Understanding Dental Insurance

Now that the end of the year is approaching a lot of you are going through plan after plan your employer has selected for your medical, dental and vision plans. I hope this will help in understanding dental insurance better and will assist in helping you choose the correct plan for you. One of the largest misconceptions about dental insurance is that it works hand in hand with your medical insurance - it does not. Dental insurance is a completely different animal. The way I can best describe it to a patient is to think of it strictly as a discount - no more, no less. Dental coverage is decided by how much your employer pays into the plan, it has nothing to do with what your dentist would recognize as the best possible treatment. It is a contract between your employer and the insurance company and they are deciding what amounts your plan pays and what is covered. You as an employee have every right to let your employer know if your coverage is not adequate for your health needs.

So many of my patients will tend to select the treatment option that is covered by their dental insurance and not what is recommended. I feel I must point out that your health is the most important thing. As many of you know I tend to recommend to my patients what I would to my own mother or father to keep their mouths healthy; it is not my practice to overextend your wallets. Many dental offices, including mine, try to help take all the guess work out of dental insurance. We will call and get full breakdowns from each company to get an overview of what is covered and what is not. We will file all of your claims so you do not have to mess with the paperwork and follow up ultimately saving you a lot of time and money. Dental insurance is just one part of staying healthy. If you ever have any questions on how your insurance works - we will be more than happy to take the time to explain all of the ins and outs. We will help you understand what your insurance will cover and how to plan accordingly. Remember, the least expensive option is not always the best option. This goes for dental, medical or vision. Understand your insurance; it will make your life a lot easier when it comes to deciding what is best for you.

CEREC Before and After

Single Visit Dentistry

Single Visit Dentistry

There is a lot of talk in the media about "Crowns in a day." This term can be a little misleading - it usually takes somewhere in the neighborhood of 2 to 2 hours from start to completion therefore I prefer the phrase "Single Visit Dentistry." I have a jar sitting at the front desk when you first walk into my office full of purple blocks. About 15 times a day I hear patients asking my staff "What in the world are those?" The ladies will give them then rundown, "Those are CEREC crown blocks, Dr. Mike makes crowns for patients in one visit." More often than not, patients are incredibly excited to learn that their teeth can be restored with single visit dentistry using CEREC technology.

My new toy, at least it was new two years ago, has made such a profound change in the way I do dentistry. Not only that, but it really captures the trend of where dentistry is going. Let me explain...our CEREC machine and software allows us the flexibility to create a customized crown for our patients during a single visit. For the patient, in most cases, there are no temporaries to be made/worn, there are not multiple visits - everything is competed in a few short hours. The benefit for me is personally being able to shape the crown while the patient is in the chair to fit - dare I say perfectly.

The software we use for this procedure is revolutionary. Once I have prepared your tooth for the crown, we digitally scan your tooth. Once the scan is uploaded to the computer, we can manipulate the size, shape, and contours of the crown. This allows for a true custom fit every time. From there your crown is milled in office right before your very eyes. We stain and glaze the crown allowing us to find YOUR shade, sinter (think pottery kiln) the crown and viola, you are done!