Category

Uncategorized

Insurance101

What you need to know about Dental Insurance

By | Featured, Health & Wellness, Uncategorized

At Smile Dental Partners, our Treatment Coordinators specialize in helping you reach your goals by estimating any investment you may have in your treatment.  We reduce surprises in your portion of payment by using the most comprehensive dental insurance software available to keep your insurance information up to date and creating financial treatment plans.

Insurance has become more complicated in recent years, and dental insurance is no exception.  There are thousands of different dental plans, and each policy has distinct benefits and rules of coverage that are determined by both the insurance company and your employer.

Policies can change your benefits and rules of coverage at any time.  Insurance companies do not notify dental offices of your changes.  While we attempt to update our information about your policies on an annual basis, we may only become aware of changes upon filing a claim on your behalf or if you tell us of any changes to your coverage.

By understanding your own insurance, we can work as a team with you to provide the most accurate financial estimates.  Below is some insurance “lingo” that may help you understand your coverage:

Participating vs. Accepting

This confuses most people.  If you call a dental office and ask is they “accept” your insurance, you are actually asking if they will bill your insurance company for you.  And the answer is almost always yes.  What you probably really want to know is if the dental office “participates” with your insurance?  This means that you will receive a discount for services covered by your plan, or the dentist office will “write off” a portion of the fee when applicable. Click here for a list of participating insurance companies at Smile.

Covered Services

At what percentage are your cleanings, exams, fluorides, x-rays covered?  How often will the insurance pay for these services? Are there waiting periods before they will pay for your treatment?

Deductible

This is an annual amount you are responsible for before insurance coverage begins.

Co-Payment

The percent split between insurance payment and your responsibility.

Pre-determination

Some insurance requires permission for a procedure prior to receiving the service.  If these services are provided without pre-determination, the payment for services may be denied.  Pre-determination does NOT guarantee payment of your claim.

Benefit Limit

An annual (or lifetime) limit that an insurance company will pay for your care.

Primary Insurance

If you have more than one insurance policy covering you, the primary insurance is required to consider the claim for payment first.  For children whose parents both have insurance contracts, the primary insurance is determined by the month of each parent’s birthday (typically).

Secondary Insurance

A second insurance contract.  The secondary insurance contract may or may not cover costs that the primary insurance contract does not pay.

 

Smile Safety Assurance™ featured on WOOD TV 8

By | Health & Wellness, News & Announcements, Uncategorized | No Comments

As Michigan dentists prepare to reopen across the state, News 8 Reporter Justin Kollar recently visited Smile Cascade to speak with Dr. Darren Riopelle and pediatric dentist Dr. Cristian Brutten about exclusive new UV-C pathogen control technology. The new upgrades, which include air filtration and surface technology, have been introduced at all of Smile’s West Michigan locations as part of its new Smile Safety Assurance™.

Dentists go back to work Friday

Non-essential medical, dental and veterinary procedures are allowed to resume starting today.Dentists offices across the state are ready to accept patients, many have implemented a host of new safety procedures to keep patients and staff safe.Check out all that Smile Dental Partners have done to make the "new normal" safe and enjoyable.

Posted by Justin Kollar on Friday, 29 May 2020

Grand Rapids Chamber Spotlight

Grand Rapids Chamber: Member Spotlight

By | Featured, Grand Rapids Blog Article, News & Announcements, Uncategorized

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

No one likes going to the dentist.

Or do they? For clients at Smile Dental Partners, dreading the dentist is a thing of the past, thanks to a unique approach to dental care that includes providing exceptional customer service.

Dr. Darren Riopelle, owner of Smile Dental Partners, says that is the most satisfying part of his job: engaging a group of people and showing them there is a different way to go about dentistry that creates a fun, enjoyable experience for both staff and patients.

“There’s an ‘aha!’ moment,” Riopelle said. “People can’t always pinpoint exactly what it was, but they know they had an expectation of what going to the dentist would be, and what they experience with us is something totally different.”

Smile Dental Partners is a team of general dentists, pediatric dentists and orthodontists all under the same roof working together with the same patients. This allows their team to address the whole family’s needs, from birth to adulthood, without needing to refer anyone out. Additionally, Smile Dental has a separate building that provides all the back-office support, so the practices can focus strictly on the patient rather than worry about answering calls or billing insurances. When a patient is in the office, he or she is the top priority.

“It’s really great for families,” Riopelle said. “They don’t need to worry about filling out multiple insurance forms, getting referrals or finding additional offices. It all happens in-house, so the continuity of care is a lot better.”

As Riopelle says, dental care offers an opportunity to have face-to-face interactions that are becoming less frequent in today’s world of technology. With this opportunity comes a responsibility to engage people on a personal level.

Smile Dental Partners is dedicated to doing this on a variety of levels. Each of their locations offer separate wings for children and adults. When patients walk into the practice, they are greeted warmly and directed to the right or left, into the pediatric wing or the adult wing. The pediatric wing is completely “kidded out” with child-friendly décor, including a large concrete tree, a six-foot long fish tank, the area’s largest treasure chest, and a giant touch screen to play games.

The adult side, too, has a unique touch. Each room has a door that can close for patient privacy and all dental chairs are situated facing the door, ensuring dentists are making eye contact upon greeting.

Aside from providing excellent customer service, Smile Dental also sees community involvement as a top priority. They have coordinated a variety of community initiatives, from their free dental clinic to the annual Halloween candy buy-back program, and interactive presentations at area schools in February for Dental Health month.

“We have a really fun program where we go into local second grade classrooms, and some preschools, and we teach the kids how to brush and floss. It’s fun and interactive and I absolutely love it,“ Riopelle said. “I don’t have much time for it, but I like to participate and stay in touch with the program because it’s such a good time.”

An exciting new service in Grand Rapids

Smile Dental is partnering with Anesthesia Practice Consultants, PC in Grand Rapids to start Daydreams PC. Daydreams will provide pediatric and other dental care under general anesthesia.

“We made it a kid-friendly area to do sedation dentistry,” Riopelle said. “It’s general sedation, just like what happens at hospitals, but hospitals are often not a viable option due to the reimbursements and the typical wait-time can be 6-9 months. Our setup allows us to have them in and out within just a couple weeks.” Riopelle said. “It’s very unique and will be a dramatic shift in how kids are going to be treated.”

Daydreams will begin seeing patients on March 4 and is located at 4505 Cascade Road SE, Suite B.

Smile Dental Partners has three West Michigan locations, in Grand Haven, Muskegon, and the latest addition in Grand Rapids.

10 Year Image 1

It’s Been Ten Wonderful Years!

By | Grand Haven Blog Article, Uncategorized

A lot can happen in ten years. A single general dentistry office can expand its footprint, clientele, and a community’s notions on dentistry, and trees can miraculously take root in lobbies. Since opening our doors in 2008, the Smile team has been challenging the norms of traditional dentistry with a high-quality, patient-centric, preventative approach. The Smile Grand Haven practice started as a general dentistry office with one dentist and three support staff. Today, the practice has grown through the addition of Little Smiles (pediatric dentistry), Smile Orthodontics, and more than forty team members.

The memorable moments of the past decade include not just growth of the Smile Dental Partners practice, but of countless new relationships, community partnerships and activities, and, of course, plenty of smiles.

To celebrate the past ten years, we’re holding a campaign called Ten for Ten throughout the year. In early 2019, Smile Dental Partners will donate $10,000 to local charities who help our community. Every new adult patient will be given the opportunity to select between three local charities to receive a portion of the $10,000. The organization that receives the most votes will receive the grand prize of $5,000; the second $3,000 and the third $2,000. The charities we’ve selected for patients to vote from are the Children’s Advocacy Center, the Love in Action Free Dental Clinic, and TCM Counseling. Help support these wonderful organizations and share the Ten for Ten campaign with your family and friends.

Our intent has always been to provide to our patients a personalized experience that includes a friendly, fun, and patient-focused office, state-of-the art technology, and a proactive approach to dental health. It is so rewarding to see the growth that has come from simply providing to our patients what we feel everyone deserves. We are grateful to every patient, partner, and person who helped foster the growth and success of this team.

Smile Phone 1

Appointment Confirmations

By | Community Events, Featured, Grand Rapids Blog Article, Health & Wellness, North Muskegon Blog Article, Uncategorized

Smile has a new appointment reminder and confirmation system!

While this system will be more user friendly and provide more flexibility for our patients, new systems always require a bit of adjustment and patience.  Because the upgrade required a new software provider, email confirmations will start with a “welcome email”.  Please watch for this email in your inbox or junk mail.

If you are used to seeing confirmations and are no longer receiving them by email or text, please let us know!

 

 

 

 

iStock 942539110

Area Students Donate 1,050 lbs of Candy!

By | Uncategorized

Thank you to all the Grand Haven and Spring Lake public school students, and community members who participated in the 2015 Halloween Candy Buyback.

Here were the totals collected from all the schools:

Holmes Elementary: 300lbs

Jeffers Elementary: 160 lbs

Griffin Elementary: 120 lbs

Peach Plains Elementary: 120 lbs

Robinson Elementary: 68 lbs

White Pines Intermediate: 57 lbs

Lake Hills Elementary: 40 lbs

West Michigan Academy: 7 lbs

Little Smiles: 178 lbs

Also a big thank you to AeroVision International, who graciously shipped all the candy and other hygiene items to Operation Gratitude in California.

Halloween Bag black

The Halloween Candy Buyback Returns!

By | Uncategorized

Our 8th Annual Halloween Candy Buyback returns November 2nd – 4th.  In a combined effort with thousands of dentists across the United States, all collected candy is sent to Operation Gratitude.  Operation Gratitude uses the candy in conjunction with many other items to send individual care packages to U.S. troop members overseas.  While most dental offices donate 300-400 pounds of candy, Little Smiles collects and ships 1,800 – 2,000 pounds per year.  Our tri-cities area participants should be very proud!  Thank you!

Candy-Buyback-website-page-001-791x1024