We’re very excited that you are considering Firehouse Kids Dentistry to provide your child’s dental care. We will give you our very best.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry suggests that a child’s first visit should take place about 6 months after the eruption of the first tooth. This allows Dr. Vissichelli to spot any potential problems, and to introduce you and your child to dental hygiene practices that ensure the best dental health later in life. Remember, a lifetime of good dental health starts in infancy.
After that initial visit, we hope to see your child regularly every 6 months. These visits include the cleaning, full oral examination, hygiene and healthy eating instructions, and fluoride application. Depending on the circumstances, X-rays will be taken if necessary.
We allow one parent to stay with their child during this and all visits.
You can help make the first visit to the dentist enjoyable and productive. Your child should be told of the visit and that Dr. Vissichelli and his staff will explain everything and answer questions. Thank goodness, there have been many important developments in pediatric dentistry in recent years. Our positive attitude, slow and gentle explanations called “Tell, Show, Do,” and honest answers will hopefully demonstrate that caring for your child is what we do best.
Your positive attitude, too, will make all the difference in how your child responds, no matter what your past dental experiences have been. This is your chance to help him or her “get off on the right foot” with their dental health.
How are appointments scheduled?
The office attempts to schedule appointments at your convenience. Appointments for preschool children should be scheduled in the morning when they are alert and our staff can spend more time with them. Appointments for school children needing significant treatment should be scheduled in the morning for the same reason.
Dental appointments are an excused absence, and our staff will provide an excuse at the time of the appointment. Regular dental care prevents the need for long appointments.
Our Office Policy on Dental Insurance
If we have received all of your insurance information on the day of the appointment, we will be happy to file your claim for you. You must be familiar with your insurance benefits, as we will collect from you the estimated amount insurance is not expected to pay. By law your insurance company is required to pay each claim within 30 days of receipt. We file all insurance electronically so your insurance company will receive each claim within days of the treatment. You are responsible for any balance on your account after 30 days, whether insurance has paid or not. If you have not paid your balance within 60 days, a finance charge of 1.5% will be added to your account each month until paid. We will be glad to send a refund to you once insurance has paid us.
We will attempt to schedule appointments at your convenience. Most children do better in the morning when they are fresher. A parent or legal guardian must accompany children under the age of 18 to all appointments. Please let us know of any changes at least 24 hours in advance. The appointment time can then be made available to others.
We will make every effort to be on time for your child’s appointment and ask that you arrive promptly at your scheduled time. Occasionally, an emergency may occur which may cause a slight delay. No charge will be made for rescheduling your appointment, provided 24 hour notice is given so that your child’s time can be given to another patient. If an appointment is missed without prior notification, our office reserves the right to charge a missed appointment fee.
Do I Stay with My Child During the Visit?
Parents are invited back during the initial exam. This allows Dr. Vincent Vissichelli to meet you and also discuss his findings and any treatment that may be necessary.
Fees, Payments and Insurance
Payment is due at each visit for services rendered. Following the first visit, when a financial agreement has been established, we may accept assignment of insurance benefits. In order for our office to accept payment of your insurance benefits, we need a copy of a completed and signed insurance form.
If your child’s treatment program requires several visits, you will be given an estimate and asked to discuss definite financial arrangements with our office business staff. Our office accepts MasterCard, Visa, cash and checks. CareCredit is also available which offers flexible and convenient payment plans. Please see that our office business staff is made aware of any insurance change. The accuracy of all information on these forms helps prompt processing by insurance companies. Any balance remaining will be due at the time a statement is presented by our office.
For separated or divorced parents, the parent who brings the child to the office is responsible for payment of fees charged for that child’s care. If another agrees to payment responsibility, that person must provide an acknowledgment in writing of their desire to pay for care. It is the responsibility of the person bringing the child to the office to obtain a written agreement and to inform the other person of care being provided.
Fact 1 – NO INSURANCE PAYS 100% OF ALL PROCEDURES
Dental insurance is meant to be an aid in receiving dental care. Many patients think that their insurance pays 90%-100% of all dental fees. This is not true! Most plans only pay between 50%-80% of the average total fee. Some pay more, some pay less. The percentage paid is usually determined by how much you or your employer has paid for coverage or the type of contract your employer has set up with the insurance company.
Fact 2 – BENEFITS ARE NOT DETERMINED BY OUR OFFICE
You may have noticed that sometimes your dental insurer reimburses you or the dentist at a lower rate than the dentist’s actual fee. Frequently, insurance companies state that the reimbursement was reduced because your dentist’s fee has exceeded the usual, customary, or reasonable fee (“UCR”) used by the company.
A statement such as this gives the impression that any fee greater than the amount paid by the insurance company is unreasonable or well above what most dentists in the area charge for a certain service. This can be very misleading and simply is not accurate..
Insurance companies set their own schedules and each company uses a different set of fees they consider allowable. These allowable fees may vary widely because each company collects fee information from claims it processes. The insurance company then takes this data and arbitrarily chooses a level they call the “allowable” UCR Fee. Frequently this data can be three to five years old and these “allowable” fees are set by the insurance company so they can make a net 20%-30% profit.
Unfortunately, insurance companies imply that your dentist is “overcharging” rather than say that they are “underpaying” or that their benefits are low. In general, the less expensive insurance policy will use a lower usual, customary, or reasonable (UCR) figure.
Fact 3 – DEDUCTIBLES & CO-PAYMENTS MUST BE CONSIDERED
When estimating dental benefits, deductibles and percentages must be considered. To illustrate, assume the fee for service is $150.00. Assuming that the insurance company allows $150.00 as its usual and customary (UCR) fee, we can figure out what benefits will be paid. First a deductible (paid by you), on average $50, is subtracted, leaving $100.00. The plan then pays 80% for this particular procedure. The insurance company will then pay 80% of $100.00, or $80.00. Out of a $150.00 fee they will pay an estimated $80.00 leaving a remaining portion of $70.00 (to be paid by the patient). Of course, if the UCR is less than $150.00 or your plan pays only at 50% then the insurance benefits will also be significantly less.
MOST IMPORTANTLY, please keep us informed of any insurance changes such as policy name, insurance company address, or a change of employment.
There are some insurance companies that will only pay to YOU as the subscriber. If this is the case with your insurance, we do expect that you pay for services in full. We will still file the claim for you as a courtesy, and you can expect a check from the insurance company to be sent to you within a few weeks.
Our practice grows through referrals from our patients. We sincerely appreciate your recommendation of our office to your friends and neighbors. We thank you for your trust.
Our regular office hours are Monday-Thursday, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Upon your arrival, please be sure to check in at the front. The children are seen according to the schedule they are assigned. It is our sincere desire to keep our schedule running as smoothly as possible. We realize that your time is important, and it is our plan to provide your child’s dental care promptly.
The purpose of recare visits is to periodically evaluate your child’s dental health, growth, and development. The length of time between these visits is planned according to decay activity and anticipated changes with the permanent teeth. We will visually examine the teeth and surrounding tissue. We may take X-rays when indicated to check for decay between the teeth, infection of the gums and bone, and to evaluate position and location of unerupted teeth. The bite is evaluated for change. If any appliances are worn, they are checked for effectiveness and fit. The teeth are cleaned and fluoride is topically applied.
Since oral hygiene is most important for good dental health, we thoroughly evaluate your child’s ability to clean his/her teeth. After the teeth have been brushed by the child, we may evaluate the results with the aid of a coloring solution. Following a review with your child of how and where to clean, he/she brushes again. We feel this gives an excellent evaluation of your child’s daily ability to clean the teeth.
If an accident occurs to your child’s mouth It is our hope to make ourselves available to care for that emergency. During regular office hours your child should be brought to the office as soon as possible. When the office is closed call the office and follow the instructions provided on our phone answering machine. After office hours or on the week-ends we will do our best to respond as quickly as possible.
An injury to the mouth which results in any of the following should be seen as soon as possible:
- There is difficulty and/or pain when opening and closing the jaw or you suspect a fractured jaw.
- Primary or permanent teeth are displaced from their original position.
- You have reason to believe that all or part of a primary or permanent tooth did not come out or you can not find the tooth.
- A permanent tooth has been knocked out. Best to rinse (DON’T SCRUB) and push back into the gum from where the tooth came; hold in place until you see the dentist. If you can’t put the tooth in place, then keep it wet and see the dentist.
- More than 1 1/2mm is broken off primary or permanent tooth. For permanent teeth, place the broken piece in water and bring to the office with you.
- Cuts are found in the lips, gums, roof of the mouth and/or tongue.
For other types of emergencies, during office hours, call the office and ask the staff to arrange a time or you in the schedule. After office hours or on weekends, follow the same instructions as for accidents.
Office Visit Guidelines
- NO video recording devices or cell phones are allowed in the clinical area.
- NO food and drink are allowed in the office. To uphold our stringent standards of infection control neither food nor drink are allowed in the treatment area or waiting room area.
Payment for professional services is due at the time dental treatment is provided. Every effort will be made to provide a treatment plan which takes into account your time, finances, and gives your child the best possible care. We accept cash, personal checks, debit cards and most major credit cards.
If we have received all of your insurance information on the day of the appointment, we will be happy to file your claim for you. You must be familiar with your insurance benefits, as we will collect from you the estimated amount insurance is not expected to pay. By law your insurance company is required to pay each claim within 30 days of receipt. We file all insurance electronically, so your insurance company will receive each claim within days of the treatment. You are responsible for any balance on your account after 30 days, whether insurance has paid or not. If you have not paid your balance within 60 days a re-billing fee of 1.5% will be added to your account each month until paid. We will be glad to send a refund to you if your insurance overpays us.
PLEASE UNDERSTAND that are not responsible for how your insurance company handles its claims or for what benefits they pay on a claim. We can only assist you in estimating your portion of the cost of treatment. We at no time guarantee what your insurance will or will not do with each claim. We also cannot be responsible for any errors in filing your insurance. Once again, we file claims as a courtesy to you.