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The coverage provided by dental insurance varies widely between plans. In most cases, your employer will offer one or more plans. The contract established between your employer and insurance provider determines the type of coverage available to you. Dental insurance can be incredibly complex. Figuring out what your insurance plan actually covers can seem overwhelming and is often frustrating, but most dental offices are happy to help you fully understand your coverage.

A Variety of Dental Insurance Plans

There are many providers of dental insurance, all of which offer different levels of coverage. Some of the dental insurance plans on the market include:

  • Delta Dental®
  • Aetna™
  • Guardian™
  • Humana
  • MetLife®
  • CIGNA Dental

How Dental Insurance Works

By purchasing a dental insurance plan, you enter into a contract with the company. They agree to pay certain amounts for certain procedures and you assume responsibility for what they do not cover. Generally, the terms of your coverage are spelled out in the contract. Different plans approach coverage in different ways. Some require you to reach a deductible before paying anything, while others pay a percentage immediately. Understanding the different terms associated with your insurance plan can help you figure out your coverage.

Deductible

A deductible is a minimum amount of money you need to pay towards dental care before your plan coverage starts.

Least Expensive Alternative Treatment (LEAT)

If your plan has a LEAT clause, the company will only pay for the least expensive treatment available for any given condition.

Annual Maximum

Many plans have a cap on how much money they will pay for any given treatment during the year. Anything over that amount becomes your responsibility. For example, if your plan has a annual maximum of $2,000 and your dental expenses exceed $3,000, you have to pay the additional $1,000. In some cases, you can raise your annual maximum to better suit your needs. There is usually a separate lifetime maximum for orthodontics.

Frequency Limitations

Some plans have limitations on how often they will cover a certain procedure. Generally, there is a set number of procedures permitted in a specific period. For example, most dental insurance plans will only cover two professional cleanings every 12 months, or one cleaning every six months.

Charleston Center for Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry

Dr. John F. Rink is committed to personalized excellence in every smile. He has been practicing for over 35 years and is a member of the:

  • American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry
  • American Dental Association
  • South Carolina Dental Association
  • Pankey Institute
  • American Academy of Oral Systematic Health (AAOSH)
  • American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM)

To learn more about our services or schedule a consultation, reach our practice online or call (843) 806-3972.

Understanding Your Benefits

If you are confused about your coverage, you can ask the staff at your dentist’s office to help you or call your insurance provider directly. You can also ask your provider for an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) which lists the procedures your plan does and does not cover. 

Making the Right Choice for You

When deciding whether to undergo a certain dental treatment, it is important to consider more than your insurance coverage. The least expensive treatment option may not be the right one for you. Be sure to discuss all aspects of your coverage and treatment plan with your dentist before making a decision.

Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19 View Update

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To Our Wonderful Family of Patients:

Last night, my wife Connie and I enjoyed the most delicious take-out dinner from FIG restaurant. As always, the food was excellent; however, it was most satisfying to see the local restaurant, along with others, begin its comeback. Our resilient city feels like it is coming back to life—parks are opening and folks and families are enjoying the wonderful spring Charleston air. The Rink dental team is, too, readying itself for the next chapter of practicing dentistry as the community begins reopening its doors.

We are concentrating on continuing to advance our rock-solid foundation of state-of-the-art infection control. We were blessed to keep our dedicated and passionate team employed during the crisis, and have devoted the entire month of April to research, systematically developing, purchasing and installing the best additional infection control protocols and equipment available. We are ready. This month we will begin the process of a “soft opening” of our practice. What this means for our patients is a resumption of the same excellent restorative, esthetic, and preventive care in the safest and most secure environment available anywhere.

Additional safety steps will include asking our patients to wait for their appointments in their cars rather than in the reception area. We will ask that you take a moment to fill out a short questionnaire upon your arrival regarding your health and recent travels. We will take everyone’s temperature (including the team) with a forehead scanner as you enter the practice. We will clean and disinfect all touchpoints in the office in between each patient. We have procured the highest quality KN95 masks and face shields for the staff and have carefully researched and purchased the most advanced aerosol containment and purification systems available for the safety of all our patients. These are a few examples of how we have added additional layers of protection for your and our staff’s benefit.

Finally, I wholly understand that each one of you is an individual with specific desires, needs, and comfort levels. I want you to know that we are here to actively listen to you and to create the best environment for your emotional health. Some will be ready sooner than others to receive care again at our office. Let’s keep the lines of communication open and please know that our relationship with you and your family is our highest priority.

We look forward to reuniting with everyone but until that time it is our wish that you enjoy good health, good spirits, and peace.

To your optimal dental health,

- John F. Rink, DDS, AAACD and team

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