Our office is open Monday through Friday. The amount of time scheduled depends upon a patient's specific needs.
Since appointed times are reserved exclusively for each patient, we ask that you make any changes as far in advance as possible. Failure to keep appointments is not acceptable because doctors' and auxiliaries' time is reserved, special materials have been prepared, and another patient who needs our care could be scheduled if we have sufficient time to notify him/her. Emergencies are an exception. Our office provides 24 hour emergency coverage.
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.
We ask that the fee for the initial appointment be paid at the first visit. This applies to patients with dental insurance as well as those without insurance.
Payment may be made by cash, check, MasterCard, or Visa. If a portion of the fee is covered by dental insurance, we will file for you if you bring a completed, signed insurance form. At future visits, co-payment, deductibles and fees not covered by insurance are due when services are rendered. Please make prior payment arrangements if someone other than the parent/guardian brings your child for an appointment.
A pediatric dentist is uniquely trained in at least two years of residency beyond a four year dental degree to care for the oral health and dental development of infants, children, adolescents, and special needs patients. Attuned by nature and by training to the various stages of a child's oral and psychological development, the pediatric dentist is to dentistry what the pediatrician is to medicine.
We agree with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry's recommendation: a first dental examination no later than 12 months of age. Many problems are prevented as parents and children learn the value of regular dental examinations and proper home care.
At least two years of residency beyond the four year dental degree trains an orthodontic specialist who can analyze and guide growth and development of the face and jaws as well as straightening teeth.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic screening no later than age 7 to provide early diagnosis and treatment that helps guide tooth eruption and facial growth. All children will not need early treatment, but, when necessary, it can help prevent more serious developmental problems later.
GREAT NEWS FOR ADULTS - Age is not a factor in enhancing the beauty of your smile. We see orthodontic patients of all ages.
Please call our office as soon after an accident as possible, and we will see your child immediately if need be.
In order to accommodate an injured child, our daily schedule may be delayed. Please accept our apologies ahead of time should this occur during your appointment. Understand we will do exactly the same if your child is ever in need of emergency care.
As needed during all examinations we will discuss your child's:
- brushing, flossing, and home care
- preventive and restorative treatment needs
- growth and development
- orthodontic evaluation
For your convenience, orthodontic consultations for braces may be scheduled along with preventive or restorative visits.
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 re-billing fee of 1.5% will be added to your account each month until paid. We will be glad to send a refund to you if your insurance pays 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 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 can not be responsible for any errors in filing your insurance. Once again, we file claims as a courtesy to you.
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. 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
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.