I went to the dentist for a cleaning March 2020. I had said while there that my mouth hurt as well as my jaw. The dentist recommended I see the orthodontist and asked if I had time that day for a consultation. I stated I was interested as it were free.

The orthodontist was very informative and I was very interested as this was something I have wanted for a while but didn’t have the money for. The office manager came into the dental room and mentioned I could use care credit (something I was already familiar with) I stated I had this and was interested in getting braces if I could use it.

The orthodontist asked if it was something I wanted to do that day or come back. I said I had time so she got the process started. Unfortunately, we were only able to manage to get the top half on due to scheduling. We rescheduled me in the same dental room and walked me out to the lobby.

At this time it was late and the office manager was gone and only one assistant at the desk. I almost walked out before I realized I HADN’T SIGNED ANY PAPERWORK. I went to the desk and told the assistant I needed to pay. She asked for my card and I told her it was virtual on my phone and she seemed clueless that I was using care credit. I wasn’t walked through a process on what I was even being charged so she goes to run my card and it declines. I asked how much she was charging as I assumed maybe my first payment again nobody went over the process. She had told me she attempted $2890. I let her know I only had a $500 limit. I was lucky enough to qualify for an in app increase immediately but I did have to pay $20 cash. I signed some paper work and left.

I never really got any information on insurance or anything because I would have told them my insurance doesn’t pay for braces after 19. Apparently my insurance did pay a certain amount, however, they calculated incorrectly and thought the insurance was going to pay a larger amount.

Here we were 2 years later and I am being charged $1,004. There is a new office manager and she admitted that the first office manager messed up and over calculated.

My question is do I need to pay this additional charge that I did not sign off on? I was under the impression my responsibility was $2,090 and that is what I signed for.

1 Answer 1


Most likely the answer is that you SHOULD pay for it since you received the service. Whether or not the estimate was correct isn't really relevant unless you THEY signed off that it would be a specific price.

As with any of your bills, you can choose not to pay it if you feel slighted. However, it likely will do bad things to your credit. So I wouldn't advise it.

I get it, medical billing sucks and is way too complicated and non-transparent. For better or worse, it is your responsibility to confirm the prices and get it in writing before services are provided (with some exceptions).

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