How are Appointments Scheduled?
The office attempts to schedule appointments at your convenience and when time is available. Preschool children should be seen in the morning because they are fresher and we can work more slowly with them for their comfort. School children with a lot of work to be done should be seen in the morning for the same reason. Dental appointments are an excused absence. Missing school can be kept to a minimum when regular dental care is continued.
Since appointed times are reserved exclusively for each patient we ask that you please notify our office 24 hours in advance of your scheduled appointment time if you are unable to keep your appointment. Another patient, who needs our care, could be scheduled if we have sufficient time to notify them. 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 have an OPEN DOOR POLICY. That means parents are welcome to stay with their child during their visits. We know that different children have different needs, and we allow the parent to decide if they want to accompany their child or not. For those that feel the need, we often find that parental presence can have a calming effect on both the patient and the parent. We work hard to form wonderful initial dental experiences for all our patients, and our Open Door Policy is a large part of that.
What About Finances?
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.
Our Office Policy Regarding Dental Insurance
We are happy to assist you in filing insurance claims and even file the necessary paperwork for you. While we recognize that it would be nice to not have any out of pocket expenses, most insurance will not pay 100% of all charges. We are able to check on-line for most insurance plans to see what is covered and at what percentages.
With thousands of different insurance policies, it is hard to predict exactly what portion the insurance policy will pay and what portion the patient will pay. 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. We encourage you to be familiar with your insurance benefits, as we will collect from you the estimated amount insurance is not expected to pay. Your insurance company should 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.
Please understand that we file dental insurance as a courtesy to our patients. We technically 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. You are responsible for any balance on your account.
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.
Facts 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 company policies might 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. An insurance company has an interest in lowering its payment to make additional profit. Our dental practice has an interest in providing superior and specialized care for your children. Dr. Lide has completed years of additional education and the staff completes continuing education to stay on top of the latest practices in Pediatric Dentistry.
Fact 3 – Deductibles and 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.
We recognize how confusing dental insurance can be for parents. We are happy to assist you to the best of our ability with your insurance needs.