Five Things I’d Like You To Know About Your Insurance

From http://agdblogs.blogspot.com/2013/04/dear-patient-five-things-id-like-you-to.html

Dental insurance can be a huge asset in making dental treatment feasible for a patient. Unfortunately, patients are less likely to understand their dental insurance benefits than their medical. While medical insurance covers most or all of the necessary procedures with only an initial deductible or minor co-payments, dental insurance operates off of a very low annual maximum that is often insufficient to cover the patient’s dental needs.

Why is this important to talk about? Almost every day I talk to a patient who has avoided the dentist for 5, 10, or even 15 years because of a lapse in dental insurance. These patients are often the ones that excitedly return for a cleaning and exam thinking they can finally bring their mouth back to health now that they have a new insurance plan. Unfortunately, these are also the patients that usually present with multiple dental problems and extensive treatment needs.

When these patients are handed a treatment plan costing several thousands of dollars for root canals, crowns, restorations, etc., and only the first thousand of it is covered by insurance, it’s like a punch in the gut. This can lead to some pretty tough emotions—denial, anger, even depression. The dental office is often the heel of the anger and depression. So patients, here are a few things I’d love to explain to you about your insurance benefits.

1. Your insurance company is a business. A well-run business makes more money than it spends.

In the insurance company’s ideal world, everyone would just have dentures. That way, your employer would still provide insurance, but no one would need any procedures. The insurance provider would continue to collect money, and you wouldn’t use any of your benefits.

Keep your teeth! They are wonderful, beautiful teeth. Just make sure to make regular appointments so we can keep them that way.

2. Just because your insurance doesn’t cover it, doesn’t mean you don’t need it.

I understand that your insurance company covers the amalgam restoration at 100% and the composite restoration has a co-pay, but pleeeeease give me a few seconds of your time to explain the differences between the two. There are benefits to treatment options that are not covered, or not covered fully, that I’d like you to understand before you make a decision about your dental health. When you lock yourself into the mentality that you must stay within your benefits and annual maximum, you can avoid necessary treatment and create a snowball effect of future, more expensive dental problems.

Dental insurance is made to cover tune-ups and oil changes for your mouth with the occasional tire rotation. Sometimes the engine or alternator goes, and you have to dip into your pocket a little deeper than you’d prefer.

3. The negotiated rates we are accepting from your insurance provider often barely cover our costs.

I know dental procedures can be expensive. It gets me down when my patients think the money from those procedures goes directly into my wallet. Patients are less likely to let me know when their tooth hurts or schedule an appointment when they know a tooth needs treatment.

I know I can seem pretty glamorous with my white coat and all, but I promise I’m not ordering procedures to get my hands on your money. After I sterilize the instruments I’m going to use, have the room disinfected and set up for your appointment, take the time to calm your fears and get you comfortable before starting, administer anesthetic, complete the procedure, give you post-op instructions and explain your prescriptions (all while paying an assistant, front desk staff, and the electric and rent to provide you with the space to accomplish all of this), the profit margin is far lower than you might think.

When the economy goes south, finances more easily trigger patients’ emotions. We get that. We try to keep our costs at the lowest level possible while still providing you with the highest quality dental work.

4. A good dentist won’t plan treatment with your insurance coverage in mind.

If I did, I would be forced to misdiagnose, under-diagnose, and recommend inappropriate treatment options. I became a dentist to provide excellent care to my patients, not to be at the mercy of a company who could care less about my patients. I’ll do everything I can to allow you to maximize your insurance benefits, but I can’t alter your treatment needs based on your insurance plan.

5. Our office is not in cahoots with your insurance company.

I can’t begin to tell you how much easier our office would run if we didn’t deal with them at all. We work with them on your behalf, and only for your convenience and benefit. We aren’t holding late night meetings with your provider figuring out how to nickel and dime you from both ends. In fact, most of our encounters with them are explaining why they should pay for something they are trying not to.

Those are five things that will make your life easier as you try to fit dental work into your budget. I hope you will find them useful and they will lead you to happy teeth!

Courtney Lavigne, DMD

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CareCredit for dental procedures

CareCredit for dental procedures

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Your healthcare credit card.

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  • Low minimum monthly payments
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Learn more by visiting http://www.CareCredit.com or contacting our office at 770-623-8750, http://www.JohnsCreekSedationDentist.com. Ready to apply? Apply online for your CareCredit card today

How to take care of your Teeth and Mouth

Dr Oz and Dr Roizen in this video look inside your mouth and offer tips on keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Plaque in your mouth can indicate plaque in your arteries and that is a leading cause of heart disease stroke and even impotence. So protect your pearly whites it will keep you beautiful. Your teeth help you with a wide range of tasks including chewing are also a very good marker of health. If your gums are inflamed your teeth are falling out, or your teeth are getting grounded like fresh pepper. These problems can affect the health and beauty of your entire body.

They talk about tooth grinding and splitting your teeth. Mouthgurards made in our dental office can protect you from this. Your jaw exerts 50 to 250 pounds of pressure per square inch during chewing. It is extremely efficient and only joint in the body that purposely dislocates itself during motion. A good way to relax your tempomandibular (TMD) muscle is to place a cork between your front teeth. If you lose your teeth your jaw bone will erode away as well. Use it or lose it. The main purpose of your jaw bone is to support your teeth. Major cuase of tooth loss is Gingivitis (Gum Disease) not a cavity. 80% of us don’t floss and when you do that you are not cleaning 40% of your tooth.

Finally they discuss staining your teeth and how to prevent that. Don’t avoid health foods like berries, soy sauce, cranberry juice, wine etc. but swoosh with water when done. Keep whitening foods like apple celery around.

For more info visit http://www.JohnsCreekSedationDentist.com or call Center for Advanced Dentistry in Suwanee, Johns Creek GA at 770-623-8750.

Link between Unhealthy Gums and Cancer !!!

Latest research finds direct link between unhealthy gums and cancer throughout the body !!!

The link between gum disease and oral cancer has been clear for sometime. Now the latest research also links poor oral hygiene to increasing cancer risk throughout the body, including breast cancer. In fact, one study showed a 75% increase in breast cancer in women with gum disease compared to women who didn’t have gum disease.

The danger occurs if you don’t brush and floss effectively. Bacteria forms in the mouth, plaque builds up, and inflammation forms in the gums, increasing the possibility of cancer anywhere in the body. Because of hormonal changes that occur during monthly menstruation and menopause, women experience more gum sensitivity and inflammation, putting them at greater risk.

You must practice proper brushing and flossing. The average American brushes for 38 seconds a day, but you really need to brush for about 2 minutes and also floss daily. See your oral health care provider to determine if you have too much plaque build up. You can also find out by chewing dental plaque disclosing tablets that can be ordered online.

Besides flossing and brushing, add this extra secret weapon: neem bark extract. Neem bark extract acts as an anti-inflammatory to prevent gum disease and can also be ordered online; take it in a cup of tea or simply dilute it in a little hot water once a day as part of your oral hygiene routine.


Dr. Ushma Patel
Center for Advanced Dentistry
www.JohnsCreekSedationDentist.com
770-623-8750

Five Things Your Dentist Really Wants You To Know

Five Things Your Dentist Really Wants You To Know

1. Don’t Wait ‘Til It Hurts. This old adage continues to ring true today. So many patients procrastinate a checkup or treatment simply because of the false notion that “nothing hurts.” Gum disease is a silent, painless, progressive killer of teeth that is also a source of chronic low-grade inflammation to the whole body. Tooth decay is also painless until it becomes deep, which puts you at risk of needing more extensive dentistry such as root canal treatment.

 2. Plan your work and work your plan. Always get a prioritized treatment plan for the problems that may exist in your mouth. Even if you cannot do all the treatment at the same time, you can get your treatment done in order of importance or necessity to minimize incurring unnecessary costs from disconnected “patchwork” dentistry.

 3. Good dentistry may be expensive, but not as much as bad dentistry. Many patients try to “shop” for the cheapest dentist they can find. Often, unknowingly these patients can find themselves in inexperienced hands or with a dentist who uses inferior materials or laboratory services, resulting in ill-fitting dental appliances or dentistry that fails or breaks down quickly.

 4. Change the oil. The same way that you need to maintain that new car that you drive off the lot, many patients finish large treatment plans and do not understand the need for follow up care or maintenance. Besides the obvious benefits of prevention, the periodic maintenance is a key component of your ability to function with any restorative treatment you may receive, and the ability of this dentistry to last – including fillings, to veneers, crowns, implants and dentures. 

 5. The head bone’s connected to the neck bone. In other words, your mouth is very much a reflection of what can be going on in the rest of your body, and the oral/systemic link is a major topic of interest in medical research. In fact, oral disease puts you at greater risk of diseases of your heart, brain, liver, and pancreas to name a few. Conversely, good oral health is linked to living a longer and healthier life. Keep those regular dental checkups and cleanings.

Added to Dentistry, Illness Prevention, Wellness, Smart Patient on Thu 03/03/2011 <!– Comments –>

February is Children’s Dental Health Month

February is Children’s Dental Health Month. The American Dental Association recommends that your child see a dentist within six months of the eruption of the first tooth, and certainly no later than the child’s first birthday. Does your child see a dentist? If not, I would like for you to consider our office. We have TV’s on the ceiling and front wall in each room that will entertain and distract your child.  

In February, for over sixty years, dentists, parents, and children all across America observe National Children’s Dental Health Month. This all began as a one-day event in Cleveland, Ohio on February 3rd, 1941, and the first national observance of Children’s Dental Health Day was held on February 8th, 1949. It has since grown into a month-long celebration. Our message of the importance of oral health goes out to millions of children and adults in communities across the country, and includes such events as health fairs, dental office tours, and visits to the classroom by dentists and hygienists. Dr. Ushma Patel has volunteered at a local school giving educational programs to several Pre-K children’s classes on how to take care of their teeth and talking to them about nutrition.

One of the reasons for this special annual event is that many people are still unaware of the very important role early dental care plays in our children’s overall health and well-being. We strongly recommend that parents take action early to ensure the health of their children’s teeth because attitudes and habits established at an early age are critical in maintaining good oral health throughout life.

Children’s teeth are meant to last a lifetime, and a healthy smile is important to a child’s self-esteem. With proper care, a balanced diet and regular dental visits, their teeth can remain healthy and strong.

Please make sure that we see your child within six months of the eruption of the first tooth, and certainly no later than the child’s first birthday. Preventive care such as cleanings and fluoride treatments provide your child with “smile insurance” for a lifetime!

If you wish for any further information on any aspect of your child’s dental and oral health in the Atlanta area and surrounding cities of Johns Creek, Duluth, Cumming or Alpharetta, please call us at 770-884-7151 or visit us on the web at http://www.HiTechSmiles.com