Click the drop-down tabs below to view information about each section of Dr. Boston’s patient education.
The Four Levels of Dental Care
When it comes to the care of you teeth and mouth, we understand how important it is for you and your family to select a dentist you can trust. We would like to welcome you, and to share more specifically our beliefs about what type of care we provide. A few years ago we wrote a philosophy or purpose for our practice. Briefly stated . . .”Our purpose is to help people achieve the highest level of well-being personally appropriate for them and in so doing enhance the quality of their lives and our own.” In other words, we help you be or become as healthy as you would like to be. This is a major departure from the way most in the industry function. Instead of telling you how healthy you ought to be, we will try to help you understand your choices about dental health and then let you make a free and informed choice. Make your pick as to which level of care is most appropriate for you and then we’ll be able to discuss options and treatments to help you progress in that area of care. There are four levels on which people may choose to be seen in our practice.
Level 1 . . . URGENT CARE . . . People in crisis or with an emergency problem such as pain, swelling, or bleeding, who need immediate help. We strive to see urgencies immediately.
Level 2 . . . REMEDIAL CARE . . . People who choose this level of care desire treatment only when something breaks or becomes uncomfortable. Generally, people at this level prefer short term examinations or screening for very obvious, more advanced problems. They usually want to correct immediate problems with as little effort and cost as possible, even though the treatment may not provide a long term solution. Patients at this level of care are not ready for a long-term treatment plan nor do they want to have a full comprehensive examination. Their mottos might be “Let’s just take care of what is wrong today and not worry about tomorrow.”
Level 3 . . . SELF CARE . . . People at this level choose to have a comprehensive examination, fully evaluating teeth, gums and supporting tissues, as well as the dynamic relationship of the jaws. During this examination process we jointly formulate a long term plan for their preferred dental future. However, due to current life circumstances or beliefs, they will follow a holding plan until they can proceed to a higher level. They are interested in what they can do personally to improve their dental health and any active disease processes, but are not yet ready to commence major treatment. People at this level are monitored through frequent preventive maintenance visits with our hygienist.
Level 4 . . .COMPLETE DENTISTRY . . . People at this level are similar to those described above. They choose to have a comprehensive examination and formulate a long term treatment plan designed to achieve a dental future of choice not chance. Unlike the self-care person, they are ready to commence treatment. They also want to understand and control the causative agents of dental disease. Again, they interface closely with our preventive and hygiene departments before, during, and after treatment.
We hope these levels are clear to you and have given you the information needed to make the best choice for you. It is not uncommon for people to begin at a lower level and progress over time. If we can help you with your decision regarding the level most comfortable for you to begin, please call us. Your comfort is our top priority, so trust us to perform all our preventative and cosmetic dental services with the utmost level of excellence.
About Dental Insurance
Approximately 70% of our patients have dental insurance. If you and your family are among this percentage, these points about dental insurance will be beneficial to you.
People expect and rely on dental policies to pay out a lot more than they actually do. This is especially true if it is a new policy. Most policies pay 90-100% of preventive procedures like exams, cleanings, radiographs, fluoride, etc. 60-70% of routine procedures like fillings and 50% or less of the more expensive types of dentistry like crowns and bridges. Keep in mind almost all policies have a $50.00 to $100.00 deductible and a yearly maximum.
Insurance benefits are determined by your employer and the type of plan they choose, not by our office. We are not involved with the insurance provider in any way. The patient is responsible for payment and the insurance company is responsible to the patient. To avoid disappointment, we strongly suggest that you contact your insurance company to make sure that your assumptions about plan coverage are correct.
Some cosmetic dentists have run into problems with insurance companies. Most insurance companies have done a creditable job managing this growing industry, however, some companies tell their clients that certain dental fees are “above the usual and customary” rather than telling them that the insurance benefits are low. We also know that some companies do not upgrade their fee schedules regularly, even with the cost of living index. Some attempts to shift the responsibility do occur. Since the insurance company must make a profit, you as a patient can get back only what your employer puts into the program–minus the profit.
A conscientious dentist is not bothered by this, in fact, they consider it complimentary and supportive of the caliber of dentistry they are producing. These are really not “average” practices. They are practices that afford the patient the various levels of dental care possible. Accordingly, the fee may be somewhat higher than what the insurance company might call norm. (They take the given zip codes area–the high, the low and in-between then average these figures. This average is called the “norm” or the “usual and customary” which is sometimes as low as the 40th percentile of the fee.)
Our purpose is to help people achieve the highest level of well-being personally appropriate for them and in so doing enhance the quality of their lives. Because of this philosophy, when we look at the current managed costs policies of many insurance plans we cannot in good faith belong to any of them. We are committed to working for our patients, not for the insurance company. Until a policy allows for freedom of choice in treatment and for preventive care at the highest level we will be unable to participate in these programs.
We want you to be comfortable in dealing with these matters and urge you to ask us if you have any questions regarding our service and fees.
Continual Care and Emergencies
We believe that most dental problems can be avoided by routine continual care. We have the knowledge of what causes most tooth loss, but the most important thing is getting to the problem before it becomes too big. Usually by the time you notice the pain the problem will be more involved. We know that some patients only want to come in when it hurts. We know that some patients do not want to have routine care and that is a decision that we will understand and respect. However, we also know that most of our patients want to be on a routine maintenance program that will enable you to keep your teeth for a lifetime. For most of you, that may mean seeing the hygienist twice a year, and for some it may be more often, based on your periodontal health.
Please let us know if you would like to pre-schedule your continual care appointment. We understand that things change, and we’d like to provide you with the chance to attend our office in a time and manner that is most convenient for you. Please notify us long enough in advance (usually 48 hours) if you will not be able to make your appointment.
We also know that sometimes things happen that are not planned. You bite down on ice, popcorn kernels, etc. and a tooth breaks, or you wake up and one of your children has a tooth problem. We are here to help take care of your emergencies. If you have an emergency please call early in the morning so you may receive attention as soon as possible. We want to keep you smiling. If the emergency is after office hours, my home phone number is 435-752-6175 and my cell number is 453-770-4343.
Intraoral Camera – With the intra-oral camera you will have the opportunity to see your own mouth and ask questions about the procedure.
Cosmetic Dentistry – If you are unhappy with the appearance of your teeth, cosmetic dentistry can improve or correct your smile.
Home Bleaching – One of the first things people notice is a person’s smile. With the newer methods in home bleaching this can be done easily and safely at home.
Implants – No longer do people need to have ill fitting dentures. Working with the oral surgeon we now can replace missing teeth with implants and also help with full dentures.
Digital X-rays – By use of computerized dental radiography we can lower the amount of radiation by 90% and still have diagnostic capability to give quality service.
Continual Care Visits – By monitoring your gum and bone health, we can determine which schedule of hygiene visits are necessary to maintain optimal health.
Dr. Boston is active in various organizations and has worked to obtain his Mastership in the Academy of General Dentistry (MAGD) which only a few cosmetic dentists have earned. He stresses continual education for himself and for the entire dental team.
Care To Share
We know that many people never really feel comfortable at a dentist office. We would like to make sure that all of our patients feel that they have a “home” with us. It is a sad fact that many people only go to the dentist when it hurts which makes it more expensive and usually involves pain and time. Instead of coming when the problem may only involve a minor amount of time and cost they wait until it the pain is worse and treatment is more extensive.
Do you know other family members or friends that would like to come to a dental office where they have the opportunity to talk about their dental care? A place where they can actively determine which level of care would be appropriate for them? We would like to assist you in helping these people find our office. We always appreciate referrals from our patients and will make room for your family and friends.
We want to simplify the payment of dental care as much as possible and you’ll find our fees reasonable and competitive. Don’t be afraid to ask us about how we charge, we encourage you to discuss your concerns with us. Below are four options to help you obtain your dental treatment. If you have dental benefits, we can give you an estimate of what will be your portion of the fee. As a courtesy to you we will file your claim with your insurance company. Our highly trained staff is here to help answer your questions.
1. An 8% bookkeeping discount for payment in full 5 business days prior to the start of treatment.
2.A 5% bookkeeping discount for payment in full at each appointment.
3. Visa, MasterCard, Discover Card and American Express