Frequently Asked Questions about Dental Work in Spokane, WA
We encourage our patients to ask a lot of questions, and we are always glad when they do! We have listed below some of the most frequently asked questions, as well as brief answers to them. We hope they will help you get to know us and the specialized treatments we offer.
Please give us a call if you’d like more information on these or any other dental-related topics.
Are you a PPO or preferred provider?
Our office is a preferred provider for many insurance companies. What this means is we accept a reduced fee for services. This reduces your out of pocket expenses. Your insurance company will include our office on a list or on their website as a designated preferred provider (PPO). Some of our PPO Insurance companies include Washington Dental Service (WDS), Delta Dental, Aetna, Ameritas, Assurant, Asuris, Cigna, Dental Benefit Providers (DBP), GEHA (Connection Dental), Guardian, Principal, Premera Blue Cross, Regence BlueShield, United Concordia, MetLife and many more.
Do you accept my insurance plan?
Insurance is intended to cover some, but not all of the cost of dental care. Most plans include some kind of co-pay, deductible, or other expenses to be paid by the patient. Our office is more than happy to work with any insurance company, filing insurance claims for you, and accepting direct payment.
The staff at Maple Street Family Dentistry is dedicated in helping manage your dental insurance benefits. This helps ensure that we provide estimates as close as possible to what your carrier will actually pay. We encourage you to contact your insurance carrier for any treatment required, as you are ultimately responsible for your own insurance coverage and patient portions. If your carrier is a preferred provider plan and Maple Street Family Dentistry is a preferred provider, we bill your carrier specified fees that have been agreed upon between the carrier and the dental office.
If your employer has elected to purchase a plan from the carrier that falls under a Fee Schedule, we do not maintain a copy of that fee schedule. If you do not have a copy of the fee schedule in your possession, it is recommended that you contact your carrier directly to obtain a copy of the fee schedule to determine your patient portion(s).
If your carrier is a preferred provider plan and Maple Street Family Dentistry is not a preferred provider for that carrier, we will provide the service of billing your insurance for any treatment received. The fee charged is the office’s usual and customary fee and can differ from what your carrier considers to be usual and customary.
Upon your request, treatment plans can be sent to your carrier for preauthorization. Preauthorization does not guarantee payment. Actual benefits are determined by your insurance carrier when services are rendered. Benefits are subject to the following as applicable on the date of service: patient eligibility; plan and frequency, and other coverages, if applicable. Please try to inform us ahead of your insurance information or any insurance changes so we can make sure we have time to acquire new updates in your coverage.
We would be happy to answer any more questions you may have. Simply ask one of our friendly and knowledgeable business office members. We are here to assist you!
What precautions do you take to ensure patient safety?
Our entire practice team is well-versed in state-of-the-art sterilization and disinfection techniques designed to ensure patient safety. This goes beyond wearing gloves and facemasks to prevent passing germs; it includes a specialized sterilization center and a water filtration system, which guarantees a fresh, individualized, distilled water source for each patient. Our office exceeds the standard sterilization requirements to provide a safe, clean environment for our patients.
What makes you different from any other dental practice I can visit?
When you become a patient of our practice, we get to know you as an individual. Since our goal is to help you obtain and then maintain the best possible oral health, we take time to understand your dental history, assess your current dental health status, and think through the best options for your particular needs. We also make sure we equip you with the information you need to make wise and healthy choices for your own long-term dental health. We believe that it is our patients’ right to choose their dental treatment.
How can I have whiter teeth?
Cosmetic whitening is one of the most requested treatments to improve the overall appearance of your smile. Our in-office laser bleaching process will provide the change desired. Dr. Olmstead can help evaluate your potential for whitening your teeth, based on their current color and the causes of discoloration. Treatment includes a 60 minute laser procedure. Patients are then sent home with custom trays and prescription gel to maintain a white bright smile for years. Individual results will vary. Schedule a cosmetic appointment to review the improvements unique to your smile.
How do I know when it’s time to come in for a check-up?
An average, healthy adult typically benefits from a professional cleaning and check up every six months. However, it’s tough to generalize because every mouth is different. Some people are prone to gum disease, decay, or other ongoing oral health concerns that require more frequent visits; others simply need a routine professional tartar removal at regular intervals. That’s why we’re so careful to check methodically and determine what kind of ongoing professional treatment will achieve your optimum dental health.
What about my children? At what age do they first see a dentist?
Early visits provide several advantages: they give us the opportunity to spot and prevent any potential oral health/dental problems; they can also give the child a positive, non-threatening dental office experience. That’s why we recommend parents bring their child in at or after the age of two, or at whatever age they’re most willing to communicate with an adult other than a parent.
What if I need to cancel an appointment?
We see all patients on an appointment basis and ask that you call in advance so that we may reserve this time for you. We respect your time and make every effort to remain on schedule and ask that you extend the same courtesy to us. If you are unable to keep an appointment, please notify us immediately. We appreciate a 48-hour notice so that this time may be given to another patient. All appointments scheduled are considered confirmed. If you are unable to make that appointment and you do not give a 24-hour notice, you could be charged a $35.00 cancellation fee unless we are able to fill the appointment slot.
Will I be referred to other doctors?
Our office provides comprehensive treatment for all patients. During your new patient exam, we will review your treatment plan and discuss your options available. We provide the majority of dental services from extractions to implants. Dr. Olmstead is committed to your health and well-being and will refer when she feels it is in your best interest.
Do you take payments?
Payment in full is required upon the completion of services, unless prior arrangements have been made. These portions are determined by our computer software, and are strictly estimates. We accept cash, check, or credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express). There is a $40.00 charge on all returned checks.
If the insurance carrier pays less than estimated by our computer, a billing statement will be sent to collect the difference. The current billing cycle is the last week of each month. Statements are sent to the head of household for the account and will include all dependents attached to the Family File. The “Please Pay” portion represents the amount due after your insurance carrier has paid on any outstanding claims or the scheduled amount due if you are on a payment plan. Payments can be made over the phone, using your credit or debit card. If you have any questions on your billing statement, please do not hesitate to call.
For patient portions totaling up to $500.00. Three (3) month payment plan, with the first third due on the day of treatment.
Financing through CareCredit. For patient portions starting at $1.00 and up to $25,000.00. Payments up to 60 months. Fixed rate of 14.90% APR and fixed monthly payments until paid in full. Options include 6 months for all amounts, no interest, if paid in full within the 6 month period; 12 months for amounts $300.00 and up; 24, 36 and 48 months for amounts of $1000.00 and up; and 60 months for amounts from $2500.00 and up. Our office only offers the 6 month plan for no interest. Just call the CareCredit’s toll-free number for fast, confidential service. There are no fees to apply. No prepayment penalty. Within minutes, you can be approved (1-800-365-8295) or visit their web site at www.carecredit.com. Good credit standing required.
For the patient without insurance. A 5% professional discount is given when payment is made in full at the time of treatment. This must be paid by check or cash.