Dental Articles for Individuals

Dental Articles for Individuals

Why Dental Insurance Is Important

why dental insurance is important

Dental insurance might seem like just another unwanted expense at first, but once you learn why this type of insurance is so important, you’ll realize that it’s definitely worth it. Here are a few of the top reasons why investing in solid dental coverage will give you peace of mind and help you save money in the long run. And, believe it or not, dental insurance doesn’t have to be expensive either!

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Medical and Dental - Bridging the Gap

bridging the gap

As we move into 2018 and start a new year, we have an opportunity to embrace a fresh start when it comes to our health and wellness. But if you choose a health insurance plan to help cover your medical expenses for the next 12 months, what you might have noticed is that it doesn’t include coverage for dental care. And, unfortunately, that’s the norm.

Whether your insurance provider does not offer dental insurance at all, or they do but you can’t afford their plans, there are other options. Keep reading to learn about how you can bridge the gap between your medical and dental insurance needs.

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How Are Dental Claims Handled?

dental claims handled

Have you ever wondered about how your dental claims are handled after you receive treatment and you have insurance? Below is a quick summary of what your dentist does to ensure proper payment for any procedures that you have undergone, along with a few tips on how to submit a dental claim yourself whenever that’s necessary.

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Open Enrollment: Time To Start Planning

open enrollment

It’s that time of year again; open enrollment is here! That means it’s your chance to shop for the right health insurance plan, especially if you aren’t currently covered or you aren’t happy with your existing coverage for any reason.

What should you know about open enrollment in order to make the most of it? Check out the information below to learn the ins and outs.

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Preparation for Wisdom Teeth Removal

preparing for wisdom teeth

Oh boy, your dentist has told you that you need to have your wisdom tooth—or teeth—removed. First, take a deep breath, and rest assured that this is a common procedure that is performed countless times every day by professionals all over the country. To get you prepared for the operation, here are a few helpful tips on what to do as well as what you can expect throughout the process.

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New version of Spirit Dental indemnity plan introduced

The Spirit Indemnity Dental Insurance plan helps individuals and families cover the costs of dental care. 

Covered dental services include exams, cleanings, fillings and extractions, as well as crowns, root canals, bridges and dentures.

The policy pays for covered dental expenses based upon a percentage of the reasonable and customary (R&C) fees for those covered expenses after the deductible has been satisfied. 

The percentages are: 

  • 100% for Preventive Services, 70% for Basic and 10% for Major Services in the 1st year.
  • In the 2nd year of coverage, Basic Services increase to 80% and 50% for Major. 
  • In the 3rd year, Basic Services increase to 90%

Highlights of the plan include: 

  • The right to choose your own dentist.
  • Calendar Year Maximums - $1,000, $2,000 or $3,000 per insured
  • Two dental exams and three cleanings are included per calendar year
  • One series of bitewing x-rays per year
  • Space maintainers
  • Sealants (children to age 16)
  • One topical fluoride treatment per year to age 16

Major services include:

  • Simple extractions
  • Implants (endosteal only), up to the allowance for the lowest cost covered traditional procedure
  • One diagnostic x-ray, full or panoramic in any 3 year period
  • Oral surgery
  • Endodontic treatment
  • Periodontic services
  • Restoration services; inlays, onlays and crowns
  • Prosthetic services; bridges and dentures
  • Basic fillings
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New Spirit Careington Maximum Care PPO Dental Plan

The Spirit PPO Dental Insurance plan helps cover the costs of dental care. Covered dental services include exams, cleanings, fillings and extractions, as well as crowns, root canals, bridges, and dentures.

This policy pays you for covered dental expenses for Careington (Maximum Care) PPO Provider or Non PPO providers (Out-of-Network) based on the contracted fee amount negotiated with Careington (Maximum Care) organization after the deductible has been satisfied.

The percentages are: 

  • 100% for Preventive Services, 40% for Basic, 20% for Major and 10% for Ortho Services in the 1st year. 
  • In the 2nd year of coverage, Basic Services increase to 80%, 50% for Major and 25% for Ortho Services.
  • In the 3rd year, Basic Services increase to 90%, Major Services increase to 60% and Ortho Services increase to 50%. 

Highlights of the plan include: 

  • Spirit Dental allows you to select your own Careington (Maximum Care) dentist.
  • Calendar Year Maximums - $1,200, $2,500 or $3,500 per insured
  • Two dental exams and three cleanings are included per calendar year
  • One series of bitewing x-rays per year
  • Space maintainers
  • Sealants (children to age 16)
  • One topical fluoride treatment per year to age 16

Major services include:

  • Simple extractions
  • Implants (endosteal only), up to the allowance for the lowest cost covered traditional procedure
  • One diagnostic x-ray, full or panoramic in any 3 year period
  • Oral surgery
  • Endodontic treatment
  • Periodontic services
  • Restoration services; inlays, onlays and crowns
  • Prosthetic services; bridges and dentures
  • Basic fillings

Children Orthodontia benefits include:

  • Orthodontic care for the proper alignment of teeth is provided only to dependent children who are under 19 when treatment is received
  • Coverage is 10% 1st year, 25% 2nd year and 50% 3rd year with a $1200 lifetime maximum per child
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Will dental therapists gain acceptance in California?

Dental therapists receive specialized training that allow them to administer local anesthesia, perform x-rays, exams, fill cavities, pull teeth and even perform root canals. With nearly 17 millions children in the country currently lacking basic dental care dental therapists are expected to help fill the existing gap in dental care and coverage.

The majority of the children and their families do not have California dental insurance. They tend to live in areas without enough dentists or they simply can't find members of the dental community who accept Medicaid. Problems accessing dentists in California could grow dramatically in 2014, when millions more children are expected to get dental insurance under the (ACA) Affordable Care Act.

The (ADA) American Dental Association argues that dental therapists aren't adequately trained to perform the major dental work that has typically been performed by fully licensed and trained dentists. Dental lobbies in California are arguing that high school graduates with a few years of training could end up performing delicate procedures with permanent and irreversible consequences if done incorrectly.

The Children's Dental Campaign for the Pew Center on the States, and other research and advocacy groups counter that concerns about insufficient training and substandard quality are completely unfounded and are just an anticipated reaction from dental association groups whose main purpose is to protect the incomes and livelihoods of existing dentists.

They say that the therapists would be properly trained, educated, and supervised to help close the huge and growing gaps in dental care which are causing an oral health disease epidemic across the country today. Nationwide, nearly 830,000 emergency room visits in 2009 were due to preventable dental problems, according to the center. The amount of money, pain, and suffering saved by eliminating most of those visits not to mention the increase in productivity of those effected could make a real difference in thousands of families and businesses across the country.

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First Annual Arizona Dental Mission of Mercy brings relief to thousands

Thousands of local residents without Arizona dental insurance waited patiently in line at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, Arizona to receive free dental care at the first annual Arizona Dental Mission of Mercy.

Nearly fifteen hundred dentists, dental hygienists, dental and lab assistants volunteered to help those who could not afford dental care or Arizona Dental Insurance. The treatments included exams, cleanings, fillings, and extractions.

Many of the attendee's who waited patiently in line had not seen a dentist in years. A combination of a lack of Arizona dental insurance coverage and the cost of dental care makes it difficult for many people to afford.

Many of the children who attended the event had never been exposed to any type of a consistent dental care program. Pediatric dentist Kimberly Sherill said the number of children with dental problems is a growing problem. Sherill was inspired to contribute her expertise to this event after noticing a decline of patient checkups in her own office which reflects the challenges and declines in the overall local economy. 

 

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Dates set for annual Arkansas Dental Mission of Mercy

The Arkansas Mission of Mercy is an annual two-day free dental clinic sponsored by the Arkansas State Dental Association for those in Arkansas who can't afford dental care or dental insurance. All services are provided free of charge by members of the Arkansas State Dental Association who are assisted by hundreds of volunteers. The 2013 Arkansas Mission of Mercy will be held on May 31 and June 1 at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. 

Since the annual event was started in 2007, over 8,084 patients have been seen in only ten total days. The number of dental procedures performed has been phenomenal: 15,967 extractions of bad teeth, and 7,738 fillings and other restorations. These donated procedures were worth an estimated $4 million.

The event provides dental care for the relief of pain to residents of Arkansas who can't afford dental care and don't have Arkansas dental insurance. Most of the participants are from working families who do not have access to dental care. The majority of these patients might otherwise have no hope of receiving care if it wasn't for the generosity of the sponsors of this annual event.

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Oral health disease runs rampant in Alaskan Native Villages

One of the greatest health care challenges in Alaska is oral health disease among Alaskan Native populations. Children in particular are suffering from oral diseases at epidemic proportions. The saddest part of this story is that most of the disease and suffering can be easily prevented with access to basic dental care. A major roadblock to preventing that suffering is finding dentist's who practice in or are even travel willing to remote area's on America's last frontier.

The leaders of Alaska's Native Villages have partnered with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to help deal with oral health issues within their population. The training of local mid-level dental practitioners to help take care of basic dental treatments is a possible solution. Dental Therapists as they are called work under the supervision of dentists and currently provide access to approximately 35,000 Alaskan Natives scattered across remote area's of the frontier.

Prevention through education, diet, and technology are also area's that are under renewed scrutiny by local health authorities. Most of the villages lack access to a fluoridated water supply. That combined with a diet high in soda pop and sugar are major contributors to a high rate of tooth decay. Dental education programs have been put in place at the tribal level to educate children and parents about how they can prevent tooth decay and gum disease through diet, habits, and modified behavior in the home.

Access to needed dental services and Alaska Dental Insurance is not unique to just the frontier area's of the state of Alaska. An estimated ten thousand new dentists are needed nationally of help fill the current access gap that exists in dental care. Over 130 million American's nationwide are without any form of dental insurance and that number continues to rise on a daily basis.

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Free Dental Day in Alabama

Alabama Family Dental participated in sponsoring its fifth annual free dental services day for individuals and families in Mobile, Alabama who do not have Alabama dental insurance and cannot afford dental care.

Nearly 100 people who did not have Alabama dental insurance participated in the event. Three dentists from the clinic, their hygienists, and assistants provided oral exams, x-rays, cleanings, fillings, and extractions at no cost.

Dr. Jennifer Milazzo of Alabama Family Dental was quoted as saying, "We understand that people's lives may be busy and treatment may be expensive, and we just feel like we need to help people who otherwise can't afford it or get it done."

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services over 108 million American's do not have dental insurance and many of those affected are children who are not receiving basic and fundamental dental care at an early age. Increased access to pediatric dental insurance programs has been a major goal of the (ACA) Affordable Care Act.

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Three million more children could have dental insurance by 2018

A recent ADA News story on the potential effects of the (ACA) Affordable Care Act on dentistry stated that an estimated 3 million children will gain dental benefits by 2018 through health insurance exchanges, roughly a 5 percent increase over the number of children with private benefits currently. 

Beyond the exchanges, more children will benefit through employer-sponsored dental benefits with dependent coverage, "although the number is uncertain at this time," the Association said.  

The law includes pediatric dental coverage in a list of essential health benefits to be provided by small and individual group health plans. The ACA does not address coverage for adult dental benefits. However, some states are looking at adult coverage as a potential optional benefit after the ACA-mandated health benefit exchanges are in place.

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Over 130 Million Americans are without dental insurance

According to a report released last week by the Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging more than 130 million Americans do not have dental insurance and in many cases are unable to pay for the out of pocket cost of paying for a dental check-up. The subcommittee is aware that peoples’ lives are being disrupted by chronic toothaches and gum problems but are unable to find affordable dental care for themselves and their families. The goal of the subcommittee is to come up with a plan to do better and help the dental community do a better job of serving low income families.

Some interesting facts illustrating the national dental crisis:

  • One quarter of all adults in the United States ages 65 and older have lost all their teeth.
  • More than 47 million people live in places where it is difficult to access dental care.
  • In 2009, there were more than 830,000 visits to emergency rooms across the country for preventable dental conditions, a shocking 16 percent increase since 2006.
  •  Inadequate or non-existent dental health maintenance has a profound impact on overall health, including an increased risk for diabetes, heart disease and poor birth outcomes.
  •  Many Americans are forced to live with extreme pain because of dental disease.
  • Dental diseases have prevented millions of Americans from getting a job.
  • Medicare doesn’t cover any dental care whatsoever.
  • Thousands of retiree’s are losing their dental insurance at retirement.
  •  One third of all Americans do not have dental coverage.
  • Only 45 percent of Americans age two and older saw a dental provider in the past 12 months.
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Dental Insurance Crisis - Dental Insurance - Medicaid Advantage Dental Insurance

The national debate on health insurance has dominated the headlines ever since President Obama was elected and made health care reform one of his first mandates. Ignored in all this is the dental insurance crisis. 
Over one hundred million Americans do not have dental insurance and the lack of coverage is leading to such probles as school absense, unemployment, and even death. Experts say that the most common disease among children is chronic dental decay. 
Nationally it is estimated that over 51 million school hours are lost each year because of children with dental problems. It is frustrating because these problems and loss of productivity are completely preventable.

One third of the population of the United States does not have dental insurance. Its a catch 22 situation. The answer of course is to buy dental insurance and the main reason people do not have dental insurance is because they simply can't afford it.

Medicaid only provides dental insurance to low income families in only nine state's. Most dentists in those states refuse to accept it because the payouts are so unreasonably low. There is a dental crisis going on in this country and it is one of the many items that were overlooked during health care reform.

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Dental Insurance - Dental Coverage - Health Insurance

About three out of four persons under age 65 years with private health insurance had some type of dental coverage. Among persons with dental insurance, more than one-half had a single-service dental plan only, or in addition to dental coverage through their comprehensive health insurance plan.

Non-Hispanic white persons were more likely to have dental insurance through a single- service dental plan only than non-Hispanic black, non-Hispanic Asian, or Hispanic persons. Poor persons (less than 100% of poverty level) were more likely than higher income persons (400% or more of poverty level) to have dental coverage through a comprehensive plan only.

Approximately 45 million persons under age 65 years with private health insurance did not have dental coverage in 2008. About 7 out of 10 persons who directly purchased their own private health insurance plan had no dental coverage compared with about 2 out of 10 persons with employment-based insurance. About 40% of persons with less than a high school education had no dental insurance of any kind.

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