This is a question we are often asked in our dental practice, but the answer to that is a little complicated. When deciding on a dentist for yourself and your family, you want to be sure you are considering a multitude of factors including insurance, but insurance certainly should not be the #1 consideration.
When dental insurance companies develop a “preferred provider” list of dentists, what they are compiling is a list of all dentists who have agreed to take reduced compensation for their services in order to gain the patients who are on that insurance plan. For example, a dentist may charge a certain fee for a filling, but if a patient who is in need of that filling has an insurance plan to which the dentist subscribes, the dentist will be required to accept whatever the negotiated rate is for a filling on that particular plan. So, for example, a $250 filling now becomes a $140 filling. That is a great savings for the patient, but how is the dentist able to accept a 45% reduction in payment for his services? For a dentist to take a reduced rate, he or she must either accept reduced profit or find another way to make up for the lost income. A dentist still has the expense of the staff, the materials, and overhead that must be covered. A compromise must be made somewhere.
For this reason, the team at Cheek Dental for the past 18 years has gladly filed and accepted reimbursement from any insurance company but does not subscribe to any of the dental insurance plans that require us to reduce fees. This allows us to provide the very best care we can, use what we consider to be the best materials, hire educated and experienced staff, and take our time with each patient to ensure that we are providing services and procedures to our patients that will be completed to the best of our ability. We expect excellence of our dentists and team members and feel that in order to demand that of ourselves, we cannot compromise on our time with patients, the materials we use, or the staff we choose to work with us. Unfortunately, insurance companies are more interested in disbursing the lowest payment possible for a procedure with no consideration of quality, degree of service, or patient satisfaction.
So, do we take your dental insurance? The answer is “yes” if your insurance company allows dentists outside of their “preferred provider network” to receive payment for services, and most do. Will you pay more for a particular procedure? Perhaps. But you can expect that the services you receive from the team at Cheek Dental will be an excellent investment in your long-term oral health and that you always will be treated like family, receiving the very best care and attention.
Dr. Cristi Cheek is the owner of Cheek Dental here in East Cobb. You may contact her at 770-993-3775 or visit www.cheekdental.com.
2872 Johnson Ferry Road • 770-993-3775 • www.cheekdental.com