Q: Are metal/mercury amalgam fillings safe or not? Do I need to replace my old amalgam fillings?
A: According to current American Dental Association guidelines, amalgam fillings are still considered acceptably safe. However, there are dentists as well as patients who strongly believe that all amalgam fillings must go. At IQ Dental Group, we agree with the ADA and would like to be conservative about dental treatment to the extent practicable. Our recommendation is this: if you already have existing amalgam fillings and they are relatively small, are still in good shape, and you do not have any cosmetic or functional problems with them, we do not recommend removing all of them as doing so is simply too aggressive and unnecessary. On the other hand, if you are cosmetically concerned, feel uncomfortable with them; the old fillings are too large and cracking, or are too worn down to predictably last much longer; or the tooth has developed a new cavity or chip, then we would recommend replacing the old amalgam fillings with new composite fillings, inlays&onlays, or possibly crowns depending on the situation. While amalgams do have few specific clinical advantages over composites, we strongly recommend against placing new amalgam fillings from now on if you need a new filling because on net, the newer composite fillings have more clinical advantages over amalgams. At IQ Dental Group we only use quality composite fillings or fluoride-releasing glass ionomer fillings.
Q: Does IQ Dental Group accept my insurance?
A: We do work with dental insurance plans, but not all. While some dental insurance plans are excellent at making dental care more affordable, many others often place severe restrictions on the specific types of dental procedures that are covered, the types of materials and medicaments that can be used, when and how often they can be done, etc. Some plans may unfortunately even give unscrupulous doctors perverse incentives to diagnose and treatment plan a certain particular way. We at IQ Dental Group refuse to allow our standards of service and care to be adversely influenced by the limitations and disincentives of specific insurance plans; we objectively serve and care for our patients based on what's clinically the most ideal or the most reasonable treatment plan. The doctors and staff of IQ Dental Group place great emphasis on affordability and convenience for our patients, but we first and foremost stick to our Values of Integrity and quality; we will not work with certain insurance plans if doing so compromises Integrity in our Service and Quality in our Care. Come in or call us for more information. We will reasonably work with you with or without insurance.
Q: I think I have “good” dental insurance; shouldn’t all of my dental work be covered? Can I just only do treatment that is covered?
A: Please understand that insurance companies, just like most other commercial entities, are generally financially driven. The bottom line is they are in business by collecting in premiums and not by paying out for treatments. The specific coverage benefits for each dental plan are highly different and may or may not be appropriately geared towards every patient’s unique needs. Coverage can even vary within different insurance plan sub-groups as well as change with time. Please carefully review all insurance paperwork including any and all copayments, limitations and exclusions. At IQ Dental Group, we believe our duty as healthcare providers is to always discuss with our patients the clinical considerations of their oral healthcare first. We never presume to take treatment options on or off the table based on the extent of insurance coverage. If multiple reasonable treatment options exist for a certain dental problem, we encourage our patients to make an informed decision by pragmatically taking into account all factors both clinical and financial. Sometimes the most rational treatment option may be clinically sub-optimal but is still reasonable and offers better value because of insurance coverage. However, we will decline to do procedures that are clinically inappropriate and/or unjustified regardless of whether they are covered by dental insurance or not.
Q: What happens if I cannot afford all of the dental care that I need or I do not have enough time to complete all of the proposed treatment?
A: The doctors of IQ Dental Group formulate and present treatment plans based on what is clinically the most ideal or the most reasonable and rational way to go, based on an objective assessment of our patients' oral conditions and overall health combined with our patients' own concerns and expectations. If unfortunately cost and time become limiting factors, we work with our patients to prioritize treatment plans into phases to do the most that we can given the constraints of the particular case situation. Typically, the highest priority would be given to any active emergency issues such as pain and/or infection, followed by other problems starting with the worst ones first, with elective procedures deferred last. Whatever constraints you may have with regards to dental care, the doctors and staff of IQ Dental Group will always work with you to do the most and best that is possible.
Q: I have had bad experiences with dentists before or I am terribly afraid of any and all dental visits, what should I do?
A: You are most definitely not alone! Many people suffer from dentophobia or have had some bad experiences with prior dentists. However, simply ignoring dental problems often lead to bigger dental and even health problems down the road requiring additional treatment which may be even more extensive. Please contact us to setup a simple examination appointment and consultation so that we may at least discuss and talk over your concerns and options. Give us a chance to work with you: we are confident that in most cases, simply working with a doctor whom you feel comfortable with will help with anxiety over dental treatment. If necessary, there are many additional options which can be explored, including anxiety medications and sedation dentistry. However, the first and most important step is simply to at least discuss what specific concerns you may have. IQ Dental Group would be most happy to help you; please contact us today!