How are Appointments Scheduled?
We do our best to schedule appointments at your convenience. Preschool children are best seen in the morning because they are refreshed from a good night’s rest. School children who require nitrous oxide analgesia or need extensive dental work are also best seen in the morning. Dental appointments are an excused absence. Missing school can be kept to a minimum when regular dental care is continued. After school and Saturday appointments are very popular so we recommend scheduling your next six month recall appointment at the time of your visit.
Appointed times are reserved exclusively for your child. To avoid a broken appointment or late cancellation fee, we request that you please notify our office if you need to reschedule your appointment. We require 48 hours advanced notice of your appointment time to avoid a broken or late cancellation fee. For missed dental recall appointments, the fee is $45 per child. For missed dental restorative appointments, the fee is $75 per child. We realize that unexpected things can happen, but we ask for your assistance in this regard.
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. We will only collect from you the estimated amount insurance is not expected to pay. Your insurance company should 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 $10 will be added to your account each month until paid.
As a courtesy, we will submit your insurance claim on your behalf. 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 cannot guarantee what your insurance will cover.
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. 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 is not accurate. Insurance companies set their own schedules, and each company uses a different set of fees they consider allowable. As these allowable fees may vary widely, we prefer the more accurate term, “Insurance allowable fee structure”. 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). 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.