Q: How much is it going to cost?
A: Depending on what the dental visit is about will determine what the financial obligation will be. HDG (this office) philosophy as to planned dental care means that we suggest an initial diagnostic visit to record the present situations/conditions and then design a plan of action (called a Treatment Plan [TP]) which is then presented to the patient. Based on that TP presentation and the patient making the decisions as to what care is elected, a more accurate cost of care can be determined.
Comprehensive dental care can be expensive. The investment, both time and financial, that a patient makes in their oral health is designed and meant to last for many years (providing the patient then takes good care of their oral health afterwards i.e. good home and oral hygiene habits/care and continued regular preventive visits).
Q: Can I be seen for an emergency instead of the whole complete examination?
A: Emergency visits are just that - for the express purpose of seeing to a particular problem or concern and then addressing that need. Initial or periodic/recare examinations are not provided during an emergency visit.
Q: Is it going to hurt?
A: Unfortunately many problems that occur with the teeth or surrounding tissues does have pain involved. During the treatment of a problem, local anesthesia (numbing) is usually recommended in order to keep the area being worked on and the patient free of any discomfort. A patient has to realize though that even though a tooth or area is numbed, vibration and torque from the instruments can still be felt and need to separate those feelings from those of pain. If a tooth or problem also involves an infection, then that infection may interfere with the area or tooth being as numb as it would otherwise be.
Q: Will my insurance pay for it?
A: Dental insurance should be called dental assistance since the purpose of the dental insurance industry is to assist a patient in their financial obligations for dental care. Depending on the particular insurance company and then also depending on the employer of the insured will determine the level of coverage for most if not all dental care. Different deductibles, different co-pays, different percentages of coverage applied to different types of dental care, different yearly maximums; all these come into play in determining what or how much a dental plan will pay toward a patient's work.
Q: Why didn't my insurance pay for that?
A: Not all dental insurance carriers pay the same for the same procedure as other insurance carriers. All insurance carriers have different table of allowances for all dental procedures. Not all dental procedures are considered as 'covered' procedures and in those cases, there is no dental insurance payment. Just because an insurance carrier does not 'cover' a procedure does not mean that the procedure was not needed . It means that the patient's particular plan didn't have an allowance for that specific procedure. An insurance company is in the business to make money and show profits to their stockholders and the way they do that is to pay out as little as possible whenever they can. Coverage plans are worked out by the insurance company the and patient's employer or insured's employer based on the dollar amount the employer is willing to pay out on a monthly or yearly basis for that employee or group of employees. Thus why so many variables in the coverage tables and percentages allowed.
Q: Why do I need a panoramic X-Ray?
A: Panoramic X-Rays are diagnostic aids that allow the dentist to see things in the bone and teeth that cannot be seen visually in the mouth. Panoramic X-Rays show the bone patterns of the upper and lower jaws as well as the position of the teeth, whether developing, erupted or impacted. Cysts and tumors are detected by panoramic X-Rays whereas the smaller (Periapical and/or bite-wing) X-Rays generally do not show those areas or patterns. Patient with a history of certain diseases or taking particular medications may be at higher risk for adverse changes or findings in the bones of the upper or lower jaws and are of particular need for more often panoramic X-Rays.
Q: Why do I need a medical consultation?
A: Different childhood and/or adult conditions may have severe consequences during or after dental treatment or care unless proper precautions are taken ahead of time. These precautions may involve the use of antibiotics. Depending on whether a patients medical history or conditions fall into those categories, is best determined by the patients medical doctor-- thus sometimes we need a medical consultation so as to be sure whether the patient does or does not need special precautions before dental care.
Q: Why do I have to have Prophylactic Antibiotics?
A: Based on a patient's medical history will determine whether prophylactic antibiotics are suggested prior to any dental care. In the cases of previous (even if much earlier in life/childhood) diseases or findings as well a recent or current conditions (like some cardiac/heart problems or devices) may be reasons for use of prophylactic antibiotics. We will request a medical consultation with the patient's medical physician making the determination as to whether a patient is in need of prophylactic antibiotics. Other medical reasons for prophylactic antibiotics may include joint surgery or replacements.
Q: Can I make payments?
A: After a treatment plan (TP) has been presented, the dental care and approximate cost of that care is then calculated. If a patient would like to make payments ahead of time or at the time of service as well as being 'billed' for any work after it's completed, we do offer the option of a line of credit called CARE CREDIT. After completing the credit application (either here at the office, or completed elsewhere and mailed to Care Credit, or completed on-line) and acceptance by Care Credit, any dental care can then be charged to that account and the patient will receive a monthly statement for their dental care from Care Credit.
Q: Why do I need a fluoride treatment?
A: Topical Fluorides are a time tested and proven means of helping to prevent dental disease. Fluorides may act differently in children's teeth than they do with adult teeth. With children, fluoride use helps to strengthen the enamel of the teeth to try and prevent dental disease. In adults, fluorides help to re-mineralize the enamel and assist in lessening the sensitivity of exposed dentin (underlying tooth structure especially in cases of gingival [gum] recession).
Q: Why do I have to have the rubber dam used?
A: The use of the rubber dam in restorative care has many benefits. It protects the patients tongue, lips, cheeks, etc from harm due to instruments and chemicals. It protects a patient from accidentally swallowing and/or aspirating foreign debris or instruments 'down the throat'. It helps keep the area or teeth isolated from saliva so that the 'fillings' bonds will be better. It helps the dentist see the tooth or teeth much better so they can work better.