philosophy is that we would rather do less work well, than more work of lesser
quality. Nothing is more disheartening in dentistry than to meet a new patient
who has had extensive, poor quality dental work that requires being redone. The
sweetness of low fee dentistry is soon forgotten while the bitterness of poor
patients who need more extensive dentistry we can usually offer treatment plans
extending three to five years in order to accommodate most budgets. Patients can
be confident in their knowledge that the increased cost of quality now will save
them significant emotional and financial costs in the future.
expect payment from patients at the time of their office visit unless other
arrangements have been discussed in advance. Special arrangements can be made
for patients on a tight budget to see one of our staff general dentists at a
reduced fee. Ask Jeff or staff at the front desk for more information, we want
to keep you here.
insurance – Dental insurance is misunderstood by most dental patients. Dental
insurance companies are in the business of paying less in claims than they take
in on premiums; that is how they make money. The health of our patients is our
concern not theirs. We will not let an insurance company’s fee reimbursement
schedule dictate treatment.
will frequently say, for example, “I have Aetna dental insurance and they pay
80% of the usual and customary fee for fillings, so why do I have to pay more
than 20%?” The answer may be
understood as follows:
level of quality of care in this office is not usual and customary! The value of
your treatment here will be appreciated long term. In addition there is no
such thing as a “usual and customary” fee. Fee screens for dental
procedures differ considerably among insurance contracts, according to an
independent study sponsored by the American Dental Association. Patients
with different dental policies are reimbursed at different rates even within the
same insurance company because determination of “usual and customary” rates
varies so widely.
2. Dental insurance reimbursement is based
upon the least expensive treatment method. Cosmetic dental procedures, for
example, are significantly more time-consuming (to do well) and the best
materials are significantly more expensive than for non-cosmetic procedures
(e.g. silver fillings vs. bonding). Insurance companies do not care about
value-added services and will not pay more for them.
3. As of January 1999 we have more than 725
different dental insurance policies in our computer. There are 54 different
Aetna dental insurance policies alone. The monthly premiums paid by the
employer/employee for each of these policies can vary tremendously. The level of
insurance coverage an employee may receive is a function of that premium — the
higher your premium, the better your coverage. We cannot change that. If you
have $50,000 fire insurance for your home and it burns, you cannot get $100,000.
4. We accept partial payment directly from
an insurance company as a courtesy to our patients. Our office manager is quite
knowledgeable about dental insurance and is happy to handle all the paperwork
this entails. Many insurance companies refuse, however, to tell us exactly how
much they will reimburse for a given procedure.
will estimate the amount of your copayment that is due at the time of your
visit. If insurance payments exceed your balance your account will be credited
and you may receive an overpayment refund if desired; if insurance payments are
less than expected the balance is your responsibility.
We must keep
either a preauthorized credit card voucher or post dated checks on file for any
patient relying on insurance copayments to cover any potential financial