Do I really need to go to the dentist every 3-6 months?
How often you see the dentist really depends on each individuals oral health needs. The goals is to catch small dental concerns early.
For many people this means a dental exam every 3-6 months, depending on how well you care for your teeth and gums, problems you may have that may need to be checked or treated and how fast tartar builds up on your teeth and so on.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I floss on a daily basis?
- Do I brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and follow the instructions of my dentist/hygienist on how to brush properly?
- Do I eat a well balanced diet, including foods from all food groups and limit sweets and sticky foods?
- Do I smoke?
- Do I have a history of cavities or gum disease?
- Is my overall health good?
Are you covered?
Just having insurance benefits isn’t enough, you need to be fully aware of what your insurance coverage entitles you to and what it means. Dentistry in Motion accepts most dental insurance plans however, we do not have access to what that insurance coverage is and what may or may not be covered under your specific plan. For more information on our insurance policies and practices please speak to one of our patient coordinators.
What is co-payment?
Co-payment—also called co-insurance—is the portion of the bill that is your own responsibility. It’s the most common way for dental plans to limit their costs, thereby providing various plans with an assortment of benefits and price points for the purchaser to choose. Some plans are also taking other approaches to limit plan spending: setting annual deductibles, capping the dollar amount or limiting the number of visits covered within a year.
How much do I have to pay?
That depends on your plan. An 80/20 co-payment is common for basic procedures such as x-rays, cleaning, fillings and root canals. This means that the dental plan covers 80% of the bill. A 50/50 co-payment is common for major procedures such as crowns and bridges. There are many variations; be sure to check your specific plan.
Can my dentist waive the co-payment?
No. The waiving of a co-payment is insurance fraud and is against the law.
The dentist could be heavily fined or even lose their license. When you and your dentist sign the claim form that goes to the insurance company, you are stating which services were provided and how much, in total, was charged. The insurance company pays its share based upon the assumption that you will do the same.
Like many Canadians, you may have a dental plan through your employer, union or provincial government.
Patients need to be aware that a dental plan and a treatment plan are two different things:
1. A dental plan is a means to help you to pay for your dental treatment.
2. A treatment plan is the personal plan you and your dentist develop together to meet your oral health needs. It serves as your road map to good oral health and should not be limited by what a dental plan will cover.
If you have a dental plan: It’s up to you as a full partner in your oral health care to know how your plan works. Read the booklet or other materials available from your provider. Your co-payment is the part of the bill you won’t be reimbursed for.
You need to understand what your plan covers and the extent of the coverage.
I don’t have dental insurance and can’t afford to go to the dentist. What can I do and why does dentistry cost so much anyway?
If you cannot afford care, even with a payment plan, contact the nearest Social Services Agency to see if you qualify for government-funded dental care. Dental schools where senior dental students provide treatment at a reduced cost may also be an option.
Dental services may seem expensive but in Canada, we don’t have to pay directly when we visit a doctor or hospital, so we may not realize the high cost of providing health services. Overhead costs are high for dentists. They have staff, equipment and other operating costs.
he good news is that you can avoid costly dental treatment by brushing, flossing and visiting your dentist regularly for a dental exam. Regular dental exams cost money, but they are less expensive than fixing serious dental problems that stem from neglect.