Understanding Dental Coverage

  • By John Adams
  • 18 Dec, 2016

The best way to get the most out of your dental coverage is to understand its many features. For instance, most insurance companies have various plans befitting the needs and circumstances of different individuals. As well, dental benefits are calculated within a benefit period, which is typically one year (though possibly not a calendar year). There’s much to learn about dental coverage, so here are a few aspects to help you get a better idea of it, especially if there are any benefits left before the end of the year.

Maximums

Most dental plans have an annual maximum, which is the dollar amount a dental plan will pay toward the cost of dental care within a specific period, even if a patient’s costs exceed the limit. The patient is personally responsible for paying costs that exceed the annual maximum. A common annual maximum is $1000 or $1500 while some can go as high as $2000 or $3000. These totals can be individual or family maximums.

Deductibles

Most plans have a specific dollar deductible. The amount of dental expenses is the responsibility of the beneficiary before a third party can assume liability for payment of benefits. In other words, you personally have to pay a portion of your bill before your benefit plan will contribute to your costs. Each plan varies—for example, some apply the deductible to diagnostic or preventive treatments while others do not. The deductible may be a one-time charge, or it may vary depending on the program.

Coinsurance

Many plans have a coinsurance provision, meaning the benefit plan pays a predetermined percentage of the cost of your treatment. The part you pay is called coinsurance—this is paid even after your deductible has been reached. For example, you may pay 20 percent while your plan may cover 80 percent of the expenses.

Reimbursement

Many dental plans offer different classes of coverage. Each class provides a certain percentage of coverage and certain limitations and exclusions. Each plan may vary, so it’s best to go over your benefits carefully. For example, Class I may offer coverage at the highest percentage—at least 80-100 percent of the plan’s maximum allowance. Class II may cover only basic procedures like fillings, extractions, and periodontal treatment, with reimbursements usually ranging from 70-100 percent. Class III often reimburses at a lower percentage at 50 percent and may have a waiting period before services are covered.

Estimates

You may want to ask your dentist to complete and submit a request for a cost estimate. These are often referred to as pre-treatment estimates. This lets you know in advance what procedures are covered though it is not a guarantee of payment.

Exclusions

Exclusions are dental services that aren’t covered by your plan. Some dental plans are designed to help with expenses and may not cover every need, and these are referred to as limitations or exclusions. Some health groups restrict coverage for pre-existing dental conditions that are present before a patient enrolls in a plan, such as a missing tooth.

By John Adams 24 Oct, 2017
Taking good care of your teeth and mouth will allow you to have a healthier and brighter smile for the rest of your life. You can achieve this by having regular dental checkups to help prevent any problems before they arise. Unfortunately, depending on the services needed to keep teeth health and strong, you may find it challenging to find affordable, quality dental care in the area. The good news is here at Acqua Family Dental, we take pride in delivering quality dental services and we have a variety of payment options available that may help to ensure your dental needs are met.

For Our Patients with Insurance
Acqua Family Dental works with most major insurance providers to ensure you and your family pays the smallest amount possible for your dental care. Our insurance provider network includes:
  1. Altus Dental
  2. Blue Cross-Blue Shield
  3. Cigna
  4. Guardian
  5. MetLife
If your insurance provider is not listed above, please let us know and we will be happy to file a claim to other insurance providers on your behalf. However, please note that in some situations, we may be considered out-of-network for your insurance provider.
Every dental insurance plan is different; there are a wide range of coverages, plans and benefit options, so please bring the information regarding your insurance coverage with you when you come in for your scheduled appointment and we will make all attempts to ensure you receive the maximum allowable dental benefits. We are able to review your dental benefits with you, but your dental health is important to us, so we don’t allow the dental benefits decide what the best recommendations are for your dental health.

For Our Patients Without Insurance
Simply because you don’t have dental insurance doesn’t mean your smile has to suffer. Here at Acqua Family Dental we offer a variety of other payment options as well, including:
  1. We accept all debit and credit cards, including Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express.
  2. We also accept payment by cash or check.
We provide a wide range of payment options and our affordable dental financing options that include:
  1. Quick and easy application
  2. No up-front costs
  3. No annual fees
  4. Convenient and affordable monthly payments
  5. Available credit for ongoing treatment (for the entire family)

Any fees and financial arrangements, including the estimated insurance benefits will be arranged with you before your treatment begins. Financing options may be subject to credit approval and minimum monthly payments required. For new accounts: Purchase APR is 26.99%; Minimum Interest Charge is $2. Please see your provider for details.

Acqua Family Dental welcomes families from Fitchburg and the surrounding areas. To learn more about our full lineup of services and payment plans we have available to you, contact us today to schedule an appointment.
By John Adams 16 Oct, 2017

Dental Services Typically Covered by MassHealth
There are many different dental services for children who qualify and receive coverage under MassHealth. There are many different dental services for children who qualify and receive coverage under MassHealth. These services ordinarily include oral exams, regular cleanings, X-rays, fillings, and other treatments.

If you need additional information on what services may be covered, please contact the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services or call us at Acqua Family Dental.

Why Choose Acqua Family Dental?
At Acqua Family Dental, we offer professional dental services in a comfortable and fun environment.  Our outstanding dental team is what sets us apart from the rest. We truly love our patients, and we look forward to welcoming you to our Acqua Family Dental office. Our long-term relationships with patients mean the most to us. We always enjoy getting to know you and your family.


Dental Health Affects More Than Your Children's Mouths
A child’s first visits to the dentist and education regarding proper oral hygiene provides a foundation to ensure many years of good dental health. By making these early memories positive, you can ensure that your kids will not only have a beautiful smile but a healthy mouth as well.

Cavities left untreated, tooth loss, and gums that are infected may make it hard for your kids to speak correctly, eat nutritiously, and pay attention in school.

The pain associated with toothaches can cause sleepless nights, making it difficult for them to grow and function properly throughout the day.

Without the proper dental care as children, serious conditions including, heart disease, heart infections and difficulty controlling blood sugar may appear during adulthood.

Visit Acqua Family Dental Today
MassHealth families can visit Acqua Family Dental for worry-free, fun, and affordable dental care for their children. To learn more about the dental services covered by MassHealth, call us today.

By John Adams 30 May, 2017

In an effort to promote better dental health for children,   Acqua Family Dentistry is now accepting   MassHealth dental insurance   for children 21 years and younger. As well as, numerous private dental plans.

Dental disease is preventable. Make sure your child is on the right track by doing your part.


Here are some Practical Tips for Healthy Smiles:

For Infants/Toddlers: START EARLY  

  • After each feeding wipe gums with a clean washcloth to remove plaque & help prevent acid attacks. Once baby's teeth begin to erupt, Start brushing with a soft bristle child size toothbrush.
  • Do not dip pacifiers in sweet liquids. 
  • Avoid putting baby to bed with a bottle or using a bottle as a pacifier, this will help prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay, which not only causes damage to baby teeth but can damage permanent teeth as well.
  • It is recommended children visit the dentist by his/her first birthday.

By spending a few minutes each day caring for baby's teeth, you ensure his/her smile gets off to a healthy start!

For Children and Adolescents:  

  • Daily brushing for 2 minutes, 2 times per day with a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Daily Flossing
  • Limit not only sugary snacks but also high-starch or refined carbohydrate foods. These include foods like chips, pretzels, cookies, breads, and dried fruits, including raisins & fruit snacks. The bacteria that cause tooth decay thrive on simple sugars, especially those in sticky foods and treats.
  • Avoid sipping on soda and juice all day. Drink plenty of water. Make sure that your children's drinking water is fluoridated.
  • Ensure School Food Service/Vending Service offers nutritious selections.
  • Take your child to the dentist for regular checkups.
  • Ask your dentist about sealants,    a tooth without a sealant is like a car without a seat belt.

PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN TREATMENT

Call us Today at   978-252-1999    for more information about child and adolescent dental care or to book your child’s first appointment. Our practice welcomes patients from Fitchburg, Lunenberg, Leominster, Ashby, Westminster and all surrounding communities.

Together, we can work to make our children smile happier and healthier!

Your partners for better dental health,

Acqua Family Dental


By John Adams 18 Dec, 2016

The best way to get the most out of your dental coverage is to understand its many features. For instance, most insurance companies have various plans befitting the needs and circumstances of different individuals. As well, dental benefits are calculated within a benefit period, which is typically one year (though possibly not a calendar year). There’s much to learn about dental coverage, so here are a few aspects to help you get a better idea of it, especially if there are any benefits left before the end of the year.

Maximums

Most dental plans have an annual maximum, which is the dollar amount a dental plan will pay toward the cost of dental care within a specific period, even if a patient’s costs exceed the limit. The patient is personally responsible for paying costs that exceed the annual maximum. A common annual maximum is $1000 or $1500 while some can go as high as $2000 or $3000. These totals can be individual or family maximums.

Deductibles

Most plans have a specific dollar deductible. The amount of dental expenses is the responsibility of the beneficiary before a third party can assume liability for payment of benefits. In other words, you personally have to pay a portion of your bill before your benefit plan will contribute to your costs. Each plan varies—for example, some apply the deductible to diagnostic or preventive treatments while others do not. The deductible may be a one-time charge, or it may vary depending on the program.

Coinsurance

Many plans have a coinsurance provision, meaning the benefit plan pays a predetermined percentage of the cost of your treatment. The part you pay is called coinsurance—this is paid even after your deductible has been reached. For example, you may pay 20 percent while your plan may cover 80 percent of the expenses.

Reimbursement

Many dental plans offer different classes of coverage. Each class provides a certain percentage of coverage and certain limitations and exclusions. Each plan may vary, so it’s best to go over your benefits carefully. For example, Class I may offer coverage at the highest percentage—at least 80-100 percent of the plan’s maximum allowance. Class II may cover only basic procedures like fillings, extractions, and periodontal treatment, with reimbursements usually ranging from 70-100 percent. Class III often reimburses at a lower percentage at 50 percent and may have a waiting period before services are covered.

Estimates

You may want to ask your dentist to complete and submit a request for a cost estimate. These are often referred to as pre-treatment estimates. This lets you know in advance what procedures are covered though it is not a guarantee of payment.

Exclusions

Exclusions are dental services that aren’t covered by your plan. Some dental plans are designed to help with expenses and may not cover every need, and these are referred to as limitations or exclusions. Some health groups restrict coverage for pre-existing dental conditions that are present before a patient enrolls in a plan, such as a missing tooth.

By John Adams 18 Dec, 2016

Signs You May Need a Root Canal

Having a dental procedure done is never a fun experience, and it can be uncomfortable and even painful depending on what issue exists. One of the more feared procedures among patients is the root canal – a procedure that replaces the infected pulp inside the root of a tooth with another material. Root canals are most often a required procedure for those who have deep decay within their tooth, and there are some tell-tale signs that may indicate that a root canal is needed.

One of the most distinguishable signs that a root canal may be required is when deep tooth decay reaches the “pulp chamber” of the tooth. While it may be hard or even impossible to see this happen, patients can definitely feel the pain associated with this happening. It is not uncommon when the pulp becomes infected for patients to experience acute or “horrible” pains that begin very suddenly. This is caused by the living tissue inside the tooth dying along with the nerves. However, just as quickly as the pain begins, it usually dissipates or completely goes away within a period of two to three days.

The acute pain that patients experience when the infection reaches the tooth’s pulp chamber can be almost unbearable and is often described as “excruciating.” Since this is caused by an inflammation of the tissues in the tooth, over the counter pain killers such as Ibuprofen can be helpful in managing the pain, though they will not take the pain away – this usually requires a prescription pain killer that is administered by a dentist or a specialist for root canals known as a endodontist.

While this acute pain will likely go away when all of the tissue inside the tooth dies, the infection will remain and cause further problems. Should the issue not be resolved, the infectious bacteria will move along the tooth’s root and into the bone – this is when patients will begin to feel the root when they bite down on the infected tooth. Secondary pain is then transmitted through the nerves that live in the periodontal ligament and the lining of the membrane that attaches the tooth to the bone.

If this is left untreated, it could potentially cause an acutely painful or chronic abscess, which is a much longer standing, “silent” infection that can cause a myriad of problems if undetected or left untreated. Root canals, for this reason, should be done as soon as possible or when an endodontist believes it is the right time to have the procedure done in order to prevent any future issues.

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