September 13th, 2018
Navigating insurance plans can be confusing. Jennifer Martin Orthodontics can help you to utilize your insurance plan in order to receive the most out of your benefits package.
Many people ask if insurance or flex spending accounts will cover their braces or Invisalign aligners. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions regarding insurance and flexible savings accounts.
Using Your Flex Spending Account Wisely
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) can often be used for your orthodontic care. The first step is to find out from your insurance provider whether or not you have the option for a FSA.
Once you’ve established that you do have a FSA, and you do need braces or Invisalign, get together with your orthodontist and lay out a plan to utilize your benefits for the treatment you need.
Planning ahead is important. You want to plan ahead for your treatment so you can be sure to accrue the money you need in your FSA in order to afford your implants. That’s why it’s helpful to communicate effectively with your orthodontist and your insurance company-to ensure that you’re prepared and properly refunded for your treatment.
If this seems confusing to you, don’t worry! We have experts standing by in our office to help answer all of your questions. We will work with you and your insurance provider to make sure that you get the treatment you need, at a rate you can afford.
How to use your FSA for Braces or Invisalign
Typically orthodontia is eligible for reimbursement with an FSA, a Health Savings Account (HSA), a Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA), or a Limited Care Flexible Spending Account (LCFSA). If you have any of these things under your health insurance umbrella, then you will likely be reimbursed for your treatment.
A general rule of thumb is that FSA’s, HSA’s, and LCFSA’s cover anything that is considered preventative care. Things that are cosmetic, such as teeth whitening are generally not covered. Different insurance companies cover different things, and you should choose an implant orthodontist who can work with your insurance provider to ensure that you get the treatment you need at an affordable rate.
We believe that a healthy smile for the whole family is absolutely vital for your overall health and wellness. Uneven teeth can lead to a variety of more serious health issues in the future. Fixing an uneven smile will lead to healthier and happier lifestyle for everyone.
How Orthodontic Care is Reimbursed
Orthodontia expenses are eligible for reimbursement even if you’ve already fully paid for your treatment. This is assuming that the plan design permits reimbursement of full payment.
While reimbursement requirements do vary between benefits administrators, one-time payments are the easiest method to be quickly reimbursed for the full amount of out-of-pocket costs that are not covered by insurance.
If you choose to pay for your treatment as you go however, you’ll need to keep careful track of each visit to your orthodontist, and what work was done. This method of reimbursement may work best for those who are organized and can keep track of dates and services rendered.
So the answer is yes, braces and Invisalign can be covered by Flex Spending Accounts and insurance. You will need to do some planning with your orthodontist and insurance provider to make sure that you get reimbursed for any out-of-pocket expenses accrued during your treatment.
Dr. Jennifer Martin specializes in family care. She believes that an even set of teeth is vital to a healthy lifestyle. If you’re in need of orthodontia, and you need some guidance in navigating the insurance aspect of it, give us a call today. We treat patients from all over in our Pleasant Hill office, from Martinez to Walnut Creek and all of the surrounding communities.
August 21st, 2018
Dentists and Orthodontics have a funny schedule. We tend to get busy in the summer, since kids are out of school and available to make it to more appointments. It’s great for kids getting braces, because they have time before school starts to get used to wearing them.
On the other hand we also get busy in the beginning of the school year, as families scramble to get it all done, and utilize their insurance benefits effectively.
There’s really not a bad time to get your whole family on the road to a healthy and beautiful smile!
Planning Orthodontic Treatment Accordingly
If you have children that need orthodontic treatment, the sooner you get them scheduled for an appointment the better. We understand that families are busy. Life is hectic, and managing a family with all of the different needs can be challenging.
One of the benefits to our practice is our family focused philosophy. We have patients ranging from all ages-from toddlers to elders! In fact, we are a multi-generational practice. Some of our patients have parents who came here when they were kids!
What this means for you, is a one stop shop for the whole family to receive expert, compassionate, and thorough orthodontic care.
We recommend that children see an orthodontist by the age of 7 for a check-up. Even if your child’s teeth look straight, there may be hidden issues invisible to the eye. And with orthodontic care, the sooner you get started, the better.
The longer you wait to address orthodontic issues, the more severe those issues may become. You will save time, money, and hassle by getting your child started with preventative care.
Orthodontics Aren’t Just For Kids
More and more adults are seeking orthodontic treatment. Straight teeth aren’t just about aesthetics-they help to facilitate a healthy mouth in general. Straight teeth ensure a proper bite, meaning no unnecessary wear and tear to your teeth. Straight teeth also mean that your jaw is strong and healthy. By evening out your teeth now, you can ensure less problems as you age.
With advancements in technology, as well as the introduction of Invisalign aligners, more adults can fit orthodontics into their busy lifestyles. Just because you’re not a kid or even teenager anymore, doesn’t mean you don’t deserve the perfect smile!
A Family Oriented Practice
We serve patients of all ages! Kids get a kick out of the fact that their parents came here too, and adults know that their kids are getting the best treatment-their smiles are proof!
If you or your kids are looking for friendly, helpful, family oriented practice to get on the road to great orthodontic health, look no further! We have experts standing by to answer any questions you may have, whether they’re about treatment options or financial issues. We will work with you to ensure that you get the best care possible, while meeting your financial and time management needs.
Give us a call today! Our Pleasant Hill office serves patients from Walnut Creek to Martinez, and all of the surrounding communities.
July 17th, 2018
Summer is a busy time for orthodontics, so make your appointments now! It’s convenient for kids to begin their orthodontic process in the summer because they have more free time to make it to their appointments, and their parents can hopefully make the time to take them!
It’s also preferable to have some time to adjust to wearing and caring for the appliances before settling into the daily grind of school and classes.
If your child or teen is in need of orthodontics keep reading to learn what the process will look like.
Consultation and Treatment Plan
Your orthodontist won’t just look at your child’s teeth and make a plan. A thorough assessment and analysis is needed, and this takes some time. X-rays will be necessary so that your orthodontist can determine the complexity and severity of your child’s case.
Once it is determined exactly how much treatment is needed, we will sit down together and decide the best way to go about it. Many teenagers do very well with Invisalign, and for others braces are the better option. We give every single one of our patients individual and undivided attention. We will take the time to determine what treatment is best for you and your child so that their care is sure to be a success.
Of course there are finances involved in getting orthodontic treatment. We will work with you of course, as well as with your insurance company in order to make your case as affordable and hassle free as possible. And you don’t have to figure it all out by yourself- we have experts in the office to handle your insurance and payment needs.
Orthodontic X-rays and Technology
A full panel of X-rays and evaluations will be completed before your child starts the process of Invisalign or braces. Intra-oral photos of the mouth, teeth, and jaw structure are an important aspect of successful orthodontic treatment, and we want to do a thorough job of this.
That’s why we use some of the best technology there is for our patients. We use 3D X-ray technology, as well as panoramic photography.
When it comes to making molds and impressions, we use the iTero element digital scanning technology. This means you and your child get to avoid the hassle of yucky, goopy material that was used in the past for making impressions.
We use the best technology so that you and your child can get the best results.
Starting Braces or Invisalign
Once your child’s case has been made, and a treatment option determined, it’s time to get started! And remember, when it comes to orthodontics, the sooner the better. On the one hand it is never too late to get the beautiful smile we all deserve, but on the other hand it’s best to get ahead of any potential problems. The longer you wait, the more potential there is for the case to become more complicated, and therefore more timely and expensive.
Once the X-rays are taken and examined, the process of orthodontics really begins. Your orthodontist will send your X-rays and impressions to Invisalign, and your hardware will be on the way! It may take up to 4 weeks for this to happen, another reason to get started with your case as soon as possible.
Once your Invisalign aligners arrive, or it’s time to get braces attached to your teeth, the orthodontist will sit down with you and explain step by step what the plan is, and your child’s responsibility for their own care. What foods to eat and avoid, how to clean or care for the appliances, and how often to come in for adjustments will all be laid out for you right at the start.
If your child needs orthodontics, don’t wait another minute to make an appointment! We are a family oriented practice, and we love working with kids and their parents. In fact, we’re a multi-generational practice-some of our patients are the children of previous patients! We will make sure that your whole family is smiling happily and healthily, for years to come!
June 21st, 2018
If your teenager needs orthodontic treatment then you’ve probably considered Invisalign aligners. Many teenagers prefer Invisalign over metal braces, and a lot of them have successful results. In fact, teenagers tend to comply better than adults with their Invisalign treatment! There are pros and cons to any treatment regimen, so let’s go over some of them here.
The Pros of Invisalign for Teens
Invisalign aligners can be taken out of the mouth in order to brush and floss, making it easier to clean your teeth thoroughly and consistently. They are to be worn up to 23 hours a day however, so it’s important to remember to put them back in!
Invisalign aligners are clear, so you don’t have that chunky “metal mouth” that braces do. For teenagers in high school this is especially important, given the presence of selfies and social media these days. Self-confidence is important for everyone, and for teenagers going through orthodontic treatment the sleek and virtually invisible appearance of Invisalign aligners can help with that.
Invisalign aligners use gentler movement than braces, so there may be less pain during treatment. The pain felt with braces or Invisalign is fairly mild, but the aligners may produce slightly less.
Invisalign consists of fewer parts than braces- there are no brackets or rubber-bands to deal with. This may mean fewer trips to the orthodontist for repairs. They are also less likely to break during sports or other physical activities, and you can carry back-ups around with you in case something does happen to them.
The Cons of Invisalign for Teens
Compliance is really important for orthodontic treatment to work, and the temptation to leave the Invisalign aligners out may be too strong for some teens. They absolutely must be worn at all times (except when brushing and eating), so Invisalign may not be right for teenagers who aren’t very disciplined.
When it comes to more complicated and severe cases, Invisalign aligners aren’t always optimal. When there is a significant overbite, for example, braces may be necessary to fix the bite.
Invisalign aligners work best for teens who possess a lot of discipline, are willing to comply to all the orthodontists instructions, and are very dedicated to wearing the aligners at all times.
It’s important to note that most teenagers perform better than their parents expect. We have countless numbers of successful Invisalign cases for teens, and we absolutely recommend them if the case is appropriate.
Which is best for My Teen?
If your teenager needs orthodontic treatment and they’re asking for Invisalign, give us a call! We’ve completed hundreds of successful cases of Invisalign for teens. If you think braces might be better for your teen we can handle that just as well! If their case is more complicated, braces might be the best treatment option for your teen.
Whatever you and your teenager decide is the best treatment for them, we will be there to support and guide you every step of the way. We are a family oriented practice, and we want your family to be happy! We have worked with multiple generations-some of our current patients are the children of previous patients! Family is the most important thing there is, and we’re here to put smiles on the faces of everyone in yours!