Payment: We accept Payment by Check, Cash, Credit Card (MC, VISA, AMEX).
Delta Dental: Audubon Dental is now a member of Delta Dental Premium. We are not members of Delta PPO Plans. Patients with either plan are welcome in our office. However, if you have a Delta PPO, we will bill you for the difference between what your plan pays us and our regular fee. If you have a Delta Premier Plan we will bill according to the rules of the plan.
Insurance, Blue Shield: If you have dental insurance, we will submit your forms for you. As soon as the insurance company pays it's portion, your payment for the balance will be due. It is rare for any insurance to pay 100% of dental costs and deductibles and yearly maximums apply. We welcome most plans and, even if we are not members, we will work with your insurance company to obtain the maximum benefit to which you are entitled.
Closed Panel Plans and HMO's: If your plan is one of the few 'closed' plans it will not pay a dentist who is not a member of the panel. You can still come to us of course but you will pay full fee and many patients have decided to do this. Call the office or check with your employer if you are unsure about your plan coverage.
When Your Employer Gives You New Dental Insurance Should You Switch to a Plan Dentist?
Even though we are not 'participating' dentists in most preferred provider plans (Delta Dental Premier is the only exception), we will still be happy to submit your forms so you receive the reimbursement to which you are entitled. We have had patients leave us in the past because their insurance changed only to see them return. Why? Because changing to a 'plan' dentist is not always the right choice. While it may seem at first glance that finding a dentist in the 'plan' will be less expensive, this is not always true. Many dentists who join a plan are fine. Still, when choosing a plan dentist you need to ask a few questions:
Is there a dentist with comparable skill and experience in the plan? Do you trust and like that dentist?Ways to Make Good Dentistry Affordable
Will the plan dentist always be a participating dentist? Dentists frequently join plans when they are not busy and later leave when business picks up. The dentist on the list now may have already dropped out of the plan or may not be taking new plan patients.
Will the senior dentist in the plan office be the one to do the actual work, or will work be done by assistants or newly graduated dentists? Dentists may hire new dentists or dental assistants just to work on plan patients.
Will you get a full, unrushed, cleaning and adequate x-rays? Does the plan dentist alot enough time for anesthesia to work? Will the same amount of time be allotted to your appointment as to private payers? Are plan patients being appointed at less busy times of the day, or being treated differently that full paying patients?
Will the plan dentist (who is paid less than his regular fee for work done on you) be quick to recommend advanced work (for which you will pay an expensive co-pay)?
Will unnecessary 'add-on' out-of-your-pocket treatments be recommended to compensate the dentist for lower payment? (One example is the light-mediated cancer exam done at an additional out-of-pocket fee. See the note below.*)
If you don't get the best care now, will it cost more later to fix the problem? (An example is where hastily-done fillings lead to expensive root canals or undiagnosed decay destroys a tooth.)
Will you be given all treatment alternatives or are the dentist's recommendations slanted toward procedures that pay more?
The cost of running a dental practice today is high and we understand that families have to plan for, and budget, dental care costs. Right now, many people are in serious financial distress. We are sensitive to this and can sometimes give you a plan that prioritizes work so that it can be spread out. For instance, if you have a number of cavities, we can list them according to which ones are most likely to need a root canal if they are not done. There are many ways of working with treatment plans in this way to help you keep your teeth in difficult times.
Your Mouth is Like a Car
Remember: It costs a lot of money to run a dental office (Equipment, supplies, salaries, rent or mortgage, computers, etc.) The typical dental office has an overhead of 85%. If you or your plan is paying less, you will get less. Do not rely solely on dental insurance. Use your insurance benefit to help you pay for the care you want and need, but do not put work off because you don't have insurance.
A mouth is like a car. Dentists cannot afford to work for less than auto mechanics and dental care takes time. Expect to budget for regular exams, x-rays and cleanings (oil changes, inspections) and expect that, from time to , bigger jobs such as crowns, root canals, (body work, brakes, etc.) will be needed.
* A cancer exam is important and it Has traditionally been included in the cost of the regular exam. If an additional out-of-your-pocket fee is suggested for a special light-mediated cancer exam you may want to check the Mayo Clinic site: "There's little evidence that using a special light to examine the mouth has any advantage over a standard oral exam." or the Oral Cancer Foundation: "In summary, evidence that supports the use of reflective tissue fluorescence systems to aid in the detection of oral pre-malignant lesions is currently quite sparse.")