In today’s world, dental overhead, the cost of doing the business of dentistry for a typical dental practice, is about 75%, meaning the net income is a small 25%. A newer dentist is usually carrying more debt, so it has a higher overhead. Most people, including the employees of dentists, are not aware that the net return is that low. Dentists do all that they can to keep from raising their standard fees and accept the paltry payouts from PPO networks that get smaller and with more restrictions all the time.
Costs to operate the average dental practice get larger over time and the dentist and management are challenged to control costs and become more creative with ways to save while still offering the best standard of dental care to their patients.
Dentists want their patients to be able to afford quality dental care but for this to happen the dentist must be able to afford to purchase the equipment, supplies and the people necessary to get the work done. There must be a budget in place to achieve success.
Everybody needs to stay on a budget, and that includes dentists. The benchmark dental budget has rent at 5%, equipment at 5%, ongoing marketing at 3% to 10%, lab expenses at 10%, dental supplies at 5%, miscellaneous at 10% and cost for team salaries at 20-25% (including benefits).
The most significant expense is employee salaries and benefits. Many dentists are not good at asking for more from their workers, especially in times of low net income. It is vital that the dental team take the initiative to promote services and to give outstanding customer service along with their daily job duties.
For the dentist(s) to offer quality care at an affordable price to patients, the dentist must invest in the newer technologies and techniques that provide the patient a level of precision that was not possible in the past. Patients want what they are reading, seeing and hearing about the latest, more advanced and pain-free dentistry that is brief and affordable.
Technology such as dental cone beam imaging translates to fewer complications, less invasive treatment, and a faster healing time for the patient. Preplanning implants with digital imaging and 3- D milling leads to accuracy and a superior result for the patient. These benefits increase treatment acceptance due to better available care.
"Every dollar counts when it comes to managing a dental business"
~ Dr. Kenneth Osamor
Dr. Osamor has practiced dentistry for more than fifteen years and knows that you must do more than provide quality dentistry; you must help patients pay for their care. Patients can save anywhere from 10% to 60% using dental discount plans such as Careington Dental Plans offered by dentists such as Dr. Osamor. The dental practice of today must be able to provide the best care and to help the patient achieve the best care. Dr. Osamor believes that the patient is a partner in the treatment planning and is able to make an informed decision only after the doctor has taken the time to explain treatment recommendations in the language that they understand...
According to Dr. Osamor, the seven keys to keeping dental care affordable are the following:
In the last blog post we talked about the different dental insurance plans that exist. Today I want to talk about the types of procedures that you may want to have covered. I do want to start off by saying that everyone is different. When you are shopping for insurance, it may be a good idea to know what type of procedures you may have had done in the past, because those procedures can inform you on what type of coverage you will need in the future. Another idea to keep in mind is what types of oral health goals you personally want to set for yourself so you can get the best smile going forward.
When looking for insurance coverage there are several categories that insurance companies use to label certain procedures. The three main categories are preventative, basic and major. Preventative or preventative and diagnostic care is considered all the dental care received that helps with prevention of disease and routine diagnostic procedures. Preventative care usually includes oral exams, cleanings and x-rays. Basic or basic restorative care are simple treatments that help with tooth maintenance, such as fillings and anesthetics. These types of treatments can typically be done the same day as diagnosed. Major or major restorative care is considered complex treatments that help with ailments that require multiple phases of therapy to correct. Major treatments usually include crowns, dentures and bridges. With in the categories of basic and major, there are other procedure types that can fall into those categories; those are Perio, Endo and Oral. Perio or periodontal care is the treatment, prevention and diagnosis of gum disease. Endo or Endodontic procedures include procedures that involve the soft tissue of teeth. Oral or Oral Surgery is procedures that involve the incision of oral tissues and abscesses. With these categories in mind, you should be able to ask a prospective insurance company what percentage of each type of procedure is covered.
After asking for percentages for each type of procedure, the next thing you may want to ask is what specific types of procedures are categorized as and perhaps the frequency and limitations that the plan you are looking at offers. For example, if you know you want to have an insurance plan that covers the entire cost of your semi annual check up, you should ask “what percentage is an exam or oral evaluation covered, and with what frequency?” “would my prophylaxis and bitewings share frequency?” “what about my cleanings?”. These specific questions are important because these are the procedures that your dentist will bill your insurance for. Other procedures you may be curious about are extractions, full mouth or panoramic x-rays, sealants, implants and ortho coverage. Briefly, orthodontic care includes work to realign teeth and jaws using braces, retainers, spacers, headgear and more. So, if you are looking to straighten your teeth, knowing if your plan covers ortho would be important.
Lastly, and arguably one of the most important questions you want to ask the perspective insurance company are the financial details regarding your plan. Each person has different financial means and finding a plan that affordable should be the most important objective. Start by deciding if you need a family plan, single plan or dependent plan. Ask what is the yearly maximum, the deductible, and the family deductible for the plan. Another question you may want to ask is if there is a waiting period for the policy to kick in. The whole purpose of insurance is to prevent catastrophic financial loss and to make care more affordable. So knowing when all your benefits kick in is especially important.
I am proud that at the Texas Dental Group we take the time to call the insurance and get a coverage breakdown for all of our patients. As well as going over treatment plans so our patients get the most affordable care possible. To schedule an appointment with us, please call the location nearest you: Conroe - (936) 760-3050, Galveston - (409) 740-7744, Homestead - (713) 633-1922, and Richmond - (281) 238-4454.
I’m getting old! In a few short months, I will be turning 26 and as every millennial knows, that’s the age that you get kicked off your parent’s insurance. Now, I know what you’re thinking I am grown, and I clearly have a job (since I am writing this) so I should be able to find and afford insurance no problem! The sad thing is, you are probably correct, but I know nothing about insurance plans or the procedures I should probably have covered. So if you are like me, and you want to know more about the types of dental procedures you will probably need coverage for, keep reading.
The first thing I want to cover is the different types of insurance plans. When you are in the market for dental insurance, there are many different types of plans that offer varying amounts of coverage and varying degrees of flexibility in the provider of choice. For this reason I am going to break down the different types of insurance plans that are currently available.
According to the American Dental Association, the dental insurance types are as follows:
If you are still with me, that means you have read up on the different types of dental insurance plans that exist. Any given person may have none, one or any combination of these plans. If you don’t know what type of plan you currently have be sure to call your insurance and ask to speak to a representative.
At all the Texas Dental Group offices we accept Medicaid and PPO plans or plans from Preferred Provider Organizations. Please call any of our specific locations to find out if you are considered “in-network” have your insurance card ready when you call. Conroe - (936) 760-3050, Galveston - (409) 740-7744, Homestead - (713) 633-1922, and Richmond - (281) 238-4454.
For more information about dental plans please refer to the American Dental Association website: https://success.ada.org/en/dental-benefits/dental-plan-overview.
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