1. Parents of children younger than 3 are permitted to accompany their children into the treatment area. However, parents of children 3 years and older are required to remain in the reception area for ALL visits unless otherwise instructed. Dentistry for children is exacting and requires the undivided attention of the child and the dentist. It is very important that we get to know your child as quickly as possible with as little diversion as possible. Most children react much more favorably under these conditions. You will be called into the treatment area when appointments are completed. Please feel free to ask questions at this time.
2. Generally, on your first visit with us, we will examine your child's mouth, clean the teeth, do a fluoride treatment, and make radiographs necessary to detect decay, infections of the bone, or evaluate growth. We will discuss your child's dental needs and will outline the treatment plan for your child. At subsequent appointments, your child will receive the dental care indicated by his examination and diagnosis.
3. We will make a diagnosis and prescribe dental treatment based on your child's needs and current conditions. We do not base treatment recommendations on dental insurance, third party benefits, or other limitations you may have. Our obligation is to provide the best care available for your child. Financial assistance through insurance that may be available to you is between you and your insurance company, and has no bearing on the treatment that we prescribe for your child, or the fees involved in performing that care.
4. Please try not to be upset if your child cries. This is a normal reaction to fear, and we are trained to help fearful children through their dental experience. When describing their visit, please do not use words such as needle, shot, drill, pull, or words suggesting unpleasantness. We will treat your child as our own, and perform the dental service in the easiest way possible.
Children under the age of six, and patients requiring longer appointments, extractions, fillings, or other difficult procedures are scheduled in the morning only. We reserve afternoon hours for older student checkups to minimize their missing school. However, since it is impossible to see all school age patients after school, we appreciate your understanding and cooperation. Any patient who misses two consecutive appointments without 24 hour notice will be dismissed from the practice.
What about finances?
Payment for professional services is due at the time dental treatment is provided. Every effort will be made to provide a treatment plan which fits your timetable and budget, and gives your child the best possible care. We accept cash, personal checks, debit cards and most major credit cards.
Our Office Policy Regarding Dental Insurance
If we have received all of your insurance information on the day of the appointment, we will be happy to file your claim for you. You must be familiar with your insurance benefits, as we will collect from you the estimated amount insurance is not expected to pay. By law your insurance company is required to pay each claim within 30 days of receipt. We file all insurance electronically, so your insurance company will receive each claim within days of the treatment. You are responsible for any balance on your account after 30 days, whether insurance has paid or not. If you have not paid your balance within 60 days a re-billing fee of 1.5% will be added to your account each month until paid. We will be glad to send a refund to you if your insurance pays us.
PLEASE UNDERSTAND that we file dental insurance as a courtesy to our patients. We do not have a contract with your insurance company, only you do. We are not responsible for how your insurance company handles its claims or for what benefits they pay on a claim. We can only assist you in estimating your portion of the cost of treatment. We at no time guarantee what your insurance will or will not do with each claim. We also can not be responsible for any errors in filing your insurance. Once again, we file claims as a courtesy to you.
Fact 1 - NO INSURANCE PAYS 100% OF ALL PROCEDURES
Dental insurance is meant to be an aid in receiving dental care. Many patients think that their insurance pays 90%-100% of all dental fees. This is not true! Most plans only pay between 50%-80% of the average total fee. Some pay more, some pay less. The percentage paid is usually determined by how much you or your employer has paid for coverage, or the type of contract your employer has set up with the insurance company.
Fact 2 - BENEFITS ARE NOT DETERMINED BY OUR OFFICE
You may have noticed that sometimes your dental insurer reimburses you or the dentist at a lower rate than the dentist's actual fee. Frequently, insurance companies state that the reimbursement was reduced because your dentist's fee has exceeded the usual, customary, or reasonable fee ("UCR") used by the company.
A statement such as this gives the impression that any fee greater than the amount paid by the insurance company is unreasonable, or well above what most dentists in the area charge for a certain service. This can be very misleading and simply is not accurate.
Insurance companies set their own schedules, and each company uses a different set of fees they consider allowable. These allowable fees may vary widely, because each company collects fee information from claims it processes. The insurance company then takes this data and arbitrarily chooses a level they call the "allowable" UCR Fee. Frequently, this data can be three to five years old and these "allowable" fees are set by the insurance company so they can make a net 20%-30% profit.
Unfortunately, insurance companies imply that your dentist is "overcharging", rather than say that they are "underpaying", or that their benefits are low. In general, the less expensive insurance policy will use a lower usual, customary, or reasonable (UCR) figure.
Fact 3 - DEDUCTIBLES & CO-PAYMENTS MUST BE CONSIDERED
When estimating dental benefits, deductibles and percentages must be considered. To illustrate, assume the fee for service is $150.00. Assuming that the insurance company allows $150.00 as its usual and customary (UCR) fee, we can figure out what benefits will be paid. First a deductible (paid by you), on average $50, is subtracted, leaving $100.00. The plan then pays 80% for this particular procedure. The insurance company will then pay 80% of $100.00, or $80.00. Out of a $150.00 fee they will pay an estimated $80.00 leaving a remaining portion of $70.00 (to be paid by the patient). Of course, if the UCR is less than $150.00 or your plan pays only at 50% then the insurance benefits will also be significantly less.
MOST IMPORTANTLY, please keep us informed of any insurance changes such as policy name, insurance company address, or a change of employment.
New Patient Form
For your convenience prior to visiting our office, please click on the link to print the New Patient Health History Form, complete the information and bring it with you to your first visit.