2011 Happy New Year – Dental Insurance Updates

Happy New Year

Wishing you every happiness and prosperity in the New Year. Thank you for being our patient. We look forward to continuing our relationship in the coming year.

If your dental insurance benefits have changed, please call the office with this new information now before your next appointment. Have your dental insurance card in front of you so that we can take the information over the phone. You can also fax it into 770-623-4765. If you did not have insurance before and do now or had it before and don’t any more let us know that too! Thank you in advance for taking the time and making the effort now while it is still fresh in your mind.

This will help avoid any surprises at your next appointment and having to pay for that appointment, while we verify your insurance benefits. This is just one of the many services that we will continue to provide as a courtesy to you.

All the best to you and your family,

Dr. Ushma Patel D.M.D. & Team
Center for Advanced Dentistry


Use ‘Em or Lose ‘Em: Take Advantage of Your Dental Insurance Benefits

Atlanta, Did you know that each year insurance companies make millions of dollars off patients who forego necessary and preventive dental care? Many individuals who are paying for dental insurance do not realize that their plans provide coverage up to a certain dollar amount annually.

Consequently, some patients are not scheduling the dental treatment they need, deserve, and have insurance to cover. Thus, the insurance revenues allocated to pay dental claims on many patients are never used, and, unfortunately, those dollars cannot be carried over year-to-year. The bottom line: What the patient does not use they lose.

Clearly, it pays in many ways to schedule the preventive care or other dental treatment that you need. We are here to help you secure the insurance coverage available to you on every dental procedure you schedule. Our computer can estimate what you still have in unused dental benefits. Give us a call today, and together let’s make sure you are in excellent dental health.

Give our office a call at 770-623-8750. I look forward to seeing you again and sharing some of the many innovative means we now have available to provide you with superior dental healthcare.

Interest Free Financing – Affordable Monthly Payments

Did you know that on approved credit you can finance 100% of your dental treatment in the Alpharetta, Suwanee, Johns Creek, Duluth, Cumming and Atlanta area of Georgia (GA) and make affordable monthly payments over time. This program allows you to begin your treatment today with affordable monthly payments that are INTEREST FREE for the contract term. This will allow you to pay for your Dental services over six or twelve months. It is especially ideal for co-payments, deductibles, and treatments not covered by insurance. Applying for financing offered through this CareCredit is quick and easy. For more info visit CareCredit.com. You will get a revolving line of credit that you can use at many participating healthcare providers including Center for Advanced Dentistry for you and your family including your pet.

Colgate WISP On The Scene

WISP On The Scene. Colgate® WISP™ is the first disposable mini-toothbrush with a breath freshening bead that allows you to have a clean, fresh mouth with no water or rinsing

Healthy Atlantans Seek a Fresh Start in Dental Care

It seems like so many people try to hit the reset button on January first. It’s an age-old ritual of self-evaluation and goal setting, and then predictably forgetting about our intentions sometime along the line of mid-January.

I am here to do more than passively listen to my patients’ intentions. I play an integral role in their overall health through preventative care, education, reinforcing positive habits, and open accessibility. My dental practice is easy to reach from anywhere in the Johns Creek, Duluth, Cumming and Alpharetta area in Georgia and my team will work with you to set up convenient appointments and respect your time while you are here.

I want you to know it is never too late to take control of your dental hygiene, or even start over again if you’ve tried before and faltered. No matter how long it has been since you have seen a dentist, I am not here to scold. I am here to welcome you back and help you repair any outstanding dental issues. As a dentist, I regularly see the accumulated results of bad habits firsthand. The health of your mouth, teeth and gums is measurable, and I can give my patients the education, treatment, and tools necessary to arrest further damage.

Do you need a reason other than an occasional cavity, sore or bleeding gums, or bad breath to take oral hygiene seriously in your quest for self-improvement or recommitment to health in 2010?

I’d like to share something with you that many people are surprised to learn. Medical experts have discovered a link between periodontal (dental) disease and coronary (heart) disease. Many of my patients are amazed to learn about this correlation, but experts have actually found that the bacteria in a person’s mouth can travel into the bloodstream through the gums and clump in artery plaques.

According to the American Academy of Periodontology, people with periodontal disease are nearly twice as likely to have coronary disease. The health of a person’s mouth is becoming as much of a predictor of heart disease as the cholesterol levels we’ve relied on to warn us of coronary issues in the past.

With the start of the New Year and with the spirit of self-assessment we all feel comes with it, won’t you speak to your dentist about taking care of any outstanding dental issues you may be experiencing?

Please contact me or your regular dentist to take your daily habit of brushing one step further. You’re already halfway there when you pick up the toothbrush; you adopt the rest of a good dental strategy to keep your mouth—and potentially your life, strong and healthy?

My Philosophy as a Dentist in Johns Creek

Today I want to talk to you about yearly traditions. As you are gearing up for the holidays, you are likely embarking down a familiar path of rituals for you and your family. Maybe it’s making your favorite eggnog recipe or trimming the tree. Perhaps it’s arranging family games, planning a special holiday meal, or stashing presents in your ingenious hiding spots.

I notice a lot of people go through their own mini-makeovers this time of year as well. They perform updates on their homes, make hair appointments to spruce themselves up for their yearly holiday card photo, and come in for teeth whitening procedures to erase coffee, tea, and wine stains and brighten up their smile before the holiday parties.
Yes, that onset of cold weather paired with the festive retail displays and familiar trimmings that line the main streets of Cumming, Johns Creek, and Alpharetta trigger a lot of activity for all of us.

These reminders bring me to a question for you: What triggers your medical upkeep? Do you have certain times of the year that you plan your routine visits to your family doctor, gynecologist, and dentist? Are you reactive, only seeing a medical professional when you think something is wrong? Or do you keep a regular maintenance schedule for yourself and your family?

Hopefully, the latter. It is my philosophy that preventative care is absolutely the most essential way to take charge of your health. I focus on the overall well-being of my patients and, with the help of modern science, can actually foresee dental issues and circumvent most of them before they become a bigger and more costly problem.

Why is this important? Three reasons.

  • Your comfort.
  • Your time.
  • Your money.

That’s right. Preventative care is first and foremost, more comfortable for patients. Heading off problems before they begin saves patients from larger dental procedures such as crowns or root canals. While medical techniques allow me to perform these procedures with a higher level of comfort for my patients, most people would still prefer to avoid them altogether if possible. Crowns and root canals are more costly than preventative care, and they take more time in the office to address and fix.

With just two visits per year for a typical dental patient, I can keep you in preventative mode over the course of your lifetime. We can head off problems before they start and keep more money in your wallet, increase the overall health of your body (we’ll discuss your mouth’s link to heart disease and more in the next blog), and help you spend less time at the dentist.
My philosophy is simple: See me on a regular basis to avoid seeing me even more often than you’d like!

What system do you have in place for preventative care? Please remember to schedule those routine appointments for you and your family before your body triggers an issue for you that could have been entirely prevented!

Why Aren’t You on The List My Company Says Are Preferred Providers?

Although we accept most PPO Dental Insurance and help you get most out of your benefits, we are not on any PPO/HMO/DMO list. We’ve been asked “Why Aren’t You on The List My Company Says Are Preferred Providers?” occasionally when a patient’s company switches to an HMO/PPO plan. I could give you a wishy-washy, sugar coated answer like some dentist do. But I think my patients deserve the real answer.

Three or four insurance companies solicit every dentist each month to join their plan. Contrary to popular belief there is no quality control or screening process even though it sounds like you will be joining an elite family of dentists. The “elite” are simply whoever signs up. “Preferred Provider” is an insurance industry term, it has nothing to do with a dentists skills, knowledge or experience.


The promotional material we get from these multi billion dollar insurance companies is very appealing. It appears everyone wins in this deal: the patients now get FREE or greatly reduced) cleanings, x-rays, exams and perhaps even fillings. Even the major treatment is much cheaper. They’re ecstatic! Your employer has much cheaper dental insurance premiums to pay each month they’re ecstatic! If you have been following the profits of the HMO/PPO industry, you know they are making money hand over fist. The insurance executives are the most highly paid in the business world. So we know they are ecstatic too.

This must be the mystical free lunch at last. Who could lose? Unfortunately someone has to absorb the cost of all this free or cheap treatment. You guessed it, it’s the HMO/PPO dentist.

Now, You ask, “Why would anyone work harder for less money?”

Well my friends, that’s the $64 question. Let’s look at why anyone would do this. The insurance industry dazzles dentists with promises of wealth, endless patients and busy practices. Then they add, “Oh did we forgot to mention that you have to give away many services for free and cut the rest of your fees 30-40%? But don’t worry about that,” they point out, “because you will have two to four times as many patients to try and see in order to make up for the lost revenue. You’ll just have to work faster.”

Ok, so that’s the dentist complaint. What about you, the patient. How does all this affect you? Here’s how; Understand that an HMO/PPO dentist is paid 6-10 dollars per month per family or patient whether or not that patient ever shows up in your office. Now if that patient does want to come in and get there teeth cleaned or a filling done (which the dentist is by contract required to do for FREE) do you think that dentist (or anyone else in the practice) actually wants that patient to come in? Of course not. He doesn’t make any money when the patient comes in. Does it make any sense to pay someone not to perform their craft or practice to their profession?

Now do you see why it might be difficult for you to be seen for a routine visit or in an emergency in one of these practices? The biggest complaints from patients about HMO/PPO practices are they can’t get an appointment and they never see the same dentist twice. Is there any mystery now as to why?


In my opinion, to be an HMO/PPO dentist I would have to sacrifice quality, service and the personal attention we give to our patients. In short we would have to give up our ethical and clinical standards. I won’t do that and it’s an easy choice to make. I won’t practice on roller skates, sacrificing quality for the sake of quantity. As an HMO practice we would have to use cheap labs, cheap materials, work faster and cut corners. Some of the corner cutting would come in the area of sterilization, by not providing as many disposables as we now do. My patients are too important for us to do that to them. The medical profession has all but lost the war to the insurance industry. The story has been well documented in a recent TIME magazine cover story. The dental profession still offers you the freedom to choose your own dentist and level of care. And as long as that continues, I will endeavor to provide you with the best dentistry has to offer. You deserve nothing less.


Dr. Ushma Patel, D.M.D.
Center for Advanced Dentistry

Sealants for Children – Dentist in Johns Creek, GA

Today I’d like to talk to you about the advantages of preventative dentistry. Many of the difficulties older generations experience with their teeth are ones that can now be avoided through a lifetime of routine preventative dental care.

This care begins with regular visits to the dentist from an early age. By the time a child is old enough to develop molars and cooperate with a dentist’s requests, he is old enough to receive a crucial preventative treatment: Sealants.

Sealants are just as they sound. They seal back molar teeth to keep out harmful bacteria and therefore prevent the formation of decay. I generally apply sealants to children’s molars as the molars come in, between the ages of 6 and 13. I carefully clean and dry the tooth and “paint” on a clear, plastic, protective coating. It’s a little bit like a clear coat of nail polish, but for a tooth. The sealant protects the tooth’s surface and crevices from harmful bacteria and decay and is shown to last for years, and in many cases, long into adulthood. Sealants are recommended by the American Dental Association and have been shown to reduce tooth decay tremendously. We’re talking about 90% to 100%! The best part is that for a fraction of the cost of a filling you can prevent yourself or a loved one from ever needing a filling, root canal or crown.

This not only adds up to a smart choice for the health of your child’s mouth, but also for your pocketbook as the costs of repairing decay can add up to a lot more than the costs of preventing it. Many insurance carriers offer coverage for sealants and many times they cover them 100%. The one downside is that they only cover them until your child reaches age 12 or 14. So it pays to have them done while they are young and prevent countless unnecessary dental procedures in the future.

Sealants do not take long to apply and never require the patient to be numbed. So it is one of the most pain free procedures we offer. We generally see children to apply sealants and they can go back to school to resume their day right after their appointment. They are even able to eat on them immediately following their application. Our office is central to the Alpharetta, Suwanee, and Johns Creek area school districts to make routine visits easy and convenient.

Once your family is in the habit of visiting the dentist on a regular basis, it waylays fears and procrastination and helps the whole brood maintain clean, healthy, and fresh smiles. Sealants are just another measure that will help ensure your children’s long-term dental health.

Do your children have dental sealants? Why or why not?

Botox injected into the masseter muscles of the jaw to treat TMJ, an inflammation of the TMJ joint in the jaw

Cosmetic surgeon Dr. Alex Rivkin shows Dr. Ordon and Dr. Stork how he injects Botox into the masseter muscles of Suzannes jaw to treat her TMJ, an inflammation of the temporal-mandibular joint in the jaw.

In Georgia, only Dentists certified by the Board of Dentsitry can inject Botox for the purposes of TMJ pain, Migraine and Tension Headaches. Dr. Ushma Patel recently received her certification.

Blazing Strides in the Dental Experience

You may remember the worn leather chairs, the hum of the drill, and the drab office interior that was synonymous with dentistry decades ago. You probably remember gigantic X-ray machines and dark fillings, and felt like your dentist’s office was more akin to an old corner of a hospital than a comfortable, friendly place to be.

We think your entire experience at the dental office should be a pleasant one. We offer clean, spacious surroundings filled with plenty of natural light. You’ll enjoy beverages and snacks in our reception area and find comfortable amenities in our private patient treatment suites. At Center For Advanced Dentistry we use technology such as patient education DVD’s and Intra-oral video cameras to teach you about your teeth and show you what we see inside of your mouth, bringing you into the process of learning about and caring for your oral hygiene.

Aside from a warm environment, accommodating and gentle staff, and patient education tools, we invest in our patients’ comfort and safety. Our low dose digital X-ray machines significantly decrease your exposure to any radiation. Instead of being awake and remembering everything that happened during your appointment, you can comfortably dose off into sleep with a small pill that we give you right before your treatment. What used to take days and weeks to rebuild in your mouth can be done in a fraction of the time in far fewer appointments. And the materials and options available today have allowed many dentists like myself to offer an alternative to orthodontics with options such as dental veneers which is also referred to as “instant orthodontics.”

Best of all, that common culprit, the cavity, can be treated with white materials to help you maintain a gorgeous white smile, absent of any mercury fillings.

Today’s progressive dentists also offer great financial terms, so your budget does not need to be a deterrent to seeking quality, professional, and comfortable care. There’s even a zero-interest CareCredit to help with dental and medical out of pocket expenses that our office has available for your consideration.

It all comes down to making it an easier, more pleasant experience for our patients. We see you in less time, providing patients with significantly reduced levels of discomfort and anxiety. By the way, if you are unsure about your dentist’s recommended course of treatment, we offer a second opinion at no charge.

Do you have any dental hang-ups? If so, do the new technologies reduce your apprehension about visiting your dentist?