What to do in the event of an excessive dentist bill?
The essentials in brief:
- Before the start of treatment, you should have a written cost estimate (including rates of increase) prepared in order to have a verifiable comparison template for later calculation.
- In the event of unforeseeable difficulties, the cost estimate and the final invoice may differ by a maximum of up to 20%.
- In the event of a dispute regarding the amount of the invoice, a free invoice verification at the State Dental Association can help you. This service is free of charge.
Before the start of treatment: Obtain a written estimate!
No matter whether you are legally or privately insured. Before starting treatment, patients should get an overview of the expected costs and have them confirmed in writing in the form of a cost estimate. Especially with dentures, one speaks of the healing and cost plan.
In the case of people with statutory health insurance, the dentist is always obliged to inform his patients in writing about the expected costs of treatment to be paid privately. It is not enough to point out orally that this is a self-paying service. The cost must be as accurate as possible.
Important: If no written agreement is made with the patient, he is entitled to refuse payment.
Is an estimate binding at the dentist?
Estimates by the dentist do not represent a price guarantee, but are binding insofar as the dentist may only deviate from them in justified cases. This may be the case if unforeseen difficulties arise during the course of treatment.
The cost estimate should show the costs for the dentist’s fee and for the laboratory and material.
The cost estimates for the dentist’s fee are generally binding, unless there are problems during the treatment that the dentist could not have expected under any circumstances. Cost proposals for material and laboratory costs are generally binding, provided that it is a laboratory belonging to the dental practice. If it is an external laboratory, it is sufficient if the dentist only estimates the amount and notifies the patient of this fact.
What price differences between the cost estimate and the dentist invoice are allowed?
The decisive factors are the individual case and the reason for the price difference. According to the case law, price differences of up to 20% are permissible even in the event of unforeseeable difficulties.
How to defend yourself against excessive dental bills?
First of all, you should seek a conversation with the doctor. If this does not help, please ask for a postponement of payment with the note that you want to have the invoice checked externally. Invoice verification is possible free of charge from the state dental associations. In most cases, a copy of the treatment documents is required for processing. The decision of the State Dental Association is not binding for the dentist; he will nevertheless consider whether he will actually sue you for payment of the fee or agree with you on the proposed comparison of his professional supervision.
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