Category Archives: Dental Insurance
How do I prepare for a dental visit?
- Get a good night’s sleep.
- If you are prone to dental anxiety, eat a high-protein snack and avoid caffeinated or sugary beverages on the day of your visit to help keep you calm.
- If your dental visit coincides with your usual mealtime, bring a healthy snack to much on.
- Wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing.
- Bring a list of medications (name and dosage), as well as the names of your recent and current health care practitioners. Additionally, alert your dentist of any medical conditions you have been diagnosed with.
- Jot down any questions you think of on a notepad. Bring extra paper with you to record the dentist’s answers and any oral care instructions.
Expect your dentist to perform a thorough examination, detect potential problems, and provide an appropriate treatment plan. An initial examination may include some or all of the following procedures:a soft tissue examination; screening and exam for periodontal disease; detailed charting of cavities, existing restorations (fillings and crowns), and other tooth conditions; and an oral cancer screening. Dental x-rays also may be taken to locate any abnormalities or injuries that cannot be detected through a visual exam.
Is it important to share a complete medical history?
Yes. Even if you’ve seen the same dentist for years, communicate any changes in your mouth or medical conditions that have been recently diagnosed. Health conditions, medications – even vitamins- can interfere with routine dental procedures. If you have a medical condition, such as heart-valve problems, recent total joint replacement, or insulin-dependent diabetes, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics before your dental visit to prevent the spread of bacteria. these procedures could include professional teeth cleaning, extractions, and implant surgery.
If you are a cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy, it is important to inform your dentist about your condition. According to the National Institutes for Health, 40 percent of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy experience oral complications including salivary gland dysfunction, which leads to dry mouth rampant dental decay, and painful mouth sores. The more your dentist knows about your medical history and overall health, the better he or she is able to develop a personalized dental treatment plan to help improve your quality of life.
Are routine visits necessary?
Yes. Make sure to get regular dental checkups at least every six months to maintain healthy teeth and gums. But it is important to know that achieving optimum oral health requires more than regular checkups: it requires you to be an informed patient and an active participant in your own health. Ask your dentist questions about results for your check up and any recommended treatment. If you have researched an oral health problem, the information that you gather can help you identify health concerns and ask the right questions.
Do I need to discuss payment arrangements before my visit?
Payment requirements vary with each dental office, so it’s a good idea to discuss this with the receptionist before your next visit. Making payment arrangements ahead of time also can help reduce pre-visit related stress. If possible, find out what services your dental insurance covers. Ask whether your dentist accepts this kind of insurance and about what payment options are offered.
What if I need to cancel my appointment?
If you cannot keep a scheduled dental appointment, don’t’ wait until the last minute to cancel or now show up at all. Since staff has set up a specific time slot for your oral health care, you should provide as much notice as possible of cancellation. Penalties for missed appointments vary from office to office and some may charge you for failure to cancel . While some emergencies may make it difficult to provide advance notice, 24 hours is recommended.
If you’re unsure about what to ask your dentist, try these questions:
- What type of toothbrush and floss is best for me?
- Am I brushing and flossing effectively?
- Are my teeth and gums healthy?
The signs of fall signal back-to-work and back-to-school for many of us. They should also be a cue to make a dental appointment. Although you may not realize it, your dental insurance has seasons too. More than 90% of dental plans are based on a calendar year. If you do not use the benefits you are entitled to, they are gone as of December 31st. Your benefits are not carried forward into the next year.
It is especially important to come in for a visit as soon as possible before your 2012 dental insurance expires.
If you are thinking about getting some dental care sometime this year, now’s the time. Many treatments can take weeks to complete once treatment options are sorted out and insurance considerations are resolved. That’s why it’s especially important to come in for a visit to get things on the go as soon as possible, before your 2012 dental insurance expires.
Dental insurance isn’t like medical insurance. You don’t need dental insurance to make dental care affordable, says dentist Josie Dovidio.
“While medical illness is unpredictable and can be financially catastrophic, dental disease is preventable and predictable,” Josie explains.
But some employers now offer dental coverage as a benefit. And it’s often confusing for the average consumer.
Josie offers a list of questions that help buyers make an informed choice about dental insurance:
- Can you choose your own dentist? (Seeing a trusted dentist is the best way to ensure you control the quality and quantity of treatment.)
- If you must pick from a list of dentists, is the dentist you want to see on the list?
- Does the plan cover diagnostic, preventative, and emergency services? How much does it cover?
- What routine corrective treatment is covered? What share of costs do you pay as a patient?
- What major dental care is covered?
- Dose the plan allow referrals to specialists?
- What is the maximum amount of money your insurance will pay in one year?
- What is the deductible? (Sometimes deductibles equal the cost of two cleanings per year. if this is the case, it will be less expensive to pay for those cleanings, rather than pay a deductible and premium.)
Before you visit your dentist, make sure you understand what services and treatments are covered.
“Some plans will pay for the lease expensive way to treat a dental problem. A dentist might recommend a treatment that is not covered. It doesn’t mean it’s an unnecessary treatment, it just means the insurance won’t cover it– even if you need it,” Josie says.
The best way to decide on dental insurance is to ask questions, Josie recommends.
“Believe me, your dentist is aware that insurance is complex. Ask questions about your insurance during your next appointment. The best decision you can make is an educated one.”