How are Appointments Scheduled?
The office attempts to schedule appointments at your convenience and when time is available. Preschool children should be seen in the morning because they are fresher and we can work more slowly with the child for their comfort. School children with a lot of work to be done should be seen in the morning for the same reason. Dental appointments are an excused absence. Missing school can be kept to a minimum when regular dental care is continued.
We schedule all appointments for the full amount of time that our team will need in order to provide your child with the best and most thorough dental care. For this reason, we are unable to see patients who arrive over 10 minutes past their scheduled appointment time, and the treatment will need be rescheduled to another day. Please contact our office at any time before your appointment with questions about the office location, parking, or directions if needed.
What Is Your Cancellation Policy?
Since appointments are reserved exclusively for each patient, we ask that you notify our office at least one business day in advance of your scheduled appointment time if you are unable to attend. Patients with Monday appointments are asked to notify us by Friday at 5pm. Another patient who needs our care could be scheduled if we have sufficient time to notify them. We realize that illnesses, car troubles, and emergencies can happen at any time, but we ask for your assistance in this regard in order to provide care for as many patients in need as possible. Families with excessive missed or same-day canceled appointments will be charged a $50 cancellation fee.
Do I Stay with My Child During the Visit?
Parents are welcome to accompany their child during the dental appointment.
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. You are responsible for knowing your insurance benefits. Your estimated copay for services is due at check-in for your appointment. We can also keep a card on file for your family's treatment, and charge it once we receive payment from your insurance, rather than collecting your estimated copay on the date of service.. 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. We will be glad to send a refund to you once insurance has paid us.
Please understand that we file dental insurance as a courtesy to our patients. We do not have a contract with your insurance company, only you do. We accept all insurances; however, we are in-network with Delta Dental Premier and Blue Cross Blue Shield Indemnity only. Payments made to our office from other Delta Dental and Blue Cross plans, as well as plans under all other insurance carriers, will depend on your individual out-of-network benefits. It is your responsibility to be aware of your out-of-network benefits. 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 at no time guarantee what your insurance will or will not do with each claim. We also cannot be responsible for any errors in filing your insurance; once again we file claims as a courtesy to you. You are always encouraged to contact our office with questions about the cost of your family's treatment, and to contact your insurance with questions about your family's dental coverage.
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. Some pay more, some pay less. 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 simply is not accurate.
Insurance companies set their own schedules and each company uses a different set of fees they consider allowable. These allowable fees may vary widely because each company collects fee information from claims it processes. The insurance company then takes this data and arbitrarily chooses a level they call the "allowable" UCR Fee. 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). Of course, 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, in advance of your child’s appointment, please keep us informed of any insurance changes such as policy name, member identification number, insurance company address, or a change of employment.