May 16th, 2013
Emergency rooms are for emergencies, so before you head to the hospital because of a dental problem, you need to ask yourself this question: Is what you’re experiencing really a medical emergency? While emergency room visits for dental related issues are on the rise across the United States , they’re not necessarily the best solution for every problem. Many people don’t know about emergency dental care services, many of which are available 24/7, and so they go to the ER.
These types of statistics are common across the country. However, despite the numbers, not all dental problems are created equal. If you’ve experienced some type of injury to your mouth, jaw, or face, then an ER visit is a good idea, but if you’re suffering from a toothache, cavity, or broken crown or veneer, then the ER is not the best place to handle the situation. If you’re having a dental emergency, then seeking emergency dental care should be your course of action.
Seeking Long-Term Solutions
The ER doesn’t provide a long-term solution to your dental issue; it only gives you temporary relief. There’s a chance they will simply hand you a prescription for pain medication and tell you to call your dentist in the morning. In the end, you’re going to be saddled with two medical bills, and nobody wants that. Even if the ER outfits you with a temporary crown or filling, you’re still going to have to make a follow-up appointment our office.
There are numerous homemade remedies that can sooth tooth and gum pain. However, if you’re experiencing a dental emergency, the ER is not the place to go. The specialized emergency team at Thomas W. Watkins, DDS is available to take care of every dental problem you may have. In the case of a dental emergency, don’t wait any longer than necessary. Feel free to contact our Bloomington, IN office at any time, day or night.
May 9th, 2013
Unless you work for an insurance company, you probably do not spend a lot of your time studying all the terminology that dental insurance companies use to describe the treatments and services they cover. If it seems pretty confusing, here are some of the most commonly used dental insurance terms and what they mean.
A Basic Glossary
Annual Maximum–The maximum amount your policy will pay per year for dental care at Thomas W. Watkins, DDS. It is often divided into costs per individual, and (if you are on a family plan) per family
Co-payment– An amount the patient pays at the time of service before receiving care, and before the insurance pays for any portion of the care
Covered Services– A list of all the treatments, services, and procedures the insurance policy will cover under your contract
Deductible– A dollar amount that you must pay out of pocket each year before the insurance company will pay for any treatments or procedures
Diagnostic/Preventive Services– A category of treatments or procedures that most insurance will cover before the deductible which may include services like routine checkups with Dr. Thomas Watkins, cleanings, X-rays, fluoride treatments, and evaluations
In-Network and Out-of-Network– A list of providers that are part of an insurance company’s “network”
- If you visit in-network providers, the insurance company will typically cover a larger portion of the cost of the care you receive. If you visit someone who is not part of the network, known as an out-of-network provider, the insurance company may pay for a portion of the care, but you will pay a significantly larger share from your own pocket.
Lifetime Maximum– The maximum amount that a dental insurance plan will pay toward dental care for an individual or family (if you have an applicable family plan)
- This is not a per-year maximum, but rather a maximum that can be paid over the entire life of the patient.
Limitations/Exclusions– A list of all the procedures a dental insurance policy does not cover
- Coverage may limit the timing or frequency of a specific treatment or procedure (only covering a certain number within a calendar year), or may exclude some treatments entirely. Knowing the limitations and exclusions of a policy is very important.
Member/Insured/Covered Person/Beneficiary/Enrollee– Someone who is eligible to receive benefits under a dental insurance plan
Provider– Dr. Thomas Watkins or other oral health specialist who provides treatment
Waiting Period– A specified amount of time that the patient must be enrolled with an insurance plan before it will pay for certain treatments; waiting periods may be waived if you were previously enrolled in another dental insurance plan with a different carrier
There are many different insurance options available, so you need to find out exactly what your insurance covers. It’s important to review your plan with a qualified insurance specialist. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the policy so you can understand it fully and be confident that you know everything your policy covers the next time you come in for treatment at our Bloomington, IN office.
May 2nd, 2013
Did you know the month of May is designated National Physical Fitness and Sports Month? After all, there isn’t a better time to celebrate physical activity as when the warm weather and sunshine makes its way back into our lives!
Now that the flowers are in bloom and the weather has warmed up, it’s easier to go outside and soak up the sun. After spending the winter working out in gyms or doing crunches at home, exercising outdoors can be a lot more enjoyable as well. Whether you enjoy hikes, jogging, or biking, spring gives us a chance to smell the grass, take in the rays, and enjoy the blue sky—all senses that we just can’t duplicate at the gym.
If jogging or biking isn’t your cup of tea, we encourage you to try a sport! Sports have some amazing qualities that we often overlook. Team sports like baseball and soccer, and individual sports like golf and tennis can improve your coordination and agility, in addition to building determination, confidence, drive, hard-work, pride, leadership, and time management.
At Thomas W. Watkins, DDS, we always encourage our patients to stay fit by exercising or participating in sports. However, we want to remind you to always wear a mouthguard or other form of facial protection when playing sports. To learn more about how often your child should exercise, or to ask us about obtaining a mouthguard, please give us a call!
April 25th, 2013
Regardless of the type of dental emergency you experience, it is important that you visit Thomas W. Watkins, DDS for emergency dental care as soon as possible. A chipped or cracked tooth requires professional attention, as bacteria may gather in these areas, potentially causing infection that could require a root canal. Remember, you may be capable of managing pain, bleeding, and swelling at home, but by visiting our office for immediate treatment, you can fight infections and minimize lasting damage to your mouth, teeth, and gums under the expert care of our emergency dentist.
24/7 Emergency Dental Care
Thomas W. Watkins, DDS is proud to offer emergency dental care around the clock, seven days a week. Dental emergencies do not wait for regular business hours, and if you experience a serious dental emergency, you need immediate treatment. Whether you have a broken tooth or if you have bitten through your tongue, do not hesitate to visit us day or night. Until you arrive at our office, however, there are some helpful steps you can take if you encounter a serious dental dilemma.
Managing Your Dental Emergency
If a toothache is causing problems, you can probably keep the discomfort under control until our emergency dentist can treat you. Start by checking the gums that surround the affected tooth for inflammation, bleeding, or foreign objects. There may be food lodged in the gum that could be removed by flossing. You can control pain by placing a cold compress against your mouth, or by using an over-the-counter oral numbing agent.
More serious situations may be extremely time sensitive, and require immediate emergency attention. For example, if a tooth is completely knocked out, carefully clean it with water. Try to place the tooth back into its socket or briefly store it in a cup of milk if it will not fit back into the gum. Never pick up a tooth by the root or force it into the socket. Come straight to our office, as your tooth will need to be replaced within a short amount of time. Similarly, if you have bitten through your lip or tongue, the American Dental Association recommends carefully cleaning the area before coming as quickly as you can to our emergency dental office for treatment.
Remember, there is no reason you should live with discomfort. By visiting our Bloomington, IN office immediately in an emergency, you can take control of your oral health comfortably and safely.