Mouthguards Protect Athletes’ Smiles

The American Dental Association estimates that mouthguards prevent approximately 200,000 injuries each year in high school and collegiate football.

Mouthguards help cushion a blow to the face, minimizing the risk of broken teeth and injuries to your lips, tongue, face or jaw. They typically cover the upper teeth to protect the soft tissues of your tongue, lips and cheek lining.

Unfortunately, the word “mouthguard” is universal and generic. There are crucial differences between stock and custom guards and the impact to an athlete’s health & safety.

Mouthguard Options

The best mouthguard is one that has been custom made for your mouth by your dentist. If you can’t afford a custom-made mouthguard, you should still wear protection.

Custom-made

Made by your dentist specifically to fit your mouth and comfort, these are more expensive than the other versions.

Boil and bite

Available at most sporting goods stores and drugstores, the boil-and-bite mouthguards may offer the next best fit to custom made mouthguards. Immerse in water (boiled) to soften them, then insert them into the mouth, to adapt to the shape of the mouth. Always follow the manufacturers instructions. CusMbite MVP is a boil and bite mouthguard that has earned the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

Stock

Inexpensive and ill-fitting, these come pre-formed, ready to wear. They can be bulky and can make breathing and talking difficult.

5 Reasons to Use Your Dental Benefits Before Year’s End

Did you know that you can actually save hundreds of dollars by using your dental benefits before the end of the year?

While some dental insurance plans run on a fiscal year, most run on a calendar year. If your dental insurance plan is on a calendar year, these 5 reasons will show you why you should make a dental appointment now.

year-end-benefits-hinckley-precision-dental

[dropcap]1[/dropcap] Yearly Maximum
The yearly maximum is the most money that the dental insurance plan will pay for your dental work within one full year. This amount varies by insurance company, but the average is around $1,000 per year, per person. The yearly maximum usually renews every year (on January 1 if your plan is on a calendar year). If you have unused benefits, these will not rollover.
[dropcap]2[/dropcap] Deductible
The deductible is the amount of money that you must pay to your dentist out of pocket before your insurance company will pay for any services. This fee varies from one plan to another and could be higher if you choose an out-of-network dentist. However, the average deductible for a dental insurance plan is usually around $50 per year. Your deductible also starts again when your plan rolls over.
[dropcap]3[/dropcap] Premiums
If you are paying your dental insurance premiums every month, you should be using your benefits. Even if you don’t need any dental treatment, you should always have your regular dental cleanings to help prevent and detect any early signs of cavities, gum disease, oral cancer and other dental problems.
[dropcap]4[/dropcap] Fee Increases
Another reason to use your benefits before the end of the year are possible fee increases. Some dentists raise their rates at the beginning of the year due to the increased cost of living, materials and equipment. A fee increase can also make your copay higher.
[dropcap]5[/dropcap] Dental Problems Can Worsen
By delaying dental treatment, you are risking more extensive and expensive treatment down the road. What may be a simple cavity now, could turn into a root canal later. Call your dentist and schedule an appointment to use those benefits.

SOURCE: About.com

Precision Dental is an In-Network Provider: Why That’s Good for You

By choosing an in-network provider, you get high-quality care at greatly reduced rates.

The best way to take full advantage of your dental coverage is to understand its features. As an in-network provider for major insurance carriers, Precision Dental is happy to work with you and your insurance company to determine your coverage.

The following outline is an overview of how dental coverage works. Precision Dental understands that plan booklets are not easy reads, so we help patients get to straight to what matters most: what’s covered and what are my out-of-pocket costs. You authorize us to make a call to the insurance company on your behalf, we’ll do the rest. You then decide what you want to do.

If you have questions about any of the following aspects of your dental coverage, just ask us to help.

Benefit Period

Dental benefits are calculated within a “benefit period”, which is typically for one year but not always a calendar year. Plan benefits which are not used within the benefit period do not carry over. Fall is a good time to review remaining available benefits, if any, for which you have paid. Why not use them? If you need help figuring it out, call Precision Dental.

Maximums

Most dental plans have an annual dollar maximum. This is the maximum dollar amount a dental plan will pay toward the cost of dental care within a specific benefit period (usually January through December). The patient is personally responsible for paying costs above the annual maximum.

Deductibles

Most dental plans have a specific dollar deductible. It works like your car insurance. During a benefit period, you personally will have to satisfy a portion of your dental bill before your benefit plan will contribute to your cost of dental treatment. Your plan information will describe how your deductible works. Plans do vary on this point. For instance, some dental plans will apply the deductible to diagnostic or preventive treatments, and others will not.

Coinsurance

Many insurance plans have a coinsurance provision. That means the benefit plan pays a predetermined percentage of the cost of your treatment, and you are responsible for paying the balance. What you pay is called the coinsurance, and it is part of your out-of-pocket cost. It is paid even after a deductible is reached.

Reimbursement Levels

Many dental plans offer three classes or categories of coverage. Each class provides specific types of treatment and typically covers those treatments at a certain percentage. Each class also specifies limitations and exclusions. Reimbursement levels vary from plan to plan, so be sure to read your benefits information carefully.

Here is the way the three levels typically work:

Class I procedures are diagnostic and preventive and typically are covered at the highest percentage (for example 80 percent to 100 percent of the plan’s maximum plan allowance). This is to give patients a financial incentive to seek early or preventive care, because such care can prevent more extensive dental disease or even dental disease itself.
Class II includes basic procedures — such as fillings, extractions and periodontal treatment — that are sometimes reimbursed at a slightly lower percentage (for example, 70 percent to 100 percent).
Class III is for major services and is usually reimbursed at a lower percentage (for example, 50 percent). Class III may have a waiting period before services are covered.

Pre-Treatment Estimate

If your dental care will be extensive, you may ask your dentist to complete and submit a request for a cost estimate, sometimes called a pre-treatment estimate. This will allow you to know in advance what procedures are covered, the amount the benefit plan will pay toward treatment and your financial responsibility. A pre-treatment estimate is not a guarantee of payment. When the services are complete and a claim is received for payment, Delta Dental will calculate payment based on your current eligibility, amount remaining in your annual maximum and any deductible requirements.

Limitations and Exclusions

Dental plans are designed to help with part of your dental expenses and may not always cover every dental need. The typical plan includes limitations and exclusions, meaning the plan does not cover every aspect of dental care. This can relate to the type or number of procedures, the number of visits or age limits. These limitations and exclusions are carefully detailed in the plan booklet and warrant your attention, so you have realistic expectations of how your dental plan can work for you.

Specific care and treatment may vary depending on individual need and the benefits covered under your contract.

SOURCE: Delta Dental

Use It or Lose It

Insurance companies make millions of dollars each year from individuals who fail to use all their dental allowance. Once the deductible is met for the year, additional services up to a set amount are fully paid!

For example, the typical annual allowance is around $1,000. If you have two checkups, cleanings and a set of x-rays, that adds up to about $435 – meaning there’s another $565 left to use on tooth-colored fillings, occlusal guards, dentures and periodontal maintenance.

Not sure how much is left of your allowance? Contact Jenni at 330.278.1061 and she’ll help you.