Understanding Dental Insurance

Understanding Dental Insurance

Dental insurance can be confusing. We are here to help explain how to maximize your benefits. There are several major insurance companies like Delta, Cigna, and Metlife that sell insurance plans to your employer. Your employer may choose a plan from one of the insurance companies. Your company may also negotiate covered fees with the insurance carrier to reduce the monthly premium and increase the out of pocket expense for their employees. Most insurance companies negotiate discounted fees with area dentist because this encourage patients to see an “in network” dentist. This is  meant to drive new patients to the in network dentist in exchange for the dentist receiving discounted fees. Unfortunately, plans change and your dentist may not be in the same network from year to year as there are thousands of insurance plans.

Did you know that most dental insurance plans allow for out of network visits? This gives you the ability to choose which dentist you want to see and does not place limitations on your choices. Insurance companies will usually reimburse UCR or Usual Customary Rates/fees. This means another “out of network” dentist providing the same services as an “in network” dentist can receive reimbursement. We file claims for you regardless of being in or out of network. We are happy to provide a predetermination of benefits to help you understand your benefits.

No insurance pays 100% of fees in or out of network. Your insurance coverage and benefits are based on the plan your employer has contracted with the insurance provider. Please note that most covered expenses range from 50-80% of dental fees, and insurance is only a supplement not a “pay all”. Most dental insurance plans will only pay a benefit of approximately $1500 per year which has not significantly increased in 40 years.

The Children’s Dental Center participates with Delta Dental Premier and Aetna Better Health.

Mouth Guards: Protect those Chompers!

Mouth Guards: Protect those Chompers!

April is National Facial Protection Month. What does this mean? Wear a mouth guard! Protecting your teeth is critical, especially during sports season.

A mouthguard absorbs the forces during a hit that can prevent fracture of a tooth or bone. Mouth injuries are costly, and the replacement of teeth is never as strong as your original tooth. Your dentist can make a custom mouthguard, or you can head to the store and make one yourself.

A common mouthguard is a boil and bite. You warm up water and place a mold able guard in the water. Once the material softens, you can bite into the guard to create your very own custom fit.

According to the American Dental Association, more than 200,000 injuries are prevented each year by wearing a mouthguard. Be smart and add yourself to this list since 1/3 of all dental injuries are sports related. Give us a call today for more advice on protecting that smile!

Getting Your Child Ready For Their First Dental Visit

Getting Your Child Ready For Their First Dental Visit

At The Children’s Dental Center, we are committed to providing the best new patient experience possible.

Choosing The Right Dentist

We understand finding the right dentist can be difficult, especially when it comes to your child.  Be sure to check out the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry website to find a friendly, local pediatric dentist. At The Children’s Dental Center, our team strongly believes in creating a dental home where you can come to help keep your child cavity free. We are proud to provide friendly faces and positive experiences that your child will be excited about.

Preparing For A Visit

At-home care is vital in setting your child up for a successful dental visit. By ensuring your child is brushing teeth twice a day, flossing and using fluoride, you are showing them the importance of taking care of their teeth. From there, communicate with your child to let them know what they can expect when they arrive at the dentist.  

Help prepare your child for their visit by reading books and watching shows that will help them understand what the dentist does. Answer any questions your child may have so they are clear and worry-free when their appointment comes. On the day of the visit, making sure your child is well-rested and not hungry can go a long way in making their visit run smoothly.

First Visit

One of the first things your child will see at The Children’s Dental Center is Jacques the Peacock, our mascot, sitting in the entryway. Then, your child will be warmly greeted and brought to an art table where they can color their own picture of Jacques. As they walk back to their treatment room, they will be introduced and welcomed by our team members.

After getting their teeth cleaned, Dr. Kane will come in to meet your child and perform an evaluation. You will never feel rushed, as each patient gets a full hour reserved so there is plenty of time to speak with Dr. Kane about home care, treatment options and ask any questions. Afterward, your child will go to our “treasure chest” where they can choose from many special prizes. Our goal is to send your child home feeling excited about their next visit.

Your child’s oral hygiene is an important part of their overall well-being. Preparing for their first dental visit can impact the way they take care of their teeth forever. As a part of our practice family, we are proud to offer you incredible service in a fun and welcoming environment.

Permanent Teeth: What To Expect and When

Permanent Teeth: What To Expect and When

There comes a time when your child’s baby teeth fall out and are replaced with permanent teeth. Here’s important information to prepare you for when that time comes.

Just as it is impossible to predict when your child’s baby teeth will come in, it is not possible to pinpoint when they will fall out. Typically, kids that started teething earlier will also lose their teeth earlier. Baby teeth tend to fall out when a child is around 5-7 years old. With that said, there’s no need to worry if your child’s tooth falls out a little earlier or later than this. Keep in mind that teeth usually fall out in the same order they came in, which means the first tooth to fall out is generally in the front of the lower jaw.

If it seems like it is taking forever for your child’s tooth to fall out, there is no need to be concerned. It can take a few months from the time a tooth becomes loose until it falls out. If a wobbly tooth is bothering your child, you can encourage him or her to wiggle it gently. If the tooth still remains after a few months, check in at The Children’s Dental Center, as it may need to be “wiggled out” professionally.  

While losing baby teeth is an extremely exciting time for your children, it can be uncomfortable for them too. If your child complains of pain in the back of their mouth or in their jaw, it could be their six-year molars coming in. If your child is experiencing any pain, all-fruit popsicles or ice cold water can help. If the pain persists, it may be necessary to stop by the dentist to see if there are any other issues that need to be treated.

Don’t be surprised if your child’s smile looks a bit funny when their permanent teeth begin to come in. Those new, larger teeth can look out of place in that little mouth, but your child will grow into them. Permanent teeth generally have pronounced ridges when they first poke through. This is because they haven’t become smooth through chewing yet. Permanent teeth also tend to be less white than baby teeth.

Losing baby teeth should be an exciting adventure for you and your child. As your child’s permanent teeth grow in, it is increasingly important to take good care of them. Make an appointment at The Children’s Dental Center today to ensure your little one’s teeth stay healthy for a lifetime.

The Importance of the ADA Seal of Acceptance

The Importance of the ADA Seal of Acceptance

You’ve probably seen the ADA Seal of Acceptance when shopping for toothpaste or mouthwash, but what exactly does it mean? Find out about how dental care products receive this seal and why you should look for it before you buy.

With so many dental products to choose from, how do you know what is best? Well, let’s start with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. The American Dental Association is the oldest and largest dental organization in the world. They created the Seal of Acceptance in hopes of helping consumers choose effective products. Currently, consumers can choose from over 200 products that carry the seal. Each product has been scientifically tested by experts to prove its safety and effectiveness.

While many dental products apply for the seal, not all of them are eligible. Products with the seal often have to meet additional requirements aside from what is required by law. Clinical and/or laboratory studies must prove certain conditions are met. If at any point, the product does not meet the expectations, it cannot qualify for acceptance. If the product does meet the qualifications, it is awarded the seal for 5 years. Any changes the product undergoes within the next 5 years must be approved by the ADA in order to maintain the seal.

Not only does the ADA have strict guidelines about the products themselves, but also the packaging they come in. The ADA requires that all claims made on the packaging are accurate, which they will verify. On top of that, products with the seal must adhere to the ADA’s advertising and marketing standards. Needless to say, you can guarantee a product with the ADA Seal of Acceptance is safe, reliable, and high quality.

It is important to note that the seal is not just found on toothpaste and toothbrushes. The seal can be found on a number of items including select whitening products, chewing gum, water flossers, and more. Therefore, it is important to look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance for all of your oral hygiene needs.

Does this mean products without the seal are not effective? There’s no simple answer to this. Products without the seal may be good, but they may not be. There is no assurance that these products can do everything they claim to. This is a risk many consumers are unwilling to take when there are plenty of products that have the seal and are backed by science.

Put an end to walking up and down the aisle confused about which dental care products to choose. Make the right choice and purchase products that boast the ADA Seal of Acceptance. By doing so, you will have peace of mind that you are making the best decisions for your health.

Chew on This: How Gum Can Help Your Teeth

Chew on This: How Gum Can Help Your Teeth

If you’re like most people, you probably enjoy chewing some gum now and again. After all, it tastes great and helps give you nice fresh breath. Gum is good for more than just your breath, it can support a healthier mouth. Some brands of gum have even had their oral health benefits recognized by the American Dental Association. What are the ways that gum can help improve your oral health? Let’s find out!

To most, gum is seen as little more than candy and for some gums, that’s absolutely true. That’s why it’s important to first specify the gums we’re talking about here are sugar-free. The high sugar content gums are obviously not great for your teeth. So make sure you’re looking for gum that is sugar-free and approved by the ADA (look for the ADA seal).

So what exactly is this gum doing for your teeth? First off, the physical act itself of chewing gum helps protect your teeth by increasing the flow of saliva in your mouth. For this reason, chewing gum for around 20 minutes following a meal has been proven to help in the prevention of cavities. This is because the extra saliva your mouth is producing helps wash off the acids that are produced by the bacteria in your mouth. In addition, the calcium and phosphate contained in the saliva support strong tooth enamel.

Even the sweeteners in sugar-free gum can help keep your teeth strong and cavity free. Xylitol, in particular, has been proven to have a host of benefits for your teeth’s health. Xylitol gum has been shown to have an enamel strengthening effect similar to fluoride, the mineral found in most toothpaste and mouthwashes. And the xylitol itself protects your teeth against bacteria as well as it has antibacterial effects. Xylitol stops bacteria from attaching to your teeth, inhibiting the growth of cavity-causing bacteria, and slowing their ability to create cavities.

Having a piece of gum after dinner doesn’t mean you don’t have to brush before bed, but another cavity fighter in your mouth is always a plus! So if you’re looking for an easy (and tasty) way to help keep your teeth healthy and strong, grab a pack of your favorite gum and start chewing, your mouth will thank you. (Just make sure it is sugar-free!)