Are You Confused by Dental Insurance?
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Dental coverage is a health benefit that works very differently from medical insurance. Under the Affordable Health Care Act dental insurance is being expanded for children and many more adults will have access than they may have previously.
We’re seeing an increase in the questions and confusion about dental coverage, mainly patients wondering how it works, what it covers and who takes it.
If you’re a patient of Lowcountry Dental Center who is changing or adding dental insurance coverage, we would be happy to review and decipher your coverage options.
What You Need To Know About Dental Insurance
It’s Not Insurance, It’s a Benefit
The term “dental insurance” is very deceiving. There are more differences than similarities between dental insurance and medical insurance. In fact, dental “insurance” is actually a benefit – not insurance.
With health insurance, you pay a deductible and then a reduced portion of your medical bills. With a dental plan, you pay a monthly premium for a preset amount of annual coverage, once your maximum coverage is reached, you are then responsible for any additional charges. Keep in mind that each plan has a different level of coverage and benefits can vary within each level. We’ve even seen patients who work for the same company but have different levels of dental coverage!
Dental Insurance: Is It Worth It?
Dentistry has gone through significant changes in the last 40 years, unfortunately dental insurance has not. The average cap on a dental plan is $1,000. This may have been sufficient coverage in 1975, but not so today.
Dental insurance plans cost about $20 to $50 per month. Nearly all will also have a deductible as well as a co-pay or co-insurance. On top of that, you may be required to see an in-network dentist or even endure a waiting period before you can have any dental work done!
When you add this all up, you have to ask yourself if you’re getting the best value for your money.
We Choose to Focus on Patient Care
In order to provide the highest quality dental care, we at Lowcountry Dental Center take the time to provide high quality customer service. We work with insurance companies as a non-participating provider.
What this means is if your insurance company will allow you to come to our office, we will handle all your paperwork – we typically file your claim the same day you are seen.
We ask that you pay for our services at the time of your appointment. Our staff will handle the paperwork and submit claims on your behalf so you receive direct reimbursement from your insurance carrier. Reimbursement is typically received within 10 days to 3 weeks.
Dentists who participate in dental insurance networks agree to accept a lower fee for their services in order to be a “participating provider”. We find this forces dentists to see a higher volume of patients and consequently spend less time with their patients.
In order to provide you with the best possible dental service, we need to be able to spend the right amount of time with you. Quality and care are two of the most important attributes of our practice. That’s why we hire the most qualified professionals, use the best materials and work with the top dental labs in the United States. When it comes to your dental care, you should be in control of your treatment plan, not your insurance company.
Choosing A Dentist? Here Are Some Things To Consider
Rather than focus solely on participation with your dental insurance, we ask that you please consider the following when choosing a dentist:
We respect our patients time. This means that we see you at your scheduled appointment time, without having you wait for an extended period of time. This also means that you won’t have to wait weeks or months to be seen by Dr. Hendricks. We can typically schedule patients within 2 weeks, sometimes sooner.
Finally, valuing your time means spending time with you when you’re in our office. We don’t rush patients in and out. Dr. Hendricks will spend time with you to discuss your concerns, evaluate your condition and answer any questions you might have.
We see many patients who have dental anxiety or fear of the dentist. These fears often vanish after just one or two visits with Dr. Hendricks. Our office is comfortable and well appointed, but more than that, our staff is well trained to handle your anxiety and answer your questions. We take our time with patients to fully explain their treatment needs and what they can expect before, during and after.
We also take all necessary steps to minimize pain and discomfort, giving our patients the best possible experience.
Dr. Hendricks has a true passion for dentistry. He is a third generation dentist, following in the steps of his father and grandfathers. Dentists in South Carolina are required to take 14 hours of continuing education each year. Dr. Hendricks goes above and beyond, holding himself to the highest standards.
Dr. Hendricks has chosen to focus his practice towards treating adults with complex dental problems. His training is a reflection of that commitment:
- Two Year Fellowship in Implant Dentistry
- Fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry
- Associate Fellow in the American Academy of Implant Dentistry
- Alumni of the Dawson Academy, a post graduate training facility for “complete dentistry” as well as TMJ and Occlusal Disorders
Dr. Hendricks’s treatments are carefully planned using the highest quality materials for the most natural looking and longest lasting results.