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
www.JohnsCreekSedationDentist.com
770-623-8750

www.HiTechSmiles.com
appointments@hitechsmiles.com

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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 FREE LUNCH

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?

TOO MANY CUT CORNERS

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.

Sincerely,

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