King Tom Is Not An Anti-Dentite

As I type this, there is a package containing $15 in random change on its way to the office of my former dentist, and I cannot wait ’till it gets there.

The dentist, of whom I had been a patient for about four years, is charging me $15 for copies of my records. 

During the four years I had been a patient, I never had a wait time shorter than 35 minutes.  Add to that her staff “forgetting” to get a permanent crown made for me (twice!) and the fact that I moved to the other side of town and you could see why I wanted to change the person who I pay to stick their fingers in my mouth.  Last year, the Civee started going to a dentist a few blocks away from us, suggested I try him out and I figured a clean break from Dentist #1 was necessary.  I called Dentist #1, asked them to send my records to Dentist #2 and thought that was that.  

Until I received a bill for $15, which Dentist #1 claimed was for copying the X-Rays, standard procedure in her office.  It wasn’t the amount, but the fact that she was charging me for this that kicked my stubbornness into high gear.  I am not an anti-dentite.  This is all about the principle.

I sent her a kind letter saying  her office never said they would charge for the records and that I’m legally entitled to a copy of my records free of charge.  She responded saying there’s a state law saying they can charge (nevermind the fact that federal law supersedes state law), and I dismissed her letter until we received a second notice.

At this point, the Civee urged me to pay so this wouldn’t affect our credit history.  I agreed, but would do so in my own manner.  My own manner being the least convenient, but legal way short of sending the money in McDonald’s bucks.  So I went to the bank, asked for $15 in change, packed it up tightly (along with a note asking for a receipt–I resisted the urge to write ‘Keep the change, ya filthy animals’ on the note as well), took it to UPS and sent it off.  While filling out the packing slip, I didn’t list anything under the contents, but under the declared value, I put $15.

So is going through the work of paying a bill in change (not to mention paying the cost of having that change sent) a pointless exercise? Maybe, but it makes me feel a lot better.  Unless one of those coins is a double-die Denver mint penny.  Those things are worth a fortune.

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4 thoughts on “King Tom Is Not An Anti-Dentite

  1. Wow, props to you. That’s one of the best “back atcha” plans I’ve heard. It’s one of those things you talk about but rarely do. Well played sir, well played.

    I hate dentists. Not because of the service they provide but because I think they’re all scammy. It’s too easy for them to say “well that looks like the start of a cavity and then charge you to fill it in. I know I’ll regret not going to the dentist eventually, but I gave up on them a long time ago.

    It started to feel too much like going to the mechanic. “Well, your left flange nut is loose and that’ll be $180 to order one and then $200 for labor because we have to take about the wiz banger.”

  2. I don’t know a lot of people with ex-dentists and ex-step family. If you tell me your ex-dentist used to hang with EPMD and Wu-Tang, I will be extremely impressed.

    BTW, I’ve got an ex-doctor. They refused to refill a prescription over the phone and said their next available appointment was in six weeks, so I very politely told them to go to hell.

  3. I should have updated this yesterday, but I UPS emailed me with the shipping report- she received it Monday and signed for it herself. And today, I received a receipt in the mail. I consider this a victory.

    MT- I hear you about paying large amounts of money to people who specialize in something that’s beyond the grasp of us mere mortals. I’d rather take my time and find someone who I can at least trust and who doesn’t get caught up in the petty stuff (like paying $15 for a copy of X-Rays I’m entitled to for free).

    DJL- I don’t think the ex-dentist hangs with rappers. Unless you count her giving me a gold tooth as going gangsta.

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