Make the Most of Your Dental Benefits

Considering that October is National Dental Hygiene Month, it’s the perfect time to spread awareness about the importance of keeping a healthy smile. Proper oral care includes visiting your hygienist regularly and treating any issues before they become more costly problems. However, as the Society for Human Resource Management tells us, many people with dental insurance don’t realize that preventative treatment is often fully covered by their plan. For that reason, we thought it might be a good time to delve into the complex world of dental benefits and explore why it might be to your advantage to schedule any outstanding cleanings and treatments before the end of the year.

Preventative Care Benefits

A typical dental insurance plan often includes two annual cleanings and exams at little or no cost for each person on the plan. This means if you or someone on your plan hasn’t yet had a second cleaning, it’s a good time to utilize your remaining benefits and schedule before the end of the year. 

Annual Maximums 

Terms like “annual maximums” and “deductibles” can often cause confusion. As Delta Dental of Illinois explains, an annual maximum is the maximum amount your plan will pay toward your dental work in a given plan year. This amount can vary depending on the type of plan you have. At the beginning of a new year, your annual maximum resets; any benefit money remaining from the previous year does not roll over. This means if you haven’t yet hit the annual maximum for your plan, there is still benefit money available that you can put toward any needed dental work.

Deductibles

A deductible, on the other hand, is the amount you must pay toward dental work before your insurance benefits will kick in. This amount also tends to vary by plan. Once you’ve paid your deductible for the year, you don’t have to pay it again until next year. This would be another great reason to schedule an appointment in 2020. 

Out-of-Pocket Costs

Whether or not you’ve reached your annual maximum or paid your deductible, there may still be out-of-pocket costs associated with treatment. The amount you owe will depend on the type of insurance plan you have, the type of treatment you receive, and how close you are to reaching your annual maximum or deductible.

To help limit any additional costs, we’d like to offer 20% OFF the patient portion amount of treatment. Simply download the coupon below and bring it to your appointment.

If you’ve been putting off treatment, now’s the time to take advantage of your dental benefits and make an appointment

No Insurance? No problem!

These days, more patients are finding themselves without dental insurance benefits as a result of COVID-19. If you don’t have insurance, there are still affordable options available to you, such as the Smiles360 Dental Discount Club! Ask about Smiles360 at your next appointment, or visit www.smiles360dental.com to learn more.

National Dental Hygiene Month: Q&A with Andrea Edelen, Director of Dental Hygiene and Clinical Support

October is National Dental Hygiene Month! To celebrate, we sat down with our Director of Dental Hygiene and Clinical Support, Andrea Edelen, to discuss the reasons the hygienist is such an important member of the dental office.

We know hygienists clean teeth. What else do they do as part of their work that many may not realize?

Although hygienists, like all dental team members, wear many hats in the practice, they have three main roles when it comes to patient care: Preventive Therapist, Periodontal Therapist and Treatment Advocate. As Preventive Therapists, hygienists perform screenings and assessments, and make customized recommendations based on individual patient risks. We screen for and monitor conditions such as hypertension, oral cancer and sleep apnea. As Periodontal Therapists, hygienists assess, treat and maintain all forms of gum disease. Hygienists promote overall dental health as Treatment Advocates by educating patients on the importance of restorative treatment, comprehensive dental care and wellness. 

In what ways do hygienists influence the patient’s overall experience with the practice?

A majority of patients spend more time with their hygienist than anyone else in the practice. Hygienists impact the patient experience through the relationships that they build with patients and teammates. Relationships that are built with strong personal connections and warm communication promote exceptional experiences.  

How does the hygienist contribute to the patient’s treatment plan?

Dental hygienists have a crucial role as treatment advocates by helping patients understand their treatment options. They use visuals such as photos and models to educate patients. In addition to that, they discuss the solutions that the dentist recommends as well as the potential outcomes of not accepting dental treatment. 

Are you seeing any significant trends happening in dental hygiene today? 

Yes! The oral systemic link has transitioned into mainstream media and patients are approaching us about how their dental health is related to their overall health. Dental technology is continuing to advance, which is extremely exciting. 

How has dental hygiene changed as a result of COVID-19? What can patients expect going forward?

We have developed and implemented a highly effective COVID-19 protocol to keep our patients and team members safe. New processes are in place that include modifications to the check-in and check-out process and symptom and temperature screenings for patients and team members. Patients may notice that their hygienist has additional PPE to add a higher level of protection, including N95 masks and/or face shields. We are also using a stronger suction that reduces the amount of aerosols released during procedures. This powerful suction may feel and sound different to patients. 

It’s important to keep in mind that dentistry has a long history of successfully dealing with communicable diseases. Our clinical teams were already well experienced in protecting themselves and our patients, so the extra protocols we’ve put in place only increase that level of safety. Our team members also receive the same pre-screening questions and temperature checks when they come to work each day for additional protection. We want our patients to feel comfortable coming to our practices and hope they understand that disinfection and safety have always been our priorities. 

Hygienists have always focused on how oral health supports overall health and immunity but there is an increased awareness due to COVID-19. Now more than ever, we remain committed to pursuing additional strategies to reduce risk and continue the important work of delivering necessary dental care to our patients.

Are you due for your next hygiene visit? We’d love to see your smile!

Schedule an appointment today!

I don’t have dental insurance. Can I still get affordable care?

According to the National Association of Dental Plans, approximately 71.6 million Americans did not have dental insurance benefits at the end of 2017. Given that cost is often found to be a driving factor for patients when it comes to dental care, it’s no wonder that those with insurance are more likely to maintain regular oral health visits. Considering the importance of your oral health on overall well-being, it’s also not surprising that those without dental insurance report higher incidences of other health problems, such as heart disease, osteoporosis and diabetes. Thankfully, there is a way for those without dental insurance to access quality dental care that is both affordable and hassle free.

The Smiles360 Dental Savings Club

We’re pleased to introduce the Smiles360 Dental Savings Club, our new discount plan that serves as a great alternative to dental insurance. A membership includes routine services at no additional cost. This includes cleanings, exams and fluoride treatments, as well as any necessary x-rays and one emergency visit each year. In addition, generous discounts are available for a variety of treatments, with 50% off periodontal services and 25% off all other treatments, such as fillings, crowns and extractions. Members even get 10% off comprehensive orthodontic treatment. Benefits are available as soon as you sign up, with no hidden fees or complicated paperwork.

Plan Types and Fees

Smiles360 memberships are available as single, dual and family plans. Annual membership fees start at $269 for individuals, $479 for a dual, and $825 for a family of four. Additional members can be added to it for an additional $125.

How to Join

Learn more about the Smiles360 Dental Savings Plan, and sign up for a membership, by visiting www.smiles360dental.com. You can also join in person by dropping by one of our offices — we’d love to see you! If you have questions, email us at Smiles360@mdpweb.net or call 888-380-0399.

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Make the Most of Your Dental Benefits

Considering that October is National Dental Hygiene Month, it’s the perfect time to spread awareness about the importance of keeping a healthy smile. Proper oral care includes visiting your hygienist regularly and treating any issues before they become more costly problems. However, as the Society for Human Resource Management tells us, many people with dental […]
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