Appointments 
Do I Stay with My Child During the Visit?
What About Finances?
Our Office Policy Regarding Dental Insurance

Our Sterilization Techniques
Contact Us / Map & Directions

 


Appointments

Our office attempts to schedule appointments at your convenience and when time is available. Preschool children should be seen in the morning because they are fresher and we can work more slowly with them for their comfort. School children with a lot of work to be done should be seen in the morning for the same reason. Dental appointments are an excused absence. Missing school can be kept to a minimum when regular dental care is continued.

If you cannot keep your scheduled appointment we ask for at least 24 hours notice.  A $25.00 fee will be charged for a second failed appointment.  Multiple failed appointments will result in discharge from our care.  Any failed appointment on school holidays will result in a $50.00 charge per appointment.
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Do I Stay with My Child During the Visit?

We invite you to stay with your child during the initial examination.  For subsequent appointments, we suggest you allow your child to accompany our staff through the dental experience.  We can usually establish a closer rapport with your child when you are not present. Our purpose is to gain your child's confidence and overcome apprehension.  However, if you choose, you may come with your child to the treatment room but you must be a “silent observer.” It is extremely important that your child pay close attention to our instructions and that they are not distracted at all by your presence.  For the safety and privacy of all patients, other children who are not being treated should remain in the reception room with a supervising adult.  Remember our motto, “all unsupervised children will be given an espresso and a free puppy!”
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What About Finances?

Full payment for professional services is due at the time dental treatment is provided. Every effort will be made to provide a treatment plan which fits your timetable and budget, and gives your child the best possible care. We accept cash, personal checks, debit cards and most major credit cards.
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Our Office Policy Regarding Dental Insurance

If you have any questions regarding your dental insurance or any billing questions, please contact our office manager, Christine Bartholomey, by phone 410-771-8200 or email at sparksvalleydental@hotmail.com.

Your dental insurance policy is an agreement between you and your insurance company.  Please be aware that some, if not all, of the services provided may be non-covered services and, therefore, are your responsibility.  If your insurance company has not paid your claim within 45 days, the balance will automatically be billed to you. You and not your 'insurance company are responsible for your account. You are expected to pay your estimated portion at the time of service. Any balance will be billed to you and payment is expected within 30 days. If your insurance company has not paid your claim within 30 days, the balance will automatically be billed to you. In the event of an account overpayment, we will refund the difference to you.

Accounts are considered past due after 30 days. Past due accounts will be charged a Rebilling/ Finance Charge of $5.00 per month. Checks returned by your bank will be subject to a return check fee.  Accounts turned over to our collection agency or attorney, and sent to court, will be subject to reasonable attorney's fees and court costs.

Fact 1 - NO INSURANCE PAYS 100% OF ALL PROCEDURES
Dental insurance is meant to be an aid in obtaining 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 have 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.

Change in CareFirst Participation:

As we announced in April of 2009, as of January 1, 2010 our office will no longer be a participating provider for CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield.  You will be responsible for payment in full at the time of your child’s dental visit.  We will, as a courtesy to you, submit your claim to CareFirst and they will reimburse you for whatever costs are covered by your particular plan.  Please note that your insurance will NOT cover all expenses.  Our office staff will be glad to assist you in understanding this change in policy.  Please feel free to contact our office manager with any questions you might have.  We will, as always, provide you with the proper dental codes so that you will be able to contact CareFirst and determine ahead of time, what your insurance will and will not cover.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, please keep us informed of any insurance changes such as policy name, insurance company address, or a change of employment.

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Our Sterilization Techniques

Your Children Are Safe in Our Dental Office

As many of you may have seen or heard over the last few weeks, an Oral Surgeon in Oklahoma allegedly exposed his patients and staff to infectious diseases by not properly sterilizing his instruments. Upon further investigation, local enforcement agencies found “major violations” of health and safety laws.

We, at Dentistry For Kids, wanted to take this opportunity to assure you that your children are quite safe in the care given at our pediatric dental practice.

All instruments we use in the mouth are either disposable (and thrown out after each patient) or sterilized by a modern and well maintained Autoclave. An Autoclave is a machine that sterilizes equipment by subjecting them to high pressure saturated steam heat. The machine is designed to reach a high temperature for a calculated amount of time so that it will kill bacteria (organisms that are involved in disease) and spores (germ cells.) Please understand that we also have fail safe methods to ensure that the machine is working properly. First, our instruments are placed in bags that change color when the appropriate settings on the autoclave are reached. This way we can monitor each load to make sure the machine reached the appropriate temperatures and settings. Second, we place a test strip in our machine weekly that is sent out to an independent lab to check for any bacteria or spores that may have not been “killed” in our autoclave. The results from this lab are kept in a log book as required by law.

Other ways we protect our patients:

  1. All surfaces in the office that can be contaminated by blood or saliva are either covered by a barrier of plastic or something similar, which is changed after each patient. If a barrier is not able to be placed, the surface is cleaned with a surface disinfectant after each patient.

  2. All anesthetic (numbing medicine) is delivered in disposable unit carpules of medication and syringes. If they are not completely used on a patient, they are thrown out after the procedure. Every patient will have new carpules and syringes during their treatment.

  3. You will notice at all our clinical sinks both soap and hand sanitizers are present. We use these between each patient when washing our hands. We also wear masks and gloves when examining or working on every patient. Our lab jackets are also another form of barrier protections and they are washed here in our office and changed daily or more frequently if they are soiled or contaminated.

  4. We have a written infection control procedure for all of this in our office as required by The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and The Maryland Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MOSHA.) Every year our staff is required to participate in an in office OSHA / MOSHA training session. This is to protect the doctors and staff and more importantly, our patients. In addition, we are required every two years to take a two hour class outside the office with infection control as the subject. We choose to take it yearly with all our staff that is involved in sterilization and infection control.

A review of the Oklahoma story indicates that the equipment used in that office was dirty, rusty, re-used and not sterilized between patients. There were no tests sent out to an independent lab to verify sterilization and equipment operation. No logs were kept to monitor any equipment.

We follow the many guidelines in our office for proper sterilization and infection control protocol including the American Dental Association (ADA), The Maryland State Dental Association (MSDA), The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), The Maryland Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MOSHA.)

Our goal is to treat and care for your children as we do our own. Please remember that our children are treated here as well. We use the same equipment and instruments on them as we do on your children. So, rest assured that we are providing safe care for your family.

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Contact Us

100 Sparks Valley Road, Suite C
Hunt Valley, Maryland 21152


Phone: (410) 771-8200      Fax: (410) 771-8201
Email: 
TheDentist4Kids@comcast.net

 

Map & Directions
You can use York Road or 1-83 to York Road to get to our office

From the South:
Take 1-83 North
Exit on Shawan Road East Exit 20A towards Cockeysville
Bear right onto Shawan Road East
At the 3rd Traffic Light Turn Left onto York Road / MD-45
Stay on York Road about 1.4 miles, go up a large hill
At the Traffic Light Turn Left onto Sparks Valley Road
Make an immediate Right at 100 Sparks Valley Road
Look for the Dentistry for Kids Sign

From the North:
Take 1-83 South
Exit on Belfast Road East Exit 24 towards Butler/Sparks
Slight left to take ramp towards MD-45 Sparks
Turn Left onto Belfast Road for about 1.2 miles
Turn Right onto York Road / MD 45 for about 2 miles
Turn Right at the Traffic Light onto Sparks Valley Road
Make an immediate Right at 100 Sparks Valley Road
Look for the Dentistry for Kids Sign

 


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