In our Knoxville, TN dental practice, we believe we have the obligation to do a complete examination, diagnose, plan treatment, and present patients with information about their circumstances and options so they can make informed choices that are best for them. We don’t participate in network with any dental plans. We will happily fill out your benefits claims and follow up for you, receive payment from your plan as an out-of-network provider.
Why do we stay fiercely independent when almost all dentists now participate with plans? Because it is in your best interest if we don’t allow third parties to influence your quality of care. If we are concerned about what an insurance company or managed care program will cover, we are biased by these limitations when it comes to spending the needed time to do thorough diagnostics and treatment planning, and we are biased by these limitations when it comes to offering the treatments we know will be best for the patient over their lifetime. For example, rather than patch a tooth more than once and eventually lose that tooth when it breaks apart or its roots are injured, we would rather treat the mouth comprehensively, including the periodontal tissue and the way the teeth come together. Our philosophy of practice is to offer the quality dentistry we would want to have ourselves.
We believe our obligation is to tell patients what problems exist in their mouths and the best way to correct them, so they can decide what they want to do. For example, if you have a damaged front tooth requiring a root canal and crown, Dr. Malone may recommend an all-porcelain crown for cosmetic reasons, but your insurance plan may only cover a porcelain covered metal crown. Long term, you may not be happy with the results.
When treatment is proposed and options discussed, we go over the costs involved and financing options. If you accept treatment, at the time of service, we will estimate the portion of the fee your plan allows, and you will pay us directly for the remaining fee we agree upon. If your plan pays more than estimated, we will refund the extra amount to you.
We encourage prospective new patients to come in for a comprehensive exam, learn about treatment options, and learn from the dentist the costs associated with these options. Patients are often surprised that the costs are not as large as they feared. Discussions you are likely to have are about what could happen if you delay treatment and the advantages of some treatment options over others. Which option will last longest? Which will best reduce the risk for needing more dentistry later? Which will cost least in the long run? You’ll learn how treatment can be phased to make it more affordable.
Keep in mind that dental plans only partially reimburse the services that doctors provide. Most dental insurance policies have a maximum benefit, which cannot be exceeded, regardless of your needs or wants. Most policies exclude some services provided by dental practices, such as elective teeth whitening, because there is no underlying medical need. But, keep in mind the dental cleanings they do cover remove a lot of stains, and some “cosmetic” treatments have health benefits for which a medical reason can be applied. When you are in our dental chair, talk to us about your goals for your oral health and smile. Let us help you find a way to have what you desire.
We strive to make dentistry affordable. Our fees are competitive. We have invested in the best dental technology and constant continuing education to make sure your care is efficient, based on accurate diagnosis, and executed to be predictably successful and endure. We spend time with each patient caring about them as unique people we appreciate and enjoy. We feel we have an obligation to fully inform you and spend time discussing concerns and what ifs, not just recommendations. We work towards giving every patient quality compassionate care and exceptional services such as helping you understand your financing options and filling out your claim forms. When you are concerned about cost, we listen well. We help find solutions for your concerns.
Because we don’t participate as in-network providers, insurance plans do not dictate the services we provide, the types of dental materials and methods we use, when we provide the services, or how often we provide services to you. Your dentistry is individualized for your needs and wants. We are focused on what is best for you.