As a dental assistant, you will be working primarily with one or more dentists to perform various procedures on patients. Usually, when patients have a question about their dental insurance coverage, they will be referred to the front desk staff for clarification and explanation. Occasionally, however, you may encounter a question that you can answer on your own. Here’s a simple overview of how dental insurance works.
Most dental insurance companies impose a maximum when it comes to the amount of money they will pay each year per member. As it gets toward the second half of the year, many patients begin to approach this maximum. For example, if a patient’s maximum allowance is $1,000 and $800 has already been paid by the insurance company, then a maximum of $200 is left to apply toward other procedures. If a patient says that he or she is “close to the maximum,” this may mean that certain procedure will need to be put off until the following calendar year, or that the patient will need to speak with the person in charge of financing in your dental office.
Similarly, many companies require a member to pay a deductible, or a certain set dollar amount, prior to any benefits being paid in a particular calendar year. Sometimes this deductible is waived for preventative services, such as x-rays or cleanings. Other times, it’s not. In some dental offices, the front desk staff will include a note as to whether or not a patient’s deductible has already been met. If this is the case in your office, you might be able to let your patient know if it’s been satisfied if he or she asks.
If your patient has a PPO dental plan, the insurance company will generally cover a percentage of each procedure or treatment performed. A common breakdown is that 100 percent of preventative and diagnostic procedures are covered, 80 percent of fillings and root canals, and 50 percent of major restorative procedures like crowns and inlays. Since all insurance companies differ, however, this is definitely not the case for all patients. A question like this usually needs to be referred to the person in the office in charge of billing and insurance queries.
As a dental assistant, it’s great when you’re able to answer your patients’ questions. While having a grasp of the basic idea behind dental insurance coverage is good, it’s usually not a dental assistant’s job to understand the ins and outs of each plan. Knowing some of the terminology used can help you answer some of your patients’ general questions, and it can also allow you to understand what the front desk staff is talking about in discussions about whether a procedure is covered (or not covered).
Daniel J February 6, 2020
I was told about this school from a close friend before I started and she loved every single bit of the program, help and motivation she got from her teachers. I decided to better myself by going here as well and giving it a shot. This course proved to be nothing more than one of the best programs I’ve been able to get into and graduate from. Every single class we were helped as much as possible and always went back over things if we didn’t understand. This program not only help me gain a certificate of Dental Assisting for my career, but also helped me find my first job as a dental assistant while I was still in the program and I couldn’t be happier with how much my life has progressed in just 13 weeks. I will always speak the best about this school and I know whoever takes it will do the same!
Sydney Sparks July 22, 2019
10/10 I recommend this school. Time and frequency of the class is great for people working full time as well as people with children. Jennifer is a lot of fun to learn from as well. I was able to get a job right out of school, so I can’t complain!!!
Michelle H. January 29, 2019
I attended Sunrise School of Dental Assisting in 2016. It was a very convenient program with it only being two days a week (at night) it’s the perfect career opportunity especially for someone who needs to work while going to school. Since graduating, I have had many opportunities open up one of which is working at Sunrise itself. I had an excellent instructor who helped as much as she could to prepare us for a job in the dental field. I would highly recommend signing up, you won’t regret it!
Kourie U. January 29, 2019
I attended Sunrise Dental Assisting School in 2008 and still today am so grateful I did. My experience in the school was awesome. The instructors were very attentive and always available. Since the school is based in a dental office you are able to have endless opportunities for hands on learning. In addition the schedule is very accommodating for all lifestyles. The last thing I would like to note about SDAS is that once you have completed the program Sunrise still advocates for you. Paulette Jolly is a tremendous help with job placement and helping you along your way. Now that Sunrise Dental has allowed me the entrance into the dental field I know dentistry is my passion. Sunrise Dental has been a great blessing to my life.
Victoria R January 29, 2019
Enjoyed the hands on and guided learning experience the instructors provided. Had the opportunity to shadow and assist for an oral surgeon set up by instructor Tammy. SSDA Fayetteville was a laid back environment which made attending class enjoyable. I feel confident using what I learned in the course for future careers.
Rhonish W January 29, 2019
Attending SSDA was the best thing I could have ever done ! My instructor Tammy was beyond amazing she made sure we understood everything taught and even gave us multiple opportunities to gain experience shadowing In her office ! Sunrise is the best !
Jaylyn Miller September 5, 2017
Prior to attending Sunrise School of Dental Assisting I had zero knowledge of the dentistry field and what this career choice would have in store for me. I had an awesome instructor, as well as current Dental Assistants at Sunrise, to help guide me and continue to be successful in my career. Everyone has been extremely helpful and I have had nothing less than a great experience. After graduation, I was hired on by Sunrise and couldn’t be more happy with my job and the decision to attend Sunrise School of Dental Assisting! Thank you all!!
Katie Panchak February 17, 2017
If you’re looking into a promising career as a dental assistant, look no further! I recently graduated from Sunrise School of Dental Assisting and couldn’t be happier with the program! This course provided me with all the knowledge and tools that I needed to become successful in my field. Now I am proud to say that after graduation I have been hired on by Sunrise Dental and LOVE my job! Thanks guys!
Madison McCullock January 12, 2017
Sunrise School of Dental Assisting provided me with the knowledge and skills I needed to begin my career in the Dental field. The instructors were very helpful and thorough in explaining the lessons and procedures to the class, and also made it a point to provide any additional help/tutoring before/after lessons for students. I enjoyed my experience at Sunrise School of Dental Assisting. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking to receive the proper education necessary in order to excel in their Dental Assisting career
Ashley Hicks June 15, 2016
At Sunrise they give you the tools you need to become successful as a Dental Assistant. You have smaller numbers in the class, so you are able to have more one on one time with an instructor if needed. It is a fast paced class, but the instructor is willing to meet with you before class time if you need help. It is a good balance between lectures and actual lab time. You have great hands on experience and work with live “patients” (class members) in order to get an actual feel of what it would be like. The team at Sunrise Dental are very encouraging and push you to strive for your best. They also help with shadowing at different offices and even inform you if there are job openings at other offices. I would recommend this program to anyone and know that they would also get the great training that I have received!