Tag Archives: dental insurance

“Hey, Do You Take My Insurance?”

Lookie what I found... it's a bill

This time of year here in Nashville we seem to get more questions about dental insurance than any other time. Do y’all accept Cigna, Health Spring, Delta Dental, Blue Cross Blue Shield, etc, etc. With a new year often comes resolutions to lose weight as well as changes to dental benefits.

Here’s a quick list of changes to most dental insurance plans in the new year…

1) New plan year maximum. Most dental insurance plans pay a certain amount of benefits each year and that’s it. At the end of the year what you don’t use doesn’t roll into the next, you start over with a new amount. So with each new year you get another batch of funds to help cover your dental expenses. That means if you have work you’ve been waiting to do, now is the time when you have the most available funds to get it done.

2) New plan. Employers often change their benefits and that can mean new dental insurance for you. This can be good or bad. A new dental insurance plan may cover more procedures. That’s good. High five! On the other hand, a new plan may have a waiting period (it won’t cover procedures until a certain amount of time has passed) or it may cover fewer procedures. That’s bad. Booooo.

Do as Indiana Jones did and chose your dental insurance wisely

3) Different plan options. Patients are often given a choice of plan near the end of a year or at the beginning of a new year. So it’s time to chose and chose wisely. One plan may have a low premium, but you may not get as much coverage. Another may cost moe, but provides better coverage. Which dental insurance plan is right for you depends one your personal situation and dental health.

Confused yet? Good, ’cause there’s more…

4) Deductible. Tax deduction.. wha? No deductible. This is the amount you have to pay out of pocket before the plan benefits kick in. Again, it’s different with every dental insurance plan, but with each new year you have to meet your deductible.

Another issue that we run into is people who are current patients who change dental insurance plans and think that they can no longer come to our office. That is not necessarily the case. We participate with many dental insurance plans, so the chances are that if you switch insurance plans, we accept the new plan too.

Just in case you are wondering, our office is in network with Delta Dental of Tennessee, Cigna Dental PPO, United Healthcare, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee, Health Spring, Connection Dental Network, and accept many other dental insurance plans. So if you live in Nashville and are looking for a new dental home, well, now you’ve found one.

If you have any other questions about dental insurance please call our Nashville office at 615-298-2385 or visit our office website at www.MusicCitySmiles.com

 

The Clock is Ticking… Why Mick Jagger Doesn’t Give Good Dental Advice

 

"Get your dental work done before the end of the year!"

 

“TI-eye-eye-ime… is on my side… yes it is!” sang Mick Jagger. Um, no it isn’t. Why? Your dental insurance benefits are about to expire!!

Here we are at the end of the year. Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s, parties, shopping, etc, etc. It’s a busy time for all of us, but don’t forget about your teeth and your oral health. specifically, don’t forget about how to pay for your dental care.

See, the end of the year brings a close to a lots of things, and included in this are your dental insurance benefits. This is because most dental insurance plans operate on a calendar year, and that means that at the end of each year, your amount of coverage goes away if you don’t use it.

Wha?

Basically, if you don’t use it you lose it. Here’s how it works: an insurance plan allows you to you a certain amount of their money to help you pay for dental care in a given year. At the end of that year, whatever amount you don’t use just goes away. Bye bye.

That being said, my advice to you is to get on it!! Make haste! Get ‘er done! Or whatever motivational phrase you need to hear to maximize your dental benefits. I mean for Pete’s sake (who is Pete by the way?), there’s a stack of cash out there to help you take better care of your health… don’t let it go to waste.

Here’s some ways you can save money and take good care of your teeth…

1) See you dentist every 6 months. This is because it allows any problems to be detected early and thus corrected in the easiest and least expensive way. Also, getting your teeth cleaned and checked ever 6 months is kinda like changing the oil in your car… it’s just proper maintenance.

2) Take care of any treatment needs before “it hurts.” I have this conversation daily with patients. People always seem to wonder if they need treatment if nothing hurts. Makes sense. But the problem is that teeth typically don’t hurt unless the nerve is damaged, and at that point we’re talking root canals and pulling teeth rather than fillings or crowns. Waiting until something hurts to fix it means more expense or having fewer teeth.

3) Make the most of your dental benefits. This means using as much of your yearly benefits as you can. Now, obviously if you have no treatment needs, don’t go looking for a way to use dental insurance benefits. But, if you have treatment needs, don’t just let those benefits sit there and go to waste. Even if you don’t have dental insurance, you may be able to deduct your dental expenses on your taxes!! Consult your accountant on that one.

Our office participates with several dental insurance plans including Cigna PPO, Blue Cross Blue Shield of TN, Delta Dental, Health Spring, and Connection Dental network just to name a few.

So don’t listen to Mick!! Time is not on your side. Don’t let those benefits go to waste. If you live in Nashville and need a dentist who takes Health Spring, or Cigna PPO, or Delta Dental, or if you just have questions about you dental benefits, please give us a call at 615-298-2385 or check us out online at www.MusicCitySmiles.com .

Happy Brushing!

I Hate Dentists!!!

If you hate the dentist (and I hope you don’t), Dr. Mac Lee is feelin’ your pain. He is the author of the book Nothin’ Personal Doc, But I Hate Dentists!! , and is himself a dentist.

Dr. Lee discusses dentistry wit Dr. Oz and helps to dispel some of the myths associated with us dentites…

Whoppi Goldberg Shares Her Experience With Gum Disease

I typically try not to make a habit of watching The View, but this segment warrants some attention. It seems that Whoopi had neglected her oral health for years despite having good insurance, and it finally caught up with her.

She shares her story here, and talks a bit about the connection between oral health and overall health. She even says that going to the dentist is not the horrible experience that it used to be. See, even Whoopi likes us!

A Patient Describes Her Recent Visit To Our Office

We Don’t Recommend This, But It Certainly Is Effective. Happy 4th of July!

This weekend being the 4th of July and all, I thought I’d share this little video about extracting a tooth. I know that many of you may be playing with fireworks and might be tempted to experiment, but I must advise that using explosives to remove teeth is quite harmful.


That being said, this video is funny, and the look on this kid’s face is priceless. Take a moment to enjoy, and have a safe 4th of July!!

The Digital Age… Coming to a Tooth Near You

digital x-ray system

Dentists in Nashville and around the world are constantly presented  new products all the time. Some are great, others not so much. Well, I am proud to announce that our office has recently acquired a new technology that will benefit both our patients, as well as my staff and I as clinicians.

As of June 1st, our office has been using digital x-rays exclusively. This is very exciting to me as a dentist as well as to me as a lover of all things digital. Now, some of you may be saying “Dr. McGee this is just another toy for you to play with.” True, this new xray system is fun, but it has many benefits.

First and foremost, digital dental x-rays require a significantly lower amount of x-ray exposure. Like less than half of the radiation

required to expose traditional x-ray film. That’s huge. X-ray exposure in dental offices has always been very low (about on par with what you’d get standing next to a microwave oven), but half the radiation no matter how little it is a a good thing. So this little x-ray tube on the right will not be zapping you nearly as much as in the past!

digital x-ray plates

Another benefit of this new system is patient comfort. I sampled several digital systems before deciding on the one that I did. Many of the systems out there have a big honkin’ thick sensor that is very hard and has no flexibility to it. When it was placed in mouth to take an image, it was uncomfortable to say the least.

However, our system has wafer thin plates that are actually thinner and more flexible than the film that you’ve experienced in the past. So the result is a more comfortable experience having your x-rays taken.

Yet another benefit of this new technology is easy of communication. What I mean by that is that I can show you your teeth of a big screen and show you what my staff and I see on you x-ray. In the past when I tried to show someone something on an x-ray, I had to hold a little postage stamp sized film and point. The response I got from patients was a lot of blank stares. Now since the images are digital, we can blow them up large on a computer or television screen so you can easily see them. Additionally we can alter the images so that they are optimized for viewing. Finally, we can email your images to any specialists that may be participating in your care.

Oh and by the way, these digital x-rays ask the same fee as traditional x-rays, and insurance companies cover them just the same.

Overall, I believe that this new technology will help to serve our patients here in Nashville well. If you have questions about digital x-rays at your next visit please to hesitate to ask about it, because after all, we love showing off our new toys!!