Competitive dentists send post cards with new patient special prices for an annual teeth cleaning, X-rays and annual exam that range from $59 to $99 and may also include benefits such as teeth whitening or a consult for dentures as a further benefit to new patients.
Many advantage medicare plans include free, no co-pay annual dental exams for this very same service. Dentists are quite aware of this fact.
Here comes bait and switch. Once in the office, they ask for the medicare card. Then they suggest that you use insurance instead of the new patient special and they will bill the insurance. Of course, you sign the form that says you will pay what insurance doesn't cover because the office has assured you that your cost will be less than that $59 new patient special. The most you could be billed if the insurance didn't cover would be the $59 special.
The office visit ends and you are on your merry way with clean teeth if they haven't talked you into services not covered by the annual exam such as additional fillings, TMJ, ct scans, etc. which you are expected to pay immediately.
A year passes. You receive a bill for $338 for dental services not paid by insurance. You never obligated for any $338 services. Alass, in fine print on that $59 special card it said services were "worth $338." If they billed the insurance at all, they billed for the $338. If the insurance did not pay, they bill you as responsible for "what the insurance does not pay" - the full $338.
Apparently, charging a new patient fee of one amount and billing the insurance another amount is somehow legitimate.
Be absolutely certain you understand who will be paying for your annual dental exam and X-rays, when they will be paying and exactly how much is charged and what payment is expected.