by Oriana Biela-Lieu, Registered Dental Hygienist
I’ve used this blog space to talk about family, community and a little bit of dentistry. This month, I want to do something a little different and focus on a very specific and very unique feature that we’ve just begun offering here at Blue Apple Dental Group. It’s a feature that has generated curiosity and questions. Since this new offering is designed to help our family of patients and our community, it made sense to me to address it here in a straightforward way.
Patients always ask what kind of insurance they should buy for themselves, which is a difficult question to answer. My advice is typically that it’s not worth it to buy dental insurance as an individual. Say you want to buy a plan through a well-known popular provider. The most affordable/low-cost plans are usually for HMO-type dental offices such as a “chain” dental office, places at which patients are moved in and out quickly, often seeing a different doctor at each visit. Quality of work may be questionable at some of these practices, as well.
If you opt for a higher-level insurance plan, there is often a monthly premium and major dental work is not usually covered at 100% (more like 50%), which means you are still paying out-of-pocket for the dental treatment. Also, many plans have a one-year waiting period before any major dental work is covered. You could very well end up paying more than if you just paid out-of-pocket or used a patient-financing option such as Care Credit.
So we’ve decided to offer something new here at Blue Apple Dental Group, something called Plan for Health.
Plan for Health is not an insurance plan. It’s more of a membership – just like a gym membership, but for your mouth. It is an affordable way to help adults and kids keep their teeth healthy. Membership in Plan for Health offers all X-rays, exams and three teeth cleanings per year for adults. That’s a better arrangement than what insurance typically offers you.
People tend to not think about their teeth unless they are having pain. It’s important to know there are many connections between dental health and overall health. Dental or gum infections are bacterial infections that can be harmful if you have heart disease, diabetes, or are pregnant.
Often, people feel overwhelmed by the need to take care of their teeth. People fear the cost or worry about the pain aspect. Plan for Health addresses both of those fears by helping to make dental care more affordable. By visiting the dentist more often, it makes it possible to catch tooth decay or gum problems when they are small. A small filling costs a lot less than a crown, and getting someone to understand flossing can keep them from losing their teeth. Addressing gum disease early is much easier than paying $1,000 for a full-mouth root-planing.
I was shocked to find out that getting your dog’s teeth cleaned can cost anywhere from $500-$1,000. Just think: You could spend that amount to have a healthy smile for mom or dad or the kids. Many people spend more money on coffee or pet supplies than they do on their own health. Why not spend your money and time on being healthier and happier?
Signing up for Plan for Health is a very easy process. You just need to call our office at 707-795-4523 to make an appointment or tell us that you want to sign up for Plan for Health at your next visit. Just as when you sign up at the gym, there is a one-year contract agreement to review and sign. Then we schedule you right away for your three dental hygiene appointments for the year. You get a goodie bag, too, when you sign up, as well as helpful information about how your plan works … and you are on your way to a happier, healthier you!
Recipe of the Month
Each month, I share a healthy or fun family recipe. I liked the symmetry with our Plan for Health with Kaiser Permanente’s “Food for Health” blog. And since we love apples, I will draw special attention to one of their apple-focused recipes on the site!