Frequently Asked Questions

1. What if I have dental Insurance? Can I still come to Basic Dental?

2. Do you give a discount for payment at the time of service to people who don't have dental insurance?

3. If I have dental insurance that pays for everything, is there any benefit to coming to Basic Dental? I mean, who cares what the fees are? I am not paying.

4. Are your fees lower on everything?

5. Will you tell me your fees?

6. What if I need to get some teeth fixed now and I don't have enough cash in my wallet?

7. I am a big chicken when it comes to getting my teeth fixed. Should I come to Basic Dental?

8. Do you treat handicapped people?

9. Do you take children?

10. What are your office hours?

11. Where are you?

12. Do you have any other good money saving tips regarding dental services?

13. If you need to get your teeth fixed, but you have been concerned about the cost, you have come to the right place.

14. Why our dental fees are lower?

15. Some things we have done to control our overhead.

16. We try to be inexpensive, but not cheap.

17. Should you come to Basic Dental Care for your dental needs?

 

FAQ Answers

1. What if I have dental Insurance? Can I still come to Basic Dental?

We welcome people with dental insurance, just as we welcome those who do not have dental insurance. As far as we are concerned, everyone is the same. Dental Insurance is a benefit available to employees of certain companies and is a "contract" between the employer, employee, and the insurance company. You can come to Basic Dental and use your benefits, just like any other office. However, we do not consider ourselves to be "partners" with the insurance company. We want to remain independent of them. You will find, though, that our fees are low enough that you will be well off coming to Basic Dental. When you come to our office, we will take care of your insurance forms and send them in for you. We will expect you to pay us, that day, what the insurance will not cover. The insurance company will pay us the remainder according to the terms of your insurance. Tina, who manages the front office, is an insurance expert, having worked with dental insurance now for more than 15 years. She can answer any question and can tell you what your insurance will pay for any proceedure if you can give her the terms of your insurance.

2. Do you give a discount for payment at the time of service to people who don't have dental insurance?

The easiest way to run a dental office is to have everyone pay cash at the time of service, no exceptions. That way we do not have so much paper work, do not have to keep track of what anybody owes us, and we do not have to send out bills. But for people with dental insurance, we have found that policy to be hard to administer and even a bit counter-productive. Because most of our client/patients do not have insurance, it would not be right to charge them a hidden fee for filling out and filing insurance forms, the bookkeeping involved, documentation, mailing, etc. that we have to do with the proper processing of insurance claims. In reality, insurance handling adds greatly to the amount of work at the front desk. We think that insurance should have to pay for the extra work involved, not the non-insured dental patient. So to answer the question, people who do not have insurance and pay in full at the time of service do get a discount.

3. If I have dental insurance that pays for everything, is there any benefit to coming to Basic Dental? I mean, who cares what the fees are? I am not paying.

Think about this, it is extremely rare to have insurance that pays for everything. Usually, with deductibles and co-pays, you will end up paying for something. And keep this in mind: insurance benefits max out at some arbitrary amount every year, usually $1000 (although that depends on the policy that your employer has negotiated). And it hasn't been raised in the last 25 years! It is getting so that a broken tooth that needs a crown, in most dental offices will cost around $1000 by the time it is all completed. That is just one tooth! Insurance may pay 60-70% of that, if you are lucky. Most often you can figure that your insurance will cover 50%, which means you will pay $500 out of a $1000 dental bill. Not only will your money go further at Basic Dental, so will your insurance.

4. Are your fees lower on everything?

Our fees are lower on dental proceedures where we can control the costs. For instance, our fees on fillings and crowns and root canals will be 30-40% lower than you will find elsewhere. Because we control the office overhead, we can control those fees better. Dentures and partials are another story. The actual costs (lab fees) to construct dentures and partials are out of our control and they are high. So they must be included in the finished costs and our fees on those will only be 15-20% lower. Cleanings are very time intensive and labor costs control those fees, so they may not be a lot lower. Really, the place where you will save money is in the fillings, crowns, bridges, and root canals.

 

5. Will you tell me your fees?

Yes, for any proceedure, all you need to do is call our office, 888-3384. But, fee numbers probably will not mean anything to you, unless you have the fees from other offices to compare. We urge you to call other dental offices and get their prices. Call a lot of them and ask all the questions you can think of. I will tell you right now, that most of them will try to avoid a straight answer when it comes to fees. In some cases that is justifiable because it is hard to know exactly what a prospective patient needs. But you should not be afraid to check around, because it is your hard earned money that will be paying for the dentistry. It is not only okay to check out the fees of any office, it is the smart thing to do if you place any value on your money. Then call us and get all the information you can. Then make an informed choice.

6. What if I need to get some teeth fixed now and I don't have enough cash in my wallet?

Because we don't carry balances or bill you at the end of the month, dental services need to be paid for at the time it is done. That can be done with cash or check, of course. But we also accept credit cards. In fact, that is what a lot of people use. But there is also two things to keep in mind when you are trying to figure out how you are going to pay for dental work. One is that there is always more than one way to fix a tooth problem. You almost always have an expensive way to fix it and a less expensive way to fix it. We will always tell you about your options, the pros and cons, and then let you decide. The other is that when it comes to teeth, rarely do you have to do something right now. Pain and infection necessitate immediate action, but if you have no pain or infections, you can probably wait to fix something until you save up some money. Most treatment can be spread out so that you can afford to pay for it.

7. I am a big chicken when it comes to getting my teeth fixed. Should I come to Basic Dental?

We are not really set up to handle dental phobics. We don't have nitrous oxide and we don't use drugs (other than local anesthetics) to try to get through dental proceedures. If you are really apprehensive, you would probably be better off at another office. There are numerous local dentists that really try to work with dental phobics, but we are not in that number.

8. Do you treat handicapped people?

It depends on the handicap. We are a small office and are not set up to do much other than the basics. If this person needs special equipment or space, we may not be a good choice. You will need to call and give us some more information.

9. Do you take children?

Yes, if they are cooperative. We think children are usually the best dental patients, but they can also be the worst. We are not equipped to handle behavioral problems here. If it appears that we will not be able to do the dental work, we will refer you to a good pedodontist (children's dentist).

10. What are your office hours?

We generally work Monday through Thursday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Sometimes we will work on Fridays.

11. Where are you?

We are located in Meridian, near the corner of Pine and Linder Rd. We are right across the street from the Meridian High School tennis courts. That is one reason we don't start up in the morning at 8:00 AM. Too many high school kids coming to school at that time. Three o'clock in the afternoon is pretty busy also.

12. Do you have any other good money saving tips regarding dental services?

Yes. You can get your teeth cleaned at the hygiene school (in Boise), which is now called Apollo College, for a fraction of what it costs in a regular dental office. It is even less than what we charge. Sometimes you can get a cleaning for $10, but the usual fee is more like $25. And they do a very thorough job. (We know because Dr. Brady was a clinical instructor there.) And it is quite an interesting experience. But it takes more time. That is the trade off. If you have not had your teeth cleaned in awhile and you have alot of tartar and stain, consider the hygiene school. You may save quite a bit of money. If you can't find their phone number, call us and we will give it to you.

13. If you need to get your teeth fixed, but you have been concerned about the cost, you have come to the right place.

We have gone to extraordinary lengths to keep our fees low, so that people who are self-employed, or who don't have dental insurance, or who live on a fixed income, or who just don't want to pay an arm and a leg to fix a tooth, can afford to go to the dentist and get their teeth fixed. Dr. Brady, the dentist who founded Basic Dental Care is as concerned about the cost of dental care as he is the cost of all health care. We are a real dental office, not a low income clinic, indigent care facility, or government health care site.

14. Why our dental fees are lower?

From the day we opened our office, our goal has been to provide the basics in dental care at fees that people can afford. We have long realized that all health care is too expensive, including dental care. Although we can't do much about the cost of medical care, doctor's fees, or drugs, we have felt like we could do something to reduce the price of a filling or the cost of a crown for people who don't have a dentist uncle. The price of a filling or crown depends on numerous factors, some of which we can control. Because our concern is to keep fees low, our focus has been to try to control our overhead costs. We can't control all of our overhead, like the lab work needed to fabricate dentures or crowns, but we can control unnecessary frills that don't have much to do with the actual dental work in your mouth. We thought we could do that, and then pass those savings on to you, the dental patient, in the form of lower fees.

15. Some things we have done to control our overhead.

From the beginning, we tried to consider ways to keep our overhead costs down. You may notice some of the things we have done (or have not done) when you visit our office. For instance, we are not in a fancy, new office building with plush carpets and expensive furnishings. You also won't find a lot of computerized gadgets, digital screens or entertainment devices. You may also notice that we do not spend enormous amounts of money on yellow pages advertising (very expensive). Finally, we have instituted some common sense business policies designed to decrease the normal dental office costs of running a business. We collect payment for the dental work at the time we do the work. We do not extend credit, nor do we send out bills. The only way a person can come into the office, get their teeth fixed, and not pay for it in full that day, is if they have dental insurance that is going to cover the procedures.

16. We try to be inexpensive, but not cheap.

Although we have done a lot to control our overhead costs, there are some things we don't do and won't scrimp on to try to save a little money. For instance, we research and use the best dental materials (fillings, cements, etc.) we can buy, which mostly includes respectable brand names. We don't use cheap stuff. These materials go into a dark, wet, harsh environment (your mouth), take a pounding multiple times every day, and then are "expected" to last forever. So we shop around to get the best price on our supplies, but we don't compromise quality and reputation for price when it comes to materials. Our dentures, partials, and crowns are made by the best dental labs according to our specifications. Those labs not only do our work, but the work of many of the dentists in the Treasure Valley. And although we care about the price they charge us, that is secondary to quality. Even if the price is low, if the quality is not good and consistent, we won't use that lab for your dentures and crowns. And we take great care in providing a clean and sterile dental environment and dental instruments. We won't compromise your health for a few bucks here either.

17. Should you come to Basic Dental Care for your dental needs?

Obviously, we will not be for everyone. In fact, we do not try to accommodate everyone. We have a specific goal in providing dental care and we try very hard to meet those objectives. We want to provide basic dental services (ie. fillings, crowns, cleanings, some extractions, some root canals, etc.) to people we care about, at a fee that people can afford. For that reason, we do not do a lot of dental work that is best done by specialists (braces, oral surgery, hard extractions of "bombed out" teeth, complex root canals, implants, etc.) If you need something and have a question about whether or not we do it, please call us. Remember though, if you like going to a big, designer office with plush carpets, beautiful wall coverings, and expensive furnishings, Basic Dental Care is probably not the place for you. If you must get your teeth laser-whitened while you watch a movie on the big screen on the ceiling, Basic Dental Care is not the place for you. If you are expecting to go to a dental "spa", you will probably be disappointed at Basic Dental Care. If you are apprehensive or scared about going to the dentist and need nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or Valium, we are probably not the dental office for you. If your child is an uncooperative dental patient, this is not the place for him/her. However, if you just want to get your teeth fixed, so that they look good, chew well, and don't hurt, and you do not want to pay an outrageous fee to get them that way, Basic Dental Care probably is the place for you. If you don't mind a modest office setting, and you don't need a bunch of digital dental gizmos to look at and listen to, you will feel good about Basic Dental Care. We will fix your teeth in a completely professional way, according to today's standard of care and we will do it for a fee that will make you smile. We think being able to eat and enjoy life is essential and that people ought to do all they can to maintain their teeth. But we do not think people need to spend all of their hard-earned money to do it.


Call us at 88-TEETH (888-3384) for any information you may need (including prices) or to schedule an appointment.

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