ABOUT THE PRACTICE.
Q: Are you accepting new patients?
A: We have always accepted new patients. Our technology now allows patients to access new patient paperwork directly from our website where one can complete them from the convience of home.
Q: Do you accept children in the practice?
A: Of course we do. We are a family oriented practice and are now seeing 4th generation Sewardites. There are times when our pediatric patients are referred to a specialist due to the nature of the care needed but we expect them to return for routine exams and cleanings.
Q: Does Dr. Moriarty accept Medicaid?
Q: Which insurance policies are accepted by the practice?
A: Dr. Moriarty is a Premier Provider for Delta Dental. The office also accepts most dental insurance plans where we will confirm coverage and eligibility and submit claims for our patients. Examples include and are not limited to Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield, Meritain, United Concordia, and Aetna.
Q: My insurance carrier lists you as out of network and recommends that I not see you?
A: Your policy is a contract between either your employer and the carrier or with an individual policy, you and the carrier. Many patients continue to see Dr. Moriarty even though he's "out of network" which generally means that benefits allowed may or may not be different. They choose to continue to see Dr. Moriarty due to his work ethic, trustworthiness, and the fact that he's local. When comparing in network versus out of network benefits, the differences are usually not big enough to warrant four hours on the highway to see another dentist. Often your carrier might provide an exception if there isn't a local in network provider. They will not offer this exception option to you, if there is one. You will need to ask for it.
Q: Will you explain my insurance benefits to me?
A: We will do our best to explain the basics in regards to dental benefits. However, your carrier will only provide estimated benefits to us. Consequently when we provide out of pocket estimates to you, they are just that - estimates. In addition the carrier might not provide benefit details to us because we are not a party to the contract. They are not obligated to tell the provider anything but they are obligated to provide information to you. Therefore, it would be best if you contacted your carrier as well to understand your benefits prior to your appointment. If you are ever unhappy with your benefits, you should discuss your concerns with your employer if it's an employer purchased policy. The employer sets the limits and benefits of the policy.
Q: Will your office remind me about my appointments?
A: As a courtesy service, we send out post cards, emails, and text messages. We will also call you if you haven't confirmed your appointment by any of those other methods. You have the ability to opt out of these services by following the directions given.
Q: How is the office utilizing technology? How are the ipads and new signature pads a part of all this?
A: We are in transition to going paperless and chartless. Our new website allows you to access New Patient Forms and fill them out in the convenience of your home. We also have new "kiosks" in the office where ipads are used to access paperwork for existing and new patients. The consent forms allow you to "check" that you are in agreement to our office and/or financial policies and the signature pad captures your signed agreement to the forms you just "checked." Printed forms are available for you to take home, if requested.
Q: Does Dr. Moriarty accept payment plans?
A: Yes. CitiHealth and CareCredit are third party contractors who provide no interest and interest payment plans. Once approved, you can use your plan at any participating provider including the eye doctor and veterinarians.
Q: Why can't I make an exam appointment on the same day as my periodontal maintenance cleaning? Or - why can't I make a pano x-ray appointment the same day as when bite-wings are taken?
A: Some insurance carriers have specific claim processing guidelines that don't make sense to dental staff or patients. Several carriers will downgrade or not pay benefits when a periodontal exam (code D0180) is scheduled the same day as periomaintenance (D4910). This means that the exam benefit is either denied or paid at a lower reimbursement rate. The same rational applies to the pano x-ray. Rather than accept the lower reimbursement rate, this office chooses to schedule these appointments on different days. Because the dental policy is a contract between the employer and the insurance carrier, the employer must request any changes. If you are unhappy with the frequency limitations or claims handling policies of your policy, please discuss those issues with your human resources manager.
ABOUT ORAL HEALTH.
Q: Which type of toothbrush should I use?
A: The brand of the toothbrush is not as critical as the type of bristle and the size of the head. A soft toothbrush with a small head is recommended because medium and hard brushes tend to cause irritation and contribute to recession of the gums, and a small head allows you to get around each tooth more completely and is less likely to injure your gums. It's unnecessary to "scrub" the teeth as long as you are brushing at least twice a day and visiting your dentist at least twice a year for cleanings.
Q: Is one toothpaste better than others?
A: Generally, no. However, it's advisable to use a fluoride containing toothpaste to decrease the incidence of dental decay. We recommend our patients use what tastes good to them as long as it contains fluoride.
Q: How often should I floss?
A: Flossing of the teeth once per day helps to prevent cavities from forming between the teeth where your toothbrush can't reach. Flossing also helps to keep your gums healthy.
Q: What's the difference between a "crown" and a "cap"?
A: These are restorations to repair a severely broken tooth by covering all or most of the tooth after removing old fillings, fractured tooth structure, and all decay. The restoration material is made of gold, porcelain, composites, or even stainless steel. Dentists refer to all of these restorations as "crowns". However, patients often refer to the tooth-colored ones as "caps" and the gold or stainless steel ones as "crowns".
Q: What's the difference between a "bridge" and a "partial denture"?
A: Both bridges and partial dentures replace missing teeth. A bridge is permanently attached to abutment teeth or, in some cases, implants. A partial denture is attached by clasps to the teeth and is easily removed by the patient. Patients are usually more satisfied with bridges than with partial dentures.
Q: What about "silver" fillings versus "white" fillings?
A: Although the U.S. Public Health Service issued a report in 1993 stating there is no health reason not to use amalgam (silver fillings), more patients today are requesting "white" or tooth-colored composite fillings usually for a cosmetic reason. You should be aware that your insurance company may not cover a "tooth colored" filling over a silver one.
Q: Do I need to have a root canal just because I have to have a crown?
A: No. While most teeth which have had root canal treatments do need crowns to strengthen the teeth and to return the teeth to normal form and function, not every tooth needing a crown also needs to have a root canal.