How are appointments scheduled?
Our office attempts to schedule appointments at your convenience and when time is available. Children tend to do better in the dental office when they are not tired. Therefore, we encourage morning appointments, especially for preschool or nervous children. One of our goals is providing dentistry that is as pleasant as possible for your child, and appropriate scheduling may help us achieve this goal. Also keep in mind that a dental appointment is an excused absence from school.
We make every effort to see your child on time. For this reason, we ask that you arrive a few minutes before your scheduled time. We also require a 24 hour notice for cancellations. We need this amount of time so that we may contact a child from our waiting list to offer the appointment. If we do not receive 24 hour notice, we reserve the right to charge your account a broken appointment fee. We realize that unexpected things can happen, but we ask for your assistance in this regard.
Do I stay with my child during the visit?
We invite you to stay with your child during the initial examination. During future appointments, we suggest you allow your child to accompany our staff through the dental experience. We can usually establish a closer rapport with your child when you are not present. Our purpose is to gain your child's confidence and overcome apprehension. However, if you choose, you are more than welcome to accompany your child to the treatment room. For the safety and privacy of all patients, other children who are not being treated should remain in the reception room with a supervising adult.
What about finances?
DELTA DENTAL and CIGNA DENTAL PPO participating office for children and adults
Delaware Medicaid for children only up to age 16.
Our office accepts most other insurances such as Met life, and Aetna but are not contracted participating insurance providers.
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. Third Party financing is available through Care Credit,an outside dental financing company.
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 must be familiar with your insurance benefits, as we will collect from you the estimated amount insurance is not expected to pay.
By law your insurance company is required to 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 finance charge of 1.5% will be added to your account each month until paid. 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 your employer does. 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 do not guarantee what your insurance will or will not do with each claim.
Our office will be happy to send in a pretreatment estimate to the insurance company. This means our office will send a copy of what dental work needs to be done to your dental insurance company. Your dental insurance company will process the pretreatment estimate and mail you a copy of your benefits. It will tell you more precisely what the insurance will pay and what your co pay is.
Fact 1 - NO INSURANCE PAYS 100% OF ALL PROCEDURES
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. Frequently this data can be three to five years old and these "allowable" fees are set by the insurance company so they can make a net 20%-30% profit.
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
Dental Insurance benefits have changed in the last 20 years and it's not for the better! Many insurances are now collecting deductibles for preventive care( xrays, cleanings and fluoride treatments).
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, please keep us informed of any insurance changes such as policy name, insurance company address, or a change of employment.