual fee a butt in the chair is better than no butt in the chair. Overhead is 55% of your usual customary fees and so there is a 15% margin.
2. Years go by and more and more patients with insurance X become part of the practice. Inflation is constantly eating away at that 70% so that 10 years out they are now paying 55% of your fee.
3. The insurance company has not given ANY fee increases in 10 years but has raised the premiums paid by their customers every year.
4. At this point with an overhead of 55% the dentist is breaking even when these patients come in and they know 5 years from now the dentist will be PAYING the patient to come in when insurance pays less than overhead.
5. This can be somewhat mitigated by patients with no insurance who pay the full fee.
6. The dentist now has to make a decision: 1. Cut costs (usually by cutting corners) which is bad for the patients; 2. See more patients to try and make up for the very slim margins which is bad for patients; 3. Drop the insurance and risk pissing off a lot of patients and ultimately lose a lot of patients who will blame the dentist and not their insurance company.
The entire time the insurance company is making record profits. Around 2017 Delta Dental, the largest dental insurance in the state announced that after 10 years of not raising fees they were going to phase out their best-paying program Delta Premiere, force everyone into their PPO program, and REDUCE fees by 30% over a couple of years. They are not passing this "savings" on to their customers and premiums have actually increased for their customers. They have also had record profits for the past 3 years. DD hired a hatchet man for 9 months to devise this plan and he was actually caught on the record gloating how "stupid" dentists are for accepting what he just instituted. It's a game for them and real people, both dentists and patients, are caught in the middle. It's sad how many people think their insurance is on their side. Insurance makes money by collecting as much money as possible and NOT paying as much money as possible.
This "squeeze" by insurance companies is real. Practices that start entirely in-network with PPOs are almost destined to doom. Many practices take some PPOs to start and they can tolerate the squeeze for longer but eventually, everyone moves to be totally out-of-network and fee-for-service. Enter Wall Street and Dental Service Organizations (DSOs) who buy up practices but that's another conversation - hint: Wall Street doesn't give a crap about patients.