IS DENTAL INSURANCE DESTROYING GOOD DENTISTRY?
Greetings from the Office of Dr. Jack Bodie!
This may sound like a bit of a contradictory statement, but if you read on, you might just agree!
What’s happening now in dentistry is like what happened in medicine twenty years ago, regarding the way insurance companies pay for services. What happened is, the insurance companies found ways to cut costs by negotiating fees with hospitals and doctor groups. This eventually resulted in complicated formulas to determine fees paid by insurance plans for all medical services, depending on plan costs, plan benefits, doctor enrollment, age and health of enrollees, and many, many other factors.
The major difference between medical insurance and dental insurance is the maximum dollar benefit allowed annually. And the difference is huge! Most medical plans max out at around 2-3 million dollars, with most dental plans providing only $1000-$1500. So just think about that! Does $1000 buy much dentistry these days? The obvious answer is HECK NO! Maybe a couple of cleanings and a filling or two.
So, is dental insurance worth having? Well that answer is yes if someone else is paying for it (i.e. employer). Any help in paying dental bills is worth having. But is it critical like medical insurance? Another big NO! In fact, dental insurance reimbursements are extremely limited and totally dependent on what the purchaser paid for the plan.
Do we see good dental insurance plans? Sometimes we do, although it is rare now and becoming more so. Most dental plans cover only a percentage of treatment and are loaded with limitations. So how does this affect the quality of treatment? This is the real issue of this discussion!
Here is how it works in today’s insurance driven practice. The dentist(s) contracts with the insurance company and agrees to accept the “in network” fee schedule which discounts the dentist’s regular fees by 50-60%. Sounds like a great deal for consumer, right? Hold on! The dentist now must do three to four times as much dentistry to make ends meet financially. Guess what happens next? The list is long: less time with patients, doctors jumping from chair to chair, fewer appointments for treatment, more waiting time in the waiting room and dental chair for patients, rushed treatment that results in poor results, unnecessary treatment (over treatment), incomplete treatment (undertreatment), billing for services not performed, requiring warranties to guarantee replacement of defective treatment, stressed out staff and doctors, and the list goes on!
If you want an experienced dentist and staff, that will spend as much time with you as you like discussing treatment options or just chatting with you to make more comfortable, if you want to see happy faces loving their work, if you want great dentistry that looks great, feels good, lasts a long time, and is personally guaranteed, you should consider the office of Dr. Jack Bodie. And we will even help you with your insurance! Check out our website at DrJackBodie.com or call us at 972 235 4767 today!