Virtual Dental Homes

virtual dental homesA grant from the California Wellness Foundation has made it possible for some residents to receive dental care from the comfort of their home. These virtual dental homes will save money and improve care.

The way it works, is dental hygienists will provide dental checkups to the members of the retirement communities, like Kingsley Manor in California. They can take x-rays, photographs and dental charting with equipment that can be set up in about 20 minutes. They can also provide cleanings, fluoride treatments and sealants. They will then upload this information using telehealth technology to the dentist office. The dentist can review the records and make a diagnosis and treatment plan.

These virtual dental homes are needed because more than half of the population in the U.S. is not getting dental care on a regular basis. Hopefully we will be able to see virtual dentists spread across the country for all to benefit from.

Virtual Dental Homes Improve Care and Cut Costs|Dentistry Today

Tips For Saving On Dental Costs

dental costsMany people avoid the dentist because they simply don’t have the money to fork over for dental treatment.  Dental treatment is known to be very expensive in the United States, in Europe and Australia. But if you wait to see the dentist, the costs only get more expensive because you may find yourself in an emergency situation.  There are a few tips for saving on dental costs.

Dental insurance – Many employers do provide dental insurance plans for their employees.  If not you can pay for one on your own.  It is similar to medical insurance in that you pay certain premiums and then the company covers dental costs for you. If you do have a dental insurance plan, you may find that it is especially good for preventative care coverage.  There may still be additional costs when you see the dentist.

Dental tourism – This is an up and coming trend that involves traveling to other countries, that have less expensive dental costs, to get dental treatment. One place that many travel for oral hygiene and dental care treatments is Asia.  Another advantage, besides the less expensive costs, is the opportunity to see new places while getting your teeth taken care of.  You may find that even with the cost of travel, you will save costs.

Free dental care – This is a little bit deceiving because though they are labeled “free”, these dental treatments do usually cost some money.  But the amount is very minimal.  They are usually offered through charity organizations, and are usually only offered to low income families or people with diseases.

Discount dental plans – These plans are a bit different than traditional dental insurance.  You still pay a premium in order to be eligible for the discount, but you can save from 20 to 60 percent on most dental treatments whether they are restorative or cosmetic. It also allows you to find the dentist that will offer you the best discount and which treatments will be the most discounted.

5 Tips To Save On Dental Costs|Dental Health Site

Dental Membership Plans

What is a Dental Wellness Membership Plan?

Dental membership plans allow patients to purchase a membership to a specific dental practice who provides all their dental needs.  These include things like cleanings, exams, x-rays, and savings on other procedures. This is a great way for dental practices to get business from patients that are not insured.

Research has shown that the number one reason that patients avoid the dentist is because they don’t have any dental insurance. Currently, 46% of potential patients in the US do not have dental insurance. If a dental practice offers a membership plan they can increase their patient numbers and help people out.

Membership plans are simple and easy for patients to understand as many probably hold membership plans to other service providers. Patients make a small monthly payment to receive dental services, and as a loyal member they also receive discounts on other pricey procedures. Because they are paying monthly, it avoids a unexpected costly expense and makes it easier on the patient.

Another great thing about membership plans is that it puts the responsibility of appointments on the patient. The dental professional doesn’t have to chase existing patients with phone calls and emails to make and maintain their hygiene appointments. Because the patient is paying their monthly fee, they are more likely to stay on top of those appointments so they get their money’s worth.

Lastly, a dental membership plan gives dental practices more control over fees. Dental practices normally don’t have much control over fees and payments from dental insurance companies. With a membership plan, the practice sets the membership prices, fees and any exclusions for discounted services in order to be in control of their own revenues.

The 5 Reasons Dental Membership Plans Work|Dental Town

Are You Getting Ripped Off By Your Dentist?

13753562-thief-in-the-cityHave you ever been to a dentist appointment for a routine check up and cleaning, only to be told about thousands of dollars in other procedures your dentist thinks you need?  In an article by Kiera Butler, on MotherJones.com, she asks the question “Are you getting ripped off by your dentist?”

The American Dental Association has described this trend as “creative diagnosis” and it is becoming more apparent in recent years. Many dentists may be up-selling dental procedures in order to collect more from the patient or insurance.  Studies have shown that dentists nowadays owe almost double the amount in student loans as in years past.  Could this be the reason?

So what should you watch out for at your next dentist appointment? Beware of specials. You may see an ad for a laser dentistry whitening package that seems like an awesome deal.  This could just be a ploy to get you in the door so dentists can up-sell.  Also, watch out for excessive x-rays. If your dentist recommends special x-rays, like the cone beam x-ray, you may want to get a second opinion since it is a more expensive type of x-ray. Trust your gut. If you feel you’re your dentist is going overboard on treatment, always get a second opinion.  It may cost you a little more for another consult, but could save you a whole lot in the long run.

You can read the full article by Kiera Butler from MotherJones.com here:  Is Your Dentist Ripping You Off?

Dental Discount Plans

5655284-gold-metal-percentage-symbol-with-an-arrow-downVisiting your dentist for regular cleanings and preventative care can save you a lot of money, not to mention pain, down the road. But even preventative dental expenses can add up quickly, especially if you don’t have dental insurance.  An option for you might be dental discount plans.

So what is the difference between dental insurance and dental discount plans? Dental insurance works in the same way your medical insurance plan does. Depending on your plan and level of coverage, you may pay higher monthly premiums but have smaller copays or you may pay a smaller premium for less coverage and a bigger copay or deductible.  With dental insurance you pay the monthly premium regardless of whether or not you visit the dentist. And dental insurance usually has a maximum yearly amount that they will cover.

With a discount dental plan, you only pay for the services you actually use, but at a reduced fee. There aren’t any deductibles or yearly maximums. Discount dental plan fees are usually less than what you might pay for premiums through an employer insurance plan.

Are Dental Discount Plans Worth It? | AZ Family Dental