There are many dental cover providers in the United States, some traditionally offer coverage to outside agencies and some including individual dental insurance coverage plans. In this article, we will look at some of the largest and sometimes well known health insurance providers.
Delta Dental is a large nationally known insurance provider. Delta Dental touts itself as the largest and most recognized dental coverage provider. It was founded in 1954 by dentists who identified the lack of dental cover and decided to do something about it. Delta Dental consists of over 39 independent insurance companies who provide dental insurance in all fifty states and Puerto Rico. Delta Dental boasts of membership reaching 54 million Americans in one of their covered companies. Delta Dental is proud of its commitment to providing at least one quarter of all Americans with good, quality dental insurance coverage. In fact, Delta Dental has partnered with the American Association of Retired Persons, to provide dental insurance coverage to senior citizens who maintain a membership with the American Association of Retired Persons. This provides coverage with a population of individuals who experience a gap in dental coverage when they retire from employment.
Aetna is also a widely known dental cover provider. Aetna is famous not only for its dental coverage but also for its other health insurance plans. Aetna is a common carrier for many organizations and companies in the United States. Aetna has over 60,000 dentists in its provider directory so odds are that you will be able to find a dentist in your specific coverage area.
Assurant is another national dental cover provider. Assurant has a reputation for fast payments to the dentist, and for providing excellent customer service. Met Life, most known for its life insurance coverage is also a dental insurance provider. Perhaps not as well known, however there are companies in the United States that use Met Life as their dental cover provider. Employees do not get the opportunity to choose their own dental insurance providers when the coverage is offered through their employer. However, if your employer does not offer coverage to you, you may be interested in dental insurance providers who offer the ability to customize a dental plan just for you and / or your family.
Having the ability to offer dental coverage is not a given for all organizations, companies or agencies in the United States. Many companies are small and unable to donate towards the premium costs for each of their employees. If you do not currently have coverage through your employer investigating individual dental coverage providers is the way to go. Making sure you are aware of exactly what you will need for yourself and your family will enable you to make an informed choice among the dozens, if not hundreds of dental insurance providers who are available in today's market. Review each dental insurance provider and ask important questions, after all it will be your hard earned money you are parting with, and you want to make sure your coverage is the best it can be.
This may come as a surprise to you, but the practice of dentistry is just like any other industry that is in need of metrics to ensure profit and efficient management. Thus, there is a need to implement the appropriate dental BSC or dental balanced scorecard with the proper metrics towards the achievement of corporate goals and objectives.
To manage operations more effectively, there is then the need to implement the right KPIs or key performance indicators. However, you should be careful when choosing which KPIs to use. Do not make the common mistake of just going with the format developed by the restructured team efforts of Norton and Kaplan because there really is so much more to KPIs for a dental balanced scorecard as away from the financial aspect. A holistic approach has to be implemented so that there would be a great improvement in the whole system. Another reason behind the need to take on a holistic approach is the fact that dental practice is based on service, and not on products. It would be easier for the typical manufacturing firm to have the regular balanced scorecard because it would deal with just products. There would then be a lot of quantifiable aspects that you can use for the implementation of the BSC. This, however, is not really something that you can say about the industry of dentistry. But with the implementation of the proper metrics, operations will definitely be done at a faster pace and patients will succeed in having better and more reliable services.
Moreover, the formulation of the KPIs should be done only after the job is thoroughly analyzed. Aside from the nature of the job, it is also important to analyze the industry itself as well as the external aspects that are at play in the environment of dentistry. There are areas or directions that you can make use of when implementing metrics. The first is the Financial Perspective, which of course, would refer to the revenue aspect of the industry. The metrics to be included here are percentage increase in operating expenses, practice accounts receivable, and the collection percentage as well.
Next on the list is the Customer Perspective, which is pertains to anything that concerns the customer. Commonly used metrics include the number of new patients, the number of patient referrals, and the number of customer complaints. The Internal Perspective comes next, with focus on the internal processes that take place in the industry. Commonly used metrics include the number of clinician hours scheduled and the cancellation percentage at hand. Lastly, Operational Efficiency pertains to the operations of the clinic itself, with commonly used metrics including new patient conversion rate, case acceptance ratio, and many more.
With the implementation of the dental BSC, there will certainly be more effective utilization of the resources in the clinic. With better insights into the very nature of the job itself, you can certainly expect more revenue. Thus, you should definitely be in touch with the appropriate metrics to use when developing your own dental balanced scorecard.[Top]
What is a discount dental plan?
Discount dental plans are plans designed for individuals, families, and groups who are looking to get a deal and save money on their dental care needs. The dentists and dental care providers who are participating in these plans have agreed to accept a lower fee than they would otherwise charge from their members as payment in full for the services they perform. As a plan member you simply show your membership card when visiting a participating dentist to receive the discounted fees.
What is the difference between discount dental plans and insurance plans?
To be eligible for a dental insurance plan, you have to actually apply, be eligible and be approved for the insurance. Potential members with ongoing health problems may be denied insurance, or have such high premiums that the dental insurance is not worth the trouble. Moreover, dental insurance plans have annual limits as well as deductibles that may limit the benefits you can derive one from the insurance plan. Another advantage of a dental plan over dental insurance is that you are able to receive a discount for procedures that are not usually covered by dental insurance, such as teeth whitening.
How do discount dental plans for groups and businesses work?
Businesses can offer their employees many money-saving dental care options without offering insurance and the high overhead costs it entails. In this way employees can choose their plans that fit their individual needs and have no annual limits. Also since it is a plan and not an insurance there are no health restrictions and no paperwork hassles that come with insurances. Needless to say these type of plans provide employers with a cheaper alternative to group dental insurance with all the hassles that brings with it. Dental care plans are available to groups of all sizes, including retirees, part-time workers and employees uninsured defenders compared to insurance. Moreover both the employer and the employees can save substantial amounts of money by reducing payroll taxes since many dental care plans qualify under section 125 cafeteria plans of the Tax Code.
Why would dentists accept to participate in discount dental plans?
Dentists can reach more patients, retain them, and also reactivate them by using a discount dental plan. Their dental practice can offer a viable solution to those patients who are under-insured or those who have no dental insurance at all. Dentists can reach more patients by bringing in the new patients by inviting them to take advantage of the potential savings that are offered by such plans. Dentists can also retain their patients by offering a solution to them that would otherwise be unaffordable without a discount on their services. Moreover dentists can motivate elementary patients to sign up for new treatments or continue their treatment program by offering the significant savings through the plan. This would translate into increased revenue for the dentists because they receive payment directly from the patients rather than have to wait for the insurance company to pay them. They also avoid a lot of hassle and paperwork that dental insurance plans bring with them. Also they avoid the risk of the insurance company postponing payment or refusal to pay them.
How do I find a discount dental plan?
There are plenty of online companies to offer discount dental plans depending on your location within the United States. The first step is to find one of these companies. Usually you would be asked to enter your ZIP code so that the website can find participating plans and participating dentists in your area. Thus, you will then be shown a listing of all participating dental plans and dentists in your area from which you can choose you would be able to see the annual membership rates for an individual and family, and also the earliest activation date of the plan which is usually one or two days from the present day.
You will also be able to see the plan features and highlights as well as a sample plan savings for a variety of dental procedures. For example, you might find that a root canal treatment for a molar may cost $ 1100 without the dental plan, however you would receive a savings of more than $ 500 if you participate in the plan so that you end up being around $ 600.
Discounts usually vary between 30% and 60% for any given dental procedure. It's important to note that plan savings are based on geographical areas so that the fee schedules and savings will vary between two areas within a city, or between two states. Also, fees and discounts will vary between different providers within the same ZIP code. Once you sign up you will receive a welcome letter and your membership card as well as support and contact documentation.[Top]
Going to the dentist is something that often inspires a great deal of dread among us, but that does not mean it is not a necessity. Maintaining good oral hygiene and keeping your teeth in tiptop shape is very important. This will necessitate regular visits to the dentist and therefore you will need to find someone suitable for this purpose. If you are searching for a suitable dental practice, these tips should help you out.
When looking for a dentist your first instinct might be to dive straight into the Yellow Pages. Is this the best way forward? Probably not. While the Yellow Pages will offer a host of listings, there will be no way to compare them and find out whether the services they offer are in line with what you are looking for.
In most cases it is a lot better to get some thorough information, and this can usually be achieved through personal referrals and recommendations. One place to go, therefore, would be to your local hospital or health care facility. The practicing dentists there should be well aware of any top dental practice available in the local area.
There is no doubt that personal referrals and recommendations are the best way to go. It is, however, important that you trust the source. If you know a periodontist or orthodontist then they are certainly a good option.
Personal references from family members, close friends, colleges, and neighbors, will also lead you in the right direction. This is particularly true if you have only moved into the area. Your neighbor, for example, could well provide you with information about dental practices that might be suitable. Or depending one of your new collections if you have just started a new job.
If you are in a position where you are only just moving into the area then asking your current dentist about personal referrals is also a good way forward. If they know any practicing scholars in the area then you can certainly trust their opinion.
Of course, the Internet is always going to be available as well to satisfy your research requirements. Through the use of discussion boards and forums, in particular, you can get some personal feedback from locals about top-quality dental practices in the area.[Top]
Most people are nervous when it comes to visiting their dentist, maybe it's the sound of the drill or it's just something that everyone is fearful of. Then there are those patients that are absolutely petrified and would rather suffer with agonizing pain than head to their nearby surgery.
For these people finding a dentist is a daunting task, you want a specialist who is understanding to your fear and will handle your situation with "kit gloves" while providing you with the care that you need.
The best place to start your search is by speaking to family and friends. Many of your friends and family members will have their own surgery that they attend and they will be able to advise you on how their specialist treats them, whether they experience pain and if they are comfortable for the duration of their consultation.
If you do not have any luck with your close family and friends, then it's time to start looking online. A good place to start is on forums. Often on the forums you will find other patients who are nervous about their surgery visit and write about their experiences. If they are in your local area, they can give you a name of a dentist that they found was understanding to their fear and helped reduce any stress they went through.
Being fearful is not just a fear, it is accompanied by severe stress and in some cases, patients can get physically ill from the overwhelming dread they experience before they even step through the surgery door. This is why it's so important to ensure that when you choose a surgery, you are choosing the best one to keep you calm, understand your fear and help you get the treatment you need in the gentlest way.
Once you find a few surgeries in your local area or that have been recommended to you, it's a good idea to go through their website, see what services they provide and read up on each of their dentist's credentials and experience.
Stay away from websites which promote holistic approaches and concentrate more on making money than taking care of their patients. You want a surgery that offers you a host of services, enabling you to find one surgery you are comfortable with and then use them time and time again.
In many cases, you may be referred by your GP, which is very common. Ensure your GP is aware of your fear and that they choose the best surgery to manage that fear.
Write down a shortlist of surgeries that you feel most comfortable with, or as comfortable as you can be. Now is the time to phone each one, explain your situation and see how they manage your requests.
Most of these dental surgeries are used to fearful patients, so what you're looking for when calling is an understanding receptionist who answers your questions with ease. They may recommend an initial consultation where you can come in and speak to the specialist without them touching your mouth, this gives you a chance to see the surgery, meet the staff and see how you feel.
When you meet the dentist for your initial "non-touch" appointment, you can advise him or her how you feel, why you are so nervous and see how they react and treat the situation. If you immediately feel comfortable and at ease and everyone in the surgery is going out of their way to make you comfortable, then you may have just found the perfect surgery for you.[Top]
There is a lot of emphasis on a pretty smile as it is one of the easiest ways to spread happiness around you. Just try smiling when you are feeling low and you would be surprised at how light you begin to feel. Unfortunately, not all of us have lovely smiles as we are often trying to hide our unsightly teeth. But it does not have to be like this as there are several ways and means nowdays to give an almost perfect smile to anyone.
IMPORTANCE OF DENTAL CARE
Dental care plays an important part in maintaining the health of our teeth. Keeping the higher high costs of dental treatments in mind, it makes sense to take good care of our teeth ourselves. But sometimes there are factors that are beyond our control such as crooked teeth, discoloring due to certain medicines, teeth damaged in an accident and many others. Often we get conflicting advice about the best way to take care of our teeth and end up doing more damage. For example we are told to brush our teeth after every meal but some say brushing your teeth more than twice a day is not necessary. There is also a school of thought that says that we should not brush our teeth immediately after a meal. This is because the acidic content of our food gets pushed under the enamel causing more harm. So what we really need is a balanced attitude and not to become overzealous.
OUR TEETH AND GENERAL HEALTH
We often associate dental care only with pearly white teeth which are perfectly aligned. One thing that is often overlooked is that the state of our teeth and gums often affects our general health. In fact, they are considered to be an indication of our health in some cases. Frequently poor dental health may not be just a result of careless dental hygiene. It could also be because one may be suffering from diabetes, low immunity or HIV. Moreover it could lead to infections in other parts of the body as a cut in your gums could let the bacteria enter your blood stream. It is also said that poor dental care may also be one of the reasons for diseases of the heart. So, if you are suffering from any dental problems have it checked as soon as possible to rule out any complications.
Professional dental care includes a wide range of services right from simply cleaning up to whitening, straightening crooked teeth, placing in implants in place of broken teeth, teeth fillings, tooth extraction, to mention just a few. In some cases it might just be easier to use dental veneers to cover crooked teeth. But before you decide upon costly dental procedures do a little bit of research and you would be surprised at how reasonably priced dental care can be. Usually we avoid a trip to the dentist till it becomes an emergency, preferring to suffer in silence. But do not let your teeth take away your smile; all you need is a little bit of care.
As a dentist your online reputation is your largest asset in your dental practice. Management of your reputation should be at the top of your list in regards to your marketing program.
People are searching online, and reading reviews before they make their decision. If you have a negative review, or no reviews, you will not get the phone calls. Your competitors will. People trust reviews online as much as personal recommendations.
We have had dozens of dentists come to us desperate to fix their bad reputation. They all had negative reviews online and were losing new patient opportunities right and left. We know how frustrating this is, and that's why, when we help them fix it, it gives us great pleasure to know their phone is ringing once again.
Google Plus Local
This is the big game in town now. Google owns search, and they're trying to get everyone into their own platform with Google+, Gmail, and now Google Plus Local, which is their business listings that are linked to the maps on the first page of nearly every result.
When you see these listings, you'll also see link showing the number of reviews that business (or dental practice) has. Many have none, but most now have 3-5. You can click on that link and read what patients have said about the practice.
This can be very good, or very bad. You see … if you have even one bad review they are gone. They will move onto the next dentist and read theirs. If they have all positive ones, they get the call. You lost the opportunity.
Yelp has also become a big player in the online review sector. They have millions of people writing reviews of local businesses, so they have a lot of power in the search results.
Many times when you do a search, you'll see a yelp listing. When you click on it, it will typically take you to a business listing where you can read what people are saying.
Again, if it's bad things they are saying, they will hit the back button, or stay on yelp and read the next listing.
How To Get Positive Reviews
1. Give great service. This may sound like a no-brainer, but how many times have you gone to a restaurant, dry cleaners, dentist and had a bad experience. We've all had this happen. Well now, we just go to Google or yelp and write a review which is a killer to the business.
2. Your front desk person is a key team member in your practice. She / or he can make or break the interaction. They need to smile, be friendly, and treat the patients like they would their family. When they do, you will get positive reviews, which will boost your rankings and get your phone ringing.
3. Follow up. How many times have you heard from your dentist after the appointment? I can say only once, and that was with my new dentist. What did I do? I wrote him a glowing Google AND yelp review. He will benefit from my review, I can reassure you.
Apply the above tips, and you'll be on your way to a 5 Star Reputation.[Top]
It's one of the first things people see when they look at us: our smile. A bright, straight, perfect (or near to) smile is the ultimate accessory to make you look your best, and make people notice you. Unfortunately, very few of us are born with perfect teeth. In fact, the majority of people have at least small flaws among them their chompers that make them feel inclined to smile less. Cosmetic tooth bonding is an affordable and quick way to make your smile shine. In just a couple of hours your smile can go from "just okay" to radiant.
What is Bonding?
Tooth bonding is done by cosmetic dentists and is a very routine procedure that requires no anesthesia (except the bonding is being used as a filling on an affected tooth.) It is usually completed within one visit to the dentist's office and is a fairly inexpensive cosmetic treatment for people who need a little smile boost.
Bonding is used to correct small defects in teeth such as: chips, gaps, uneven surfaces, etc. It is not recommended for large flaws or for the often talked about "smile makeover". Porcelain veneers are recommended for more intensive cosmetic work.
The Bonding Process
The process is painless; first a tooth is etched, or roughened, with a chemical compound. Then a bonding agent is applied to the tooth. Finally, the bonding resin is applied, artfully shaped by your cosmetic dentist and then hardened with a special ultraviolet light.
The resin used is somewhat like putty and comes in a variety of colors to match the color of your tooth or teeth. Bonding lasts for about 10 years before it has to be replaced and is much less expensive than crowns or other dental procedures that are used to correct similar problems.
Who Should Use Bonding?
Bonding is often highly recommended by cosmetic and family dentists because it can be used on children as well, to correct uneven colors and edges on teeth, as well as fill small chips that may occur in sports or physical activity. It is also the procedure that takes the least amount of enamel off of the teeth to put into place, which is important for both adults and children.
Disadvantages of Bonding
There are some disadvantages with tooth bonding, however. The resin used in bonding stains easily and sometimes has to be replaced because of discoloration. People who smoke heavily may not be the best candidates for the process. Also, it is not a recommended practice for a complete overhaul as it would be too time consuming and would not last as long as other porcelain veneers, crowns or other options.
Tooth bonding may not be for everyone, but it is a fantastic choice for minor tooth issues and for those of us that can not wait to flash those new and improved, straight, smooth pearly whites.[Top]
With the advances it the cosmetic dentistry industry, teeth whitening procedures have become very popular. More than 80% of all dentists offer them. Studies have shown that people with white teeth are considered to be more attractive and successful.
There are different ways of teeth whitening or bleaching procedures but not all work the same. Prices vary and the results are different as well. First of all you should know that you can only whiten teeth which got stored by age, smoking, food or drink. Gray teeth do not react well to bleaching, so do injured teeth. You also can not bleach crowns, porcelain veneers, braces or fillings.
Before you decide for a cosmetic whitening you should have your teeth professionally cleaned. Also, if you still have metal fillings, have your dentist replace them by tooth colored composite resin or porcelain materials.
The cheapest method is to get one of the many over-the-counter bleaching sets at your local drug store but do not expect too much from them. The concentration of the whitener, hydrogen peroxide, is very low. You have to use it often to see an effect and it's also not easy to apply them perfectly.
If you want a better solution then visit your cosmetic dentist. He can offer you solutions that work very well. Both are equally effective, just that one takes longer and is cheaper and the other one gives you white teeth instantly but for a higher price. Your dentist has access to much stronger whitening products like Brutesmile or Zoom which can not be obtained over-the-counter. The hydrogen peroxide concentration lies between 10% and 30%. The stronger the brighter your teeth. You should consult with your dentist. Stronger is not necessarily better because when your teeth get too white then it may look very unnatural.
Your dentist has two options now. He could make a special tray for you which you use at home. You must wear it for about two hours a day for several days. The tray is custom made for your teeth and contains the bleaching gel. This costs about $ 300 to $ 400.
If you do not want to mess around with it but want an instant solution then your dentist performs a power bleaching in his praxis. This takes about one or two hours and costs up to $ 1000. First your gum gets protected by a gel or other kind of shield. Then he puts the bleaching gel onto your teeth and uses a special strong light, laser or ultraviolet, to increase the effect. When he is finished you are leaving the chair with teeth which are several shades lighter.
If this is still not what you are looking for, then you can go one step further. Porcelain veneers are the latest in cosmetic dentistry. They give you a movie star like smile but one veneer for just one single tooth costs as much as your whole power bleaching procedure. But you get much more from it. Veneers last up to twenty years and can also give you a complete smile makeover.[Top]
The concept of Medical Tourism started long back say about thousands of years back when Greek pilgrims traveled from all over the Mediterranean to the small territory in the Saronic Gulf called Epidauria. In recent years the combination of many factors has led to popularity of Medical Tourism. The main factors are the cost involved in the treatment, facilities which the hospitals have to give a particular treatment, how early the surgery can be done – the time factor, the communication – the common language which one can easily understand.
India is now a place where one can find the best medical treatment. We get thousands of visitors every year who come to India for their medical check ups and other surgeries most common of which heart surgery – Cardiac Surgery, Coronary Bypass, Heart check Up etc, Orthopedic Surgery – knee replacement, hip replacement, joint replacement, cosmetic surgery – face lift, Breast enlargement, Nose surgery, Lasers in Plastic Surgery, and dental care – Smile design, crown & bridge, dentures in addition other treatments like eye care & treatment and now-a-days most common one Ayurvedic Therapies – Ayurvedic massage.
India is most likely destination for medical treatment, is because of the infrastructure and technology which India has, is par with those in USA, UK and Europe and cost wise India is 30% cheaper compared to other south Asian countries.
Few of our hospitals and treatment centers provide world's best treatment facilities. In Many countries one has to wait for long period to undergo an operation and so these countries have developed links with India for fast treatments for their nationals.
One more major reason for which medical tourism is so popular in India is the Fluent English speaking staff which it becomes very easy for others to understand it.
Normally the medical tour is planned with the help of travel agents. In India Medical tourism is offered by Travel India Company, based in Bangalore. It is a reputed and trusted international tour operator which has links with various hospital all over India to help those who come for treatment.[Top]