Dental Insurance Benefits for 2018: USE It OR LOSE It



Are you aware that dental insurance benefits reset on January 1st each year? It’s true. Most dental plans are based on a calendar year and any unused benefits will be lost, if you don’t use them on or before December 31st.


Dental Insurance:

If you have dental treatments that have not yet been treated (or a nagging toothache that you know is only going to get worse), this is a great time of year to take advantage of everything your dental insurance plan includes.

If you’re getting close to your annual maximum, it’s possible to create a plan to maximize your benefits by splitting your treatment between this year and next year; which allows you to use the your remaining benefits this year and take advantage of your renewed benefits after the new year starts. For example, if you need a root canal; your endodontic (root canal) treatment can be completed before December 31st and your crown can be completed in January.

This approach can help minimize out-of-pocket expenses by using your coverage in an optimal way. And, if you need more assistance with making the costs manageable, financing options like CareCredit can give you the opportunity to spread out-of-pocket costs over a time period that is manageable for you.


Out-of-Network Options:

But did you know that you can still see an Out-of-Network Dentist for your dental treatment? (Out of network simply means that the dentist providing your care does not have a contract with your dental insurance company.) Patients are often surprised to learn that almost all their treatment was covered to their insured amount.

Sometimes it’s necessary to look outside your in-network dental insurance options for treatment that may need a specialist, or a dentist that specializes in treating multiple dental issues at the same time. You may even need to look outside your network for a dentist who specializes in dental sedation options.

If that sounds like something you need, Dr. Christopher C. Rooney and his team at Convergent Dentistry can help you and even if their office is an Out-of-Network option for you, they will still file your dental insurance claim with your dental insurance company for you so you still get a discounted rate off your out of pocket portion.


Treating Multiple Dental Issues

If you have multiple dental issues that need to be treated, you no longer need to coordinate your own treatment plan by making multiple appointments with multiple specialists in the correct order while incorporating necessary time to heal before your next appointment.

Sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it? It is, but they do it for you and the benefits are so worth it!

Many times a regular dentist can help pinpoint the cause of your dental issues; however, diagnosing your course of treatment and creating a personalized treatment schedule is not something most general dentists will do, especially when they are not doing all of the treatment themselves. Years of education in dental specialties is needed to provide this level of care to patients, such as endodontics, periodontics, prosthodontics and oral surgery, along with advanced sedation techniques to cure patients with multiple dental issues.

Many general dentists don’t provide this level of skill, knowledge or expertise; however, for some people who have avoided dental treatment due to fear or trauma, incorporating multiple treatments is a very real necessity. Patients are often surprised to learn that almost of these treatments are covered to their insured amount.

What are the benefits of incorporating multiple treatments?

  • Issues can be resolved in fewer appointments
  • All of your treatments are completed at one location
  • Skilled in oral rehabilitation
  • A higher level of patient comfort is offered, including Anesthesia and sedation techniques
  • Minimally-invasive techniques are used which gives patients less pain and damage to healthy teeth and tissues
  • Your dental fear issues can be accommodated
  • Individualized treatment plan
  • Works with referring dentists
  • They frequently work with out of town clients
  • Patients have improved self-esteem and self-image

It’s important to find a dentist who will customize your treatment options to return you to better oral health more easily, economically and timely compared to traditional treatment options.


Solutions for Dental Fear and Anxiety

Some dental patients have had negative or traumatic past experiences that have left them with dental anxieties and phobias that include: fear of pain, embarrassment and loss of personal space; many people are uncomfortable with the dentist or hygienist working so physically close to their face.

One of the solutions that can be offered is dental sedation. Whether you need light sedation, Nitrous Oxide can be used, or moderate / extensive sedation where an injectable sedation can be administered. Unfortunately, there are not many dental offices that specialize in these options, as IV Sedation dentists are highly-trained professionals that want their patients to be as comfortable and relaxed as possible.


Dental Sedation Options:

It’s important for patients to understand their options for sedation and below you’ll find a brief description of each of the three types of sedation dentistry that can be offered.


Option 1: Nitrous Oxide | Sedation for Light Dental Treatment

Type: Gas

Description: Nitrous Oxide is the oldest dental sedative technique, dating back to the 1860’s. Effectiveness and safety have been proven time and time again. It is a gas that is breathed through a nose piece. The nitrous oxide is carefully mixed with oxygen by a special dispenser designed for dental sedation. A common name for nitrous oxide is “laughing gas”; however, when carefully administered in a dental setting, there is not an onset of laughter. This is the ideal sedation for short dental treatments.


  • A sense of relaxation is produced
  • Light pain relief is produced along with sedation
  • Patient is able to drive home after the appointment by themselves
  • Dentist is able to control the rate of sedation to accurately produce the desired sedative effect
  • Least expensive form of dental sedation
  • Effects gone when turned off

Option 2: Oral Sedation | Sedation for Light/Moderate Dental Treatment

Type: Oral

Description: Oral sedation is one of the newest methods of anxiety control in dentistry. Recent developments in pharmacology have given dentists oral drugs that produce a profound state of relaxation with a high degree of safety not possible just 10 years ago. A single dose is taken prior to the start of dental treatment. This sedation technique is very well received by patients. The level of sedation is unique to the individual, and may not be completely predictable.


  • Produces a very relaxed state
  • More sedation produced as compared to Nitrous Oxide
  • About 50% of patients have no memory of the dental procedures performed
  • A cost effective form of dental sedation
  • Patients are monitored
  • Requires a driver/chaperone

Option 3: Intravenous Sedation | Sedation for Moderate/Extensive Dental Treatment

Type: Liquid Injectable

Description: Intravenous sedation is the most advanced sedative technique for the comprehensive control of pain and anxiety in dentistry. It dates back to the early 1960’s with use at the Loma Linda University – School of Dentistry. In this technique, a needle is placed into a vein, and then an IV line is attached. The drugs that produce the sedative effects are placed into the IV line. Less than 2% of general dentists have the special permit issued by the Board of Dental Examiners to perform this advanced sedation technique.


  • Produces a profound state of relaxation
  • Dentist is able to carefully control the amount of sedation desired
  • In most cases, amnesia is produced and patients do not remember the procedures performed
  • Superior pain control
  • Patients are monitored and emergency medications are on hand
  • Most effective delivery for sedation
  • Requires a driver/chaperone

Dr. Rooney specializes in providing several levels of dental sedation for his patients; as he and his team take your fears seriously. They offer solutions, as long as you communicate honestly about your fears and what you are feeling.


Offering a Customized, Personal Approach to Dentistry

Dr. Rooney and his expert team at Convergent Dentistry has made conscious decisions to ensure that his practice offers only the highest quality dental care that focuses on restoring beauty and function, while ensuring patient safety and comfort.

Related Article:  Convergent Dentistry in Leawood, KS: Restoring Beauty and Function

Because the focus of the entire practice is on patient care, comfort and overall health, patients benefit from a unique dental experience that offers treatment and services that are simply not available at other local dental practices.

We would love to work with you as you make decisions about your out-of-network dental insurance and service options. The services and treatment options we offer are designed to provide you with the personalized dental care that goes beyond your expectations.

Call Convergent Dentistry at 913-491-9119 or click here to schedule a consultation, or tour our office and see why other patients across the Midwest have joined the Convergent Dentistry Family in Leawood, Kansas.

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