This page contains answers to common questions handled by our front office staff, along with some information about our business policies. We hope this information will lessen some of your anxiety about your visit and the cost of dental care.
Which insurance plans do we accept?
The Dental Center at Thornton Plaza accepts the following dental insurance plans:
- BlueCross Blue Shield
- Delta Dental
- Dental Wellness Partners
- Metlife - Federal Tri-Care
- United Concordia
- United Healthcare
What if I cannot pay for all my care at the time of my visit?
We understand that dental care can sometimes be hard on a family's budget and may limit your ability to get the care you need. We accept MasterCard, Visa, Discover, check, or cash. For more extensive care, we are happy to establish a payment plan with a down payment to spread the remaining cost of your care over three or four months. We do not charge interest if your payments are made as committed.
We also offer a service called, CareCredit, which is a personal line of credit for healthcare treatments and procedures for your entire family. It works like a credit card but it has two advantages. It can only be used for healthcare services and you can get No Interest financing each time you use it. Simply pay your minimum monthly payment and pay off the entire balance by the end of your promotional period and you pay No Interest. You can get a No Interest* payment plan if paid in full within 6, 12, 18 or 24 months on purchases with your CareCredit card.
Why doesn't my dental insurance cover all of the cost of my care?
Dental insurance is a great help to many families but is not designed to cover all of the costs of providing dental care. Here are a few of the costs built into dental insurance:
Deductibles - Costs that you pay the first time each year you use the plan. They vary from $25 per person to as much as $100 a year.
Copayments - Usually 20% of basic dental care. Generally your insurance will cover 80% of the charges and you will be responsible for the remaining 20%. For more extensive procedures such as crowns or dentures, insurance copayments will be 50% of your total dental bill. Fortunately, there is often 100% coverage for preventive services such as exams, x-rays, fluoride treatments, and simple cleanings.
Some copayments may come as a surprise. For example, if it has been some time since you visited your dentist regularly, you may need care for periodontal disease, instead of a normal cleaning. Periodontal care is usually only covered at 80% while a simple cleaning of a healthy mouth may be covered at 100%.
Schedules of Allowances - These exist for most companies and set an upper limit for the amount the plan will pay for a particular service. This allowance may or may not cover our normal fee. Allowances that are based on usual, customary, and reasonable fees are almost always more than our fees, but allowances based on more arbitrary criteria (such as how much the company has in their dental budget for this particular year) tend to be on the low side. In these cases, our fee may be higher than your companies covered fee and you will be responsible for the difference.
Most companies also have a maximum allowable provision that sets an annual limit on the amount they will pay. This provision limits the annual cost to the insurance company or employer. We are sensitive to this provision and, where possible, will assist you in spreading your optimal care over a period of years to maximize your insurance benefits. Our primary focus will be to eliminate any pain or infection, and then to restore your oral health to it's best.
How will I know which dentist or hygienist will care for me?
We invite you to pick any member of our team to provide care for you on a regular basis. If you are already familiar with our staff, just tell the receptionist when you call that you want an appointment time with a particular provider and we will do all we can to accommodate your choice. In an emergency situation, any of our providers will be happy to serve you. A list of our providers is located in our Dentist and Hygienist directories.
How do I contact a dentist if the office is closed?
While most toothaches give you warnings over a period of weeks, unfortunately, some are unwanted surprises, especially if a tooth breaks. If there is no answer at the office you will be given instructions to contact the doctor on call, by leaving a call back number. The doctor on call will return your call as soon as possible. The after hours office charge is $125. Where possible, we would encourage you to contact us during office hours except in cases of trauma, severe pain, or swelling.
What else would you like to know?
Do you have more questions? Please do not hesitate to contact our office with any questions regarding your care or our office policies. You are also able to contact us via e-mail. Messages for any of our front office staff, including requests for appointments, questions regarding billing, or any other questions about our policies may be directed to our voice mail.
Please contact us at any time with questions about our practice, our doctors or our philosophy of care. We look forward to caring for your smile!