Went to my normal dentist yesterday for a regular check-up and clean. Everything went smoothly, I have no tooth issues, and the dentist didn't find any either.
After I paid my bill and walked out, I read my receipt and saw a line item on the bill: 141 - Dental Hygiene Instruction - $35, no benefit paid by my health insurance. I have never seen this on my bill before (though its possible I didn't check 100%). (for reference, other items on the bill were Remove Calculus $136, Topical Agent $37, Examination $67)
I called the reception on my way home and queried item 141, they were defensive and said it was just a standard change for Dental Hygiene Instruction. I explained that I didn't ask for or receive any dental hygiene advice, and therefore why was I charged it? She reiterated it was "just a standard charge and that they always charge that on every bill". I asked if I don't want hygiene advice did I need to specify up front? She said they could put a note on the system for next time, but normally health funds cover it and it was out of their hands if my health fund didn't (again very defensive). I said yes put a note, as I didn't ask for it and I didn't receive it - that was the end of the conversation.
I later googled it and asked a dental hygienist I knew - both sources indicated it was probably not legitimate in those circumstances. I stewed on this obviously - so I went back today to ask that the charge be refunded. The receptionist refused and again reiterated it was "just a standard charge they charge everybody, it's an allowed item number and they are entitled to charge it". I asked her to confirm that they charge this to everybody regardless of is the service was performed or not, and she confirmed yes. She said they've never had any complaints before. The only resolution I got was that she said she would raise it with the dentist.
I later got a text from the clinic containing the following: "the fee of $35 is a standard fee that we charge with item 141 inclusive for the professional services of a hygienist visit and time allocated. The total fee would be the same, even if we did not use this item. We use this item now as some funds pay back a little bit on it, but that depends on your fund and your level of cover. If you are not happy with our fees and service we provide, we are more than happy to send your records to another dentist that you will be satisfied with."
Question: should I just accept that this is a legitimate cost recovery strategy of the dentist, and stop being petty, If I don't like it move to a new dentist. OR should I reject the proposition that this is standard charge listed under a service item that was not provided or authorised, and do a credit card charge back under "goods not as described"?