The role a dentist plays in your child’s oral health

by MikeMeehan 1/23/2019 8:54 AM

Schedules may get hectic with school, extracurriculars and homework, but making it to the dentist is always worth it. Dentists play a central role in children’s oral health that goes beyond checking teeth for cavities.  The most obvious benefit dentists provide is preventive care through regular exams and cleanings. During these appointments, dentists or hygienists remove plaque and tartar to prevent the formation of cavities, which is one of the most common chronic diseases in childhood. For additional cavity prevention, they can place sealants on teeth that have the highest risk for tooth decay. This preventive care and consistent monitoring help dentists prevent or curb the effects of dental threats like thumb sucking, teeth crowding, fluorosis, neglecting oral health and more.  Dentists are a meaningful part of educating kids on proper oral health habits. While smile maintenance might be straightforward to adults, children have to learn it all from scratch. Dentists understand how their cognition develops and how to properly explain dental care principles in kid-friendly language. They can help convey the importance of brushing, flossing, eating healthy and visiting the dentist. And because parents have the most important role in establishing healthy smiles, dentists advise them on providing proper instruction and how to model good oral health habits. Children’s attitudes toward dental care begin taking shape in early childhood, and dentists can help ensure those attitudes are pleasant. Dentists provide positive reinforcement that creates enjoyable memories of appointments. When the exam is over, dentists often give kids toys or other rewards, and they build a rapport to establish trusting relationships. On the flip side, by preventing cavities and toothaches, the dentist minimizes unpleasant experiences, helping children avoid anxiety toward dental appointments. Finding a dentist you trust early on and maintaining regular visits is an important part of a child’s dental care. It not only helps teeth stay healthy, but it also teaches children the proper way to take care of their smile for years to come.  

Questions to ask your dental benefits broker

by MikeMeehan 12/5/2018 9:39 AM

Your benefits broker is responsible for understanding your unique operational concerns and using that information to recommend the best coverage options for your business. While they’re trained to gather and convey the right information, it can be helpful to know beforehand what questions to ask your broker. Consider the questions below. Evaluating a dental benefits provider 1. Does the dental benefits provider have a good reputation? 2. What is the provider’s network like? How large is it and what percentage of dentists nationwide does it cover? 3. What customer service options does the provider maintain for groups and employees? 4. Is the dental benefits provider financially stable? 5. With what degree of accuracy does this company process claims? 6. What data does the provider use to inform its coverage options? 7. Does the provider offer options such as voluntary plans and employer-paid plans?  Evaluating a plan 1. How does this plan help us reach our company’s objectives? 2. Which plan options can help our business attract and retain talent? 3. What is the cost of the plan to the company? Understanding a plan 1. What type of plan is it – fee-for-service, preferred-provider, HMO, discount plan or other? 2. What network does the plan use? 3. Can the plan be customized?  4. What benefits are included? a. How are routine cleanings and checkups covered? b. What services other than routine cleanings and checkups are covered? c. What exclusions or limitations exist? d. Does the plan offer enhanced benefits for individuals with certain conditions such as heart disease or diabetes? 5. What happens if our employees experience an oral health emergency while traveling? 6. Are there waiting periods for certain services? Efficiency 1.What is the onboarding and education process like for employees? 2.How will the provider help us streamline the enrollment process? 3.What educational resources does the provider offer? 4.What self-service tools and administration services does this provider have? Other 1.Do you need any further information from me to provide the best coverage options for my business?

How a large dental network helps your business

by MikeMeehan 11/9/2018 9:31 AM

With a larger network size, your employees have a greater selection of dentists to choose from. The result for your business and employees is lower costs and better convenience.  Lower costA large network results in better utilization of in-network dentists by your employees, which helps keep costs down. Visiting a network dentist helps ensure lower claims costs, offering immediate financial benefits for self-insured groups and leading to more stable overall costs in the long run for fully insured groups. Employees also enjoy lower out-of-pocket expenses and maximize their benefits when they seek care from in-network dentists. Doing so protects them from balance billing, which is when a dentist’s fee for a specific service exceeds the plan’s allowed amount and the dentist bills the difference.  Better convenienceIn addition to cost savings, a larger network provides a more convenient experience. If employees already have a dentist they prefer, a bigger network makes it more likely that their dentist participates. Employees no longer need to spend time comparison shopping because they can easily find in-network dentists who have agreed to set fees for common dental procedures. That can increase employee satisfaction in the plan and the benefits offering.  Plus, employees can save time by visiting network dentists. Participating dentists submit claims directly to Delta Dental, so your employees don’t have to handle time-consuming forms, whereas out-of-network dentists may not provide this service. When employees use a network dentist, Delta Dental pays the dentist so the employee isn’t required to pay and then wait for reimbursement.  Contact your benefits consultant or local Delta Dental representative to learn more about our dental network.

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