Dental Exam Charge Along with Restoration Done the Same Day?

With previous dentists, I have not been charged an exam fee if it resulted in work (cosmetic or restorative) until now. My dentist did an exam on one tooth that I suspected needed a possible restoration. He examined it, looked at a previous x-ray and determined that it needed to have the composite filling replaced with a porcelain onlay due to the filling material failing. Is typical for a dentist to charge for an exam as well (only on one tooth)? The onlay $1330, exam $100.

Doctor Answers 7

Dental examination charges, why???

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You obviously had a problem with the tooth, your doctor scheduled you into their day. He/she took time to examine the tooth and surrounding structures, make treatment recommendations, discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each option and answer all your questions about treatment.  Is this not the most valuable part of the treatment?  The fee for the exam is not atypical.  You are in good hands.


Toronto Dentist

Is a Dental Exam Charge with Restoration On Same Day Typical

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It depends on the office and their policies.  The exam does need to be done to determine the best course of action for treatment on your tooth.  Whether you decide to move forward with treatment or not that same day, the doctor has still spent their time doing the evaluation; therefore they merit pay.  If the doctor decides to waive their exam fee as a courtesy to you, it is at their discretion.  It is not standard practice however.  When you called to schedule the appointment, the front desk scheduler should always review your patient expectations in the office.  They should let you know that they charge a fee to evaluate and diagnose your tooth, and that is in addition to the restoration fee.  Then, you can make an informed decision if you would like to proceed with the appointment.     

Charles Nottingham, DDS, FAGD
Fort Lauderdale Dentist

Dental Exam Charge Same Day as Restoration.

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If the dentist did, in fact, examine your problem, why shouldn't he charge for the time? Insurance companies actually insist that dental work be broken down into it's parts. When you go to a physician for an exam and he determines that you need an operation, doesn't he charge you for the examination?

Jay Neuhaus, DDS
New York Dentist

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Be thankful for generous dentists

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I would say the majority of us charge for our time.  If we look, examine, consult an xray, etc, then we performed an examination.  I charge for it 99% of the time.  Some dentists use the "I won't charge for the exam if you stick around and do the work," as a method to encourage doing the work.


Just because your previous dentists didn't charge doesn't mean the new dentist is a crook. With the changes in insurance coverage, you will likely see more and more dentists NOT "write off" the exam.

Okay to Charge for Exam and Restoration

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Hi, thanks for your question.  Of course, so much is going to vary from office to office.  That being said, it sounds like you were very fortunate to be able to have had the examination and the work done in the same day.  At many offices, the exam is charged for the time utilized reviewing films/photos as applicable, and determining treatment options.  Restorations of course, typically involve separate charges.  Of course, offices may choose to waive an exam charge as a courtesy.  Sounds like you had a very patient-centered dentist nonetheless, that was able to get you back in good shape and save you a trip to the office.  Take care!

To Charge or Not to Charge for Exam

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It would be up to the Dr.'s discretion if he chooses to write off the charge for his time in doing exam on a partiular tooth to determine what restorative or cosmetic procedures are needed. Most dental offices bill for both exam and work done on the same day.  I think that most professionals, whether it be a lawyer, doctor or dentist, all charge for exams or consultations as well as their work, unless it is stiuplated that the consultation with the Dr. is complimentary.

Robert Fields, DDS
Van Nuys Dentist

Dental exam and restoration

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The original charges for the initial dental exam usually depend on the office. It usually has to be discussed before the treatment begins. Your dentist followed recommended protocol, compared with previous x-ray. It looks like you`re in good hands.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.