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Dental insurance explained

Posted by Peter Samuels on Mon, Nov 24, 2014 @ 09:11 AM



 Gettysburg Dentist Peter J. Samuels

Choosing the right dental office for your needs is not always a simple process. You might wonder things like why doesn't my dentist take insurance?  Let's discuss the differences between an unrestricted, private, family owned dentist like Samuels Dental Arts P.C. and an office that signs contracts with insurance companies.

Traditionally, dental offices were all private practices that relied on growing their businesses through recommendations from satisfied patients. Today, some dental practices try to fill their books by agreeing to sign up with insurance companies. The office agrees to a fee schedule with a particular company and, in return, the company will put the dentist's name on a list and suggest that patients go to this provider. 

What's wrong with this picture?  Well, many people have a misconception about dental insurance.  It really is the opposite of traditional insurance that protects you from a big, unaffordable expense.  On the contrary.  Dental benefits pay for minor things, like a filling or a cleaning, and, in some cases, a crown.  Benefits are usually limited to about $1500 per year.  If you need alot of work, with several crowns, or implants or dentures, your insurance will quickly max out.  It will make little, if any difference if you go to an in network provider or an unrestricted, out of network provider.

Insurance will only pay $1500 a year? Yes.  And that's with a better policy.  While your  premiums rise every year, the amount of your benefits often has not gone up since the 1970s!

Must I go to an "in network" provider?  The answer is almost always no.  You may go to any provider.  

Why should I choose an unrestricted provider?

Your insurance benefits may change every year. You may be forced to change dentists every time your insurance changes if you insist on an "in network" provider.

Dentists who sign contracts often have to find ways to cut corners.  More patients will need to be seen in a shorter time to make ends meet.   Private, family owned, unrestricted practices rely on satisfied patients referring friends and family members to their offices. Their focus, then, is on creating and establishing long term relationships with their patients by providing quality care and treating patients like family members.  These practices are respectful of your time and value building a long term relationship with you. Remember. You can almost always use your benefits in any office, so don't base your decision on your current insurance plan! If you want to be seen as a unique patient rather than a number in an insurance mill, a private, unrestricted dental practice may be the best choice for you.

Posted by Peter J. Samuels, DDS

Topics: dental insurance, dental plan, insurance dentist

How to Save Money on the Dentist

Posted by Peter Samuels on Tue, Aug 12, 2014 @ 09:08 AM

Know how to save money on dental treatments

 Gettysburg Dentist

If you've ever had to make an unexpected and unplanned trip to the dentist for an emergency, you know how expensive dental treatments can be - even when you have dental insurance.  Understanding how to save money on dental treatments is an important part of having and maintaining a personal or family budget.  These simple techniques can not only save you money in the long run, they can significantly improve your dental health now and in the future.

1. Get regular checkups and cleanings: Part of good dental hygiene is keeping on top of your oral health before problems can arise.  Getting a regular cleaning followed by a fluoride treatment can reduce the risks of dental emergencies going forward, and can help you and your dentist identify potential problems before they become disasters or emergencies.  Regular cleanings can remove plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth before they can turn into cavities or gum disease.

2. Practice preventive dentistry: In addition to a regularly scheduled cleaning every six months, preventive dentistry can catch problems early before they become emergencies.  Regularly brushing and flossing your teeth and getting regular checkups and cleanings can eliminate a lot of oral health problems before they have the opportunity to begin, and identifying problems early can eliminate expensive treatment plans down the road.  If you are prone to gum problems have your teeth cleaned every three months to help avoid more expensive gum treatment such as surgery.

3. Have digital, low exposure x-rays taken when advised. Most insurance plans offer coverage for x-rays at least once a year.  These x-rays can identify problems early, minimizing the possibility for damage that goes undetected for years, leading to further damage and problems.  Be open with your dentist, and have your dental provider explain any potential problems that the x-rays may bring to light. Digital x-rays screen for decay between teeth and show the level of supporting bone.

4. Understand the expensive treatments: Most of the time, expensive dental treatment plans are a result of poor oral hygiene that has built up over time.  By seeing your dentist regularly, a lot of these expensive options can be avoided because you and your dental provider are on top of problems as they happen - and they don't have time to become more severe.

5.Ask about an in office dental plan:  Our Gettysburg Dentist office offers an in office, members only, discounted dental plan.  While not exactly dental insurance, it  can save considerable money on checkups and treatment without the red tape and hassle of dental insurance.

Topics: Gettysburg dentist, Dentist Gettysburg, dental insurance, dental plan

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