Office Policies

Appointments

We strive to meet our patient’s needs at each and every appointment.  The time that is reserved in the schedule for each child is important to our doctors, the dental team and to the families who make those reservations.

Because our practice is limited only to children, it is not possible for everyone to schedule appointments first thing in the morning or after school.  Children under age five are better able to cope with new experiences when they are well rested.  Therefore, we prefer to schedule morning appointments for this age group.  Some of our appointments are only available at certain times.  This is based on the recommendation of the doctor.

We work hard to see our patients on time throughout the day.  On occasion, an emergency may arise which keeps us from doing this.  Please keep in mind that we are very conscientious of your time and do not intentionally keep you waiting.  On the day of the appointment, please allow sufficient time to check in, particularly if this is the first visit to our office.  If you are late, we may need to reschedule your appointment.

Cancellations

Broken appointments or late cancellations affect several people:  the patient who missed the appointment, the patient who could have used the appointment, and the doctor and dental team members who were prepared to see the patient.  We require at least 24 hour notification if an appointment must be cancelled or changed.  This will allow our team enough time to schedule another patient who is waiting to be seen.  We realize that occasionally situations may occur which are beyond your control and an appointment must be cancelled at the last minute.  However, we urge you to give as much notice as possible.  If you fail your appointment we may no longer be able to see you in our office.

As a courtesy, we attempt to confirm appointments 48 hours before the scheduled visit.

Financial Arrangements

We feel it is very important to provide our patient’s families with a clear understanding of our financial requirements.  All professional service fees are due at the time of service.  We offer several payment options including:  Visa, MasterCard, Discover, personal check, money order, and cash.  For those who pay in full by cash or check at the time of service, we are happy to extend a 5% discount.  In addition, we offer CareCredit as an extended payment option to those who qualify.  CareCredit is a way for our patients to receive the treatment they need and extend the cost over a 6, 12 or 18 month period interest free provided the balance is paid in full during that time. An extended 24 month payment plan is also offered at a rate of 14.9% interest.

Balances owing after 60 days will begin accruing finance charges which are added to the total balance due.  If we are unable to collect on a past due account we reserve the right to refer it to an outside company for collective action.  Should this happen, all future appointments in our office would be on a cash basis only after the account is paid in full.

In the instance of divorce, we cannot be responsible for knowing your personal information unless you have informed us.  We will gladly comply with billing requests made within reason, however Minnesota law states that both parents are financially responsible for payment, regardless of what is stated in a divorce decree.  If the bill goes unpaid, both parents may be turned over to collections.  For our protection we cannot be involved in personal matters.

Fees and financial options will be discussed before treatment begins.  A pre-treatment estimate is given to all patients requiring restorative dental treatment which lists each procedure and cost.  If there is insurance, a copy of the estimate will be sent to your insurance company.  You are responsible for paying your portion.  Your co-pay is due at time of service, whether it is estimated or payment in full.

Co-payments collected for hospital visits differ from in office co-payments and will be explained at time of scheduling.  Co-payments are estimated and you may be responsible for additional charges.

: : To Download our Financial Agreement Click Here : :

Insurance

Many of our patients have dental insurance. We will be happy to assist in filing the dental claim and answering questions to the best of our ability; however we work with many different insurance plans and we are not responsible for knowing the limits of your policy or benefits offered to you through the carrier.  The patient’s family is ultimately responsible for payment of completed treatment.

We ask our patient’s families to always keep us informed of any changes with the dental insurance carrier.  This will prevent delays in payment.  If we do not have current information on file and the claim is denied, the parents will be responsible for payment until the correct information is received and the claim is refiled with the appropriate company.

Please note that effective July 16, 2012 we are no longer providers for the Blue Plus/Civic Smiles dental insurance program.

Insurance Facts

Dental insurance plays a large role in helping our patients receive the dental treatment that they need.  However, it can be very confusing.  Below are some facts that may help you to better understand your benefits or dental insurance in general.

FACT #1

You may receive a letter from your insurance company stating that our fees are higher than what is “usual and customary.”  They report this to you based on a survey they perform which calculates the average fee of the geographic area you are in and then takes 90% and calls it “usual and customary.”  Since these fees are averages there may be clinics that have higher or lower fees

FACT #2

Dental insurance is only meant to help you with your dental costs, NOT pay all of your fees.

FACT #3

There are several routine dental services that are not covered by some insurance plans.  Please be sure you understand exactly what is and what is not covered under your policy.

FACT #4

Many insurance plans will tell the insured that they will be covered “at 80%” or “at 100%” but do not clearly explain what that means exactly.  The plan has a fee schedule allowance and whatever percentage is quoted is only a portion of that allowance.  Most plans cover between 35-65% of services based on the plan’s maximum fee allowance.

FACT #5

The amount that your plan pays is determined by the particular plan purchased by your employer.  Generally, the less the plan costs your employer, the less you will receive in benefits.

FACT #6

Our relationship is with you, not your dental insurance carrier.  Our doctors make recommendations based on their findings and encourage you not to dictate treatment based on what your insurance will cover.  If something needs to be done, our doctors will be open and honest with you.  As well, if something does not need to be done, it will not be.

FACT #7

Please be advised that if you have two insurances it does not necessarily mean that your fees/services will be covered 100%.  Many insurances have a “non-duplication” clause which means that the secondary will not pay more than the primary if they both have the same allowed amount.  Please contact your insurance company if you have questions about dual coverage.

We will file your dental claim as a courtesy to you, however all charges not covered are ultimately your responsibility.

Please feel free to ask a question if you have one regarding services or fees.  We will do all that we can to help you receive the maximum benefits from your insurance.  However, if you have questions regarding specific procedures covered by your plan, or your benefits, we suggest you contact your benefit manager or insurance company directly.