HOUSTON, Texas (NBC News) – Dental offices in many states are reopening for non-emergency patients, but don’t expect the appointment or prices to be the same.
You might be asked to wait in your car before your appointment or have your temperature taken, and the appointment will probably take longer. Plus, you’ll be charged extra to stay safe.
Dentist Dr. Terri Alani says she’s installed new air filters, Plexiglas to protect receptionists, and bought N95 masks and face shields. The upgrades have cost her nearly $6,000.
“Everything is so expensive. With these new guidelines, we’re having to go above and beyond, and a lot of these dentists are in-network with insurance companies so they can’t raise their fees. So they have to be able to provide adequate protection for their patients, and so I think most offices probably will be charging a minimal fee,” Dr. Alani says.
There’s no standard amount to get reimbursed for the protective equipment necessary to maintain a dental business. Therefore, dentists could charge what they want.