Category Archives: About Us

Memorial Day

Memorial Day

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is this coming Monday, and while many think Memorial Day is just a 3-day weekend with cookouts, pool parties, and trips to the lake, we here at Paul A. Griffin, DDS, PA, choose to remember it as a day to honor all the indescribably brave and selfless men and women who have served and protected our country. We commemorate those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. No words could ever adequately convey our gratitude, but we thank each and every one of you from the bottom of our hearts.

No matter how you choose to spend this day, we hope that you always remember the true meaning of the day and take a moment to remember those who’ve lost their lives in an effort to preserve our freedom.

 

The office will be closed for Memorial Day on Monday May 29, 2017, but you can always leave us a message at 972-242-2155, or you can use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form at the top of this page.

How Does Dental Insurance Work?

How Does Dental Insurance Work?Insurance

How does dental insurance work? It doesn’t. Just kidding. Dental insurance does work, it just doesn’t work the same way as health insurance, which most people assume it does. When most people think about health insurance, they think first about covering costs of treatment for serious medical conditions or accidents. But, dental insurance is a completely different animal.

“Dental insurance” is not really insurance, it’s more like a benefit. Most dental plans are chosen and by employers to save you some money on your dental care, but it does not relate at all to your personal dental needs or “catastrophic” dental needs.

That being said let’s look at a little history of dental insurance.

Dental insurance was first introduced in 1954 and gained popularity in the 60’s. By the 70’s, many employers offered dental insurance plans. These plans typically covered 100% of preventive care, 80% of minor dental work, or basic dental work, such as fillings and simple extractions, and 50% of major work such as crowns and bridges.

The annual maximum annual coverage of dental plans in the 70’s was $1000. Back then, $1,000 bought a lot of dental care. Today, the average cap on dental plans is…wait for it… $1,000. Um what? Yep, you read that right — most plans still offer $1,000, some plans offer $1500, and the rare plan offers more, but the average is still $1000. So in over 40 years, dental maximums have not gone up. Based on the Consumer Price Index, $1000 in 1970 would now be around $6258. Yes, you read that right. What you could have bought in 1970 for $1000 would cost you over $6000 today.

Let’s take a look at how most dental insurance plans work these days.

First, you have a deductible, which is typically $25 or $50. This is applied and paid by you when you have your first appointment for dental treatment like a filling or crown. Most plans do not apply this deductible toward your exams and cleanings, therefore no money is due from you during these types of appointments, unless your plan does not cover certain procedures such as fluoride for adults.

Then, you have your reimbursement levels, or the percentages of what your dental plan will cover. Most plans are typically grouped into three categories:

  • Type 1 (Preventative/Diagnostic) 100% coverage – exams, x-rays and cleanings, fluoride and sealants for kids up to a certain age.
  • Type 2 (Basic restorative) 80% coverage – fillings, root canals, extractions, periodontal procedures.
  • Type 3 (Major restorative) 50% coverage – crowns, dentures, bridge work.

The coinsurance would be the percentage of the covered dental expense you pay, after the deductible has been met. So, if your plan covers 80% of a procedure your coinsurance would be 20%.

Next, is the annual maximum benefit. Most plans have a maximum of $1000.00 – $1500.00. Once you have reached that maximum, dental insurance will not pay for any more treatment that may be needed for the year. Which leaves you paying out of pocket.

Looks pretty straight forward doesn’t it? But hold on, many plans have exceptions especially with dental insurance. Here are some possible exceptions that dental plans may have:

WAITING PERIODS: Woops! You have to wait 6 months from your effective date on the group dental plan for Type 2 services to be covered!

MISSING TOOTH CLAUSE: If the tooth was missing prior to your effective date with the group plan, too bad. They are not going to pay to replace it with a bridge or implant.

FREQUENCYS: The group plan allows certain services at certain intervals. Cleanings every 6 month plus 1 day.  (I’m not kidding, have your cleaning 1 day too soon and you insurance won’t cover it.) Full sets of x-rays are usually limited to every 3-5 years. That means if you switch dentists you want to have those x-rays sent over before you arrive.

And finally,

DOWNGRADES: Most plans have “downgrades”, meaning the insurance may approve a procedure, but pay for a less expensive procedure (Example: You have a tooth colored filling on a back tooth. Your insurance pays what it would pay for silver, leaving you with the difference in cost).

So, that’s basically how dental insurance works. As you can see it can be easy and confusing at the same time, and, not a whole lot hasn’t really changed with dental plans in over 40 years!

 

If you have any questions about your dental insurance please feel free to call us here at 972-242-2155. Or you can use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” link at the top of this page.

 

Merry Christmas!!

At this crazy time of year, in the midst of all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, we here, at Paul A. Griffin, DDS, would like to wish a “Merry Christmas” to our family of patients, complete with smiles, hugs and prayers.Merry Christmas

We believe in celebrating the true meaning of CHRISTmas and believe Jesus is the Reason for The Season. And, at this time of year, more than any other, our hope is that you may know the love of our Savior who came to bring you life, hope and love.

As you are out trying to find that last present on your list, trying to come up with clever Elf on the Shelf poses, or rushing from one gathering to another, please know that our wish for you is that the miracle of Christmas fills your heart with joy, hope and love.

Remember, even the Grinch knew that Christmas doesn’t come from a store. The truth is, if you don’t have Christmas in your heart, you will never find it under a tree. This Christmas, let the way you celebrate reflect what you celebrate.

We are so grateful to have such incredible patients and we cannot help but express how very blessed and truly thankful we are, for you continue to bless our careers and our lives daily.

Thank you for trusting us, thank you for sharing your lives with us, and thank you for your interest in our lives. May God continue to bless us all.

Dr. Griffin and his team will be celebrating the Christmas season and New Year’s Day with our families and friends, so the office will be closed December 22, 2015 and we will be back, refreshed, and ready to care for our wonderful patients on Monday, January 4, 2016. Should an emergency arise, simply call the office, at (972) 242-2155, for Dr. Griffin’s emergency number. If you have any questions, you can always use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form at the top of this page.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us at Paul A. Griffin, DDS!!

Continuing Education

Continuing EducationAugust 6-8, 2015 marks the 88th annual meeting of the Southwest Dental Conference (SWDC), one of the largest regional dental conferences in the country. The SWDC offers high quality, innovative and effective continuing education, with the ability to earn up to 24 continuing education credit hours over three non-stop days of lectures and workshops. Dr. Griffin and his team will be attending the SWDC to learn about the latest techniques and procedures in the dental industry.

What is continuing education?

Continuing education (CE) or continuing dental education (CDE) consists of classes, courses, and organized learning education programs. Dentists, hygienists, and assistants take these courses each year so they can stay up-to-date in their field and learn about the latest techniques and procedures. CE can include for-credit programs of study or non-credit programs. Taking extra courses helps to enhance professional goals.

Who is required to take CE?

Dentists, dental assistants, hygienists, physicians, nurses, lawyers, and even cosmetologists are among the many professionals required to take predetermined amount of CE to maintain licensure and certification. Just about any career that requires a license or certification is required to participate in continuing education programs for a certain number of hours every year in order to keep their certificates, or licenses to practice current.

Continuing education requirements vary from state to state.

How is CE beneficial?

State regulations require dentists, hygienists, and assistants to take a certain amount of CE to ensure they are aware of new developments, techniques, and treatments in their fields. These requirements allow only the best professionals to maintain their practice. Dentists also take CE to learn and extend new service offerings to their patients, such as laser dentistry, cosmetic procedures, or sleep dentistry. Many dentists exceed the number of state-required CE hours.

Where is CE offered?

Dental schools and universities that have dental programs often offer many CE courses. Professional organizations and associations, such as The American Dental Association and the Academy of General Dentistry, offer CE opportunities for their members through approved courses at annual meetings, like the Southwest Dental Conference. Many CE courses are also offered online. These online courses can be completed on the dentist’s own time, which is useful, since many dentists taking CE are working professionals with busy schedules.

What are the State of Texas’ CE requirements and programs?

The Texas State Board of Dental Examiners requires dentists and hygienists to complete 12 hours of acceptable continuing education annually to be able to renew their license every year.

Dental assistants who only hold the RDA Certificate are required to complete 6 hours of CE annually.

Dental Assistants who hold both the Pit and Fissure Sealant Certificate and RDA Certificate must complete 12 hours of CE annually.

 

Dr. Griffin and his team demonstrates a commitment to the long term dental health of our patients through our pursuit of extensive continuing education and seeking out educational opportunities throughout the year. As a dental patient, you deserve a dentist who is committed to bringing you the most effective care and advanced techniques.

If you are searching for an experienced, highly trained, and thoroughly educated dentist in Carrollton, Lewisville, or The Colony, please contact us, at 972-242-2155, to learn more about our practice and to schedule a consultation with Dr. Griffin. Or, you can use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form at the top of this page.

 

 

We Are Now In-Network With Several New PPO Plans

claimformWe are happy to announce we are now an In-Network PPO Provider with Cigna Dental. We have also added some new PPO plans through the Connection Dental Network. By choosing a PPO Provider you will get the maximum use of your dental benefit and lower out of pocket costs.

 

Below are some of the new plans we are contracted with through Connection Dental:

  • Aetna
  • Ameritas Life Insurance Corp.
  • Assurant Employee Benefits
  • Humana
  • Lincoln Financial Insurance Company
  • MetLife – PDP PLUS Plans Only
  • Dental Network of America Inc., which includes Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois.

We accept most PPO insurance plans, even if we are not a “preferred provider” or “In-Network” on your specific dental plan. Your coverage may be slightly different if we are not considered an in-network provider. You can check with your insurance carrier to determine whether or not Dr. Griffin is listed in your network, or we can contact your insurance carrier for you.

Since dental insurance has become incredibly complex, with plans varying drastically depending on your insurance provider, many dental offices no longer accept any dental insurance plans, much less file your dental insurance claim for you. As a service to our patients, we verify your insurance, and go the extra mile to file your claim with all the necessary information at the time of your visit. We also follow-up with your insurance company should any problems arise with any of your insurance claims.

At Paul A. Griffin, DDS, PA, we want you to feel as if you are a member of the family, and this is a courtesy we extend to all of our valued patients whether Dr. Griffin is considered in-network or out-of-network on your plan.

If you have any questions about your dental insurance plan or would like to make an appointment, please call us today at 972-242-2155, or feel free to use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form at the top of this page. We will be happy to address any questions that you may have!

What Is HIPAA?

Paul A. Griffin, DDS, PAWhat is HIPAA you ask? Besides being that really, really, long, legal looking sheet of information that your doctor has you sign as a new patient, it is also a government regulation that protects the privacy and security of your personal information, also known as “Protected Health Information” or “PHI”. HIPAA was originally enacted in 1996 and has been updated as recently as 2013. It contains many provisions that govern your healthcare providers’ legal responsibilities for safeguarding your data.

We here at Paul A. Griffin, DDS, PA make protecting your privacy a top priority! Here are a few  ways we go about ensuring the protection of your information.

Administrative Safeguards

  • Annual training of employees so that they understand all privacy procedures.
  • A dedicated Privacy Officer whose responsibility is to keep current with HIPAA laws
  • Notifying you of your privacy rights and any changes to the law
  • Never sharing or selling your protected health information to any outside organizations

Physical Safeguards

  • Locked room for any documents containing  PHI
  • On-site shredding of any documents with personal information
  • Advanced security system for the whole office

Technical Safeguards

  • Secure and specifically designed server to protect all electronic personal information
  • Encrypted emails with privacy disclosures to prevent unauthorized viewing
  • Individual administrative password entry to computers with PHI

Dr. Griffin and his team have always taken great care to protect patient privacy and will continue to do so. If you have any questions regarding how we protect your personal information please feel free to call us at 972-242-2155. Or, you can use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form at the top of this page.

 

For a more in depth look at HIPAA and Protected Health Information laws you can visit the U.S. Department Of Health and Human Services website at http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/

 

 

 

 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

It’s that time of year again, the hustle and the bustle of the holidays is upon us.

This busy holiday season is a time to come together and celebrate with family and friends. It is also a time to reflect on the past year and to look forward to the New Year.

We would like to take a moment out of this busy time of year to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We would like to thank you for being a part of our dental family! We are so grateful for each and every one of our patients for without you we would not be here.

May your Holiday be filled with love and joy and your New Year be overflowing with all the good things in life.

We look forward to seeing you in the New Year, from all of us at Paul A. Griffin, DDS!

 

New Patient Referral Program

New Patient Referral ProgramNew Patient Referrals

We’ve built our practice upon service to our patients, and our ongoing success is dependent on continually exceeding our patients’ expectations. We strive to keep our patients happy and healthy. Referrals from existing patients represent a large portion of our office’s new patients.

Many people find it difficult to visit the dentist for the first time, due to many circumstances, but it becomes less stressful when a friend or a relative recommends a dentist that they had a positive experience with. 

Entrusting the care of friends and loved ones to our office is the greatest compliment we receive as health care professionals. Our New Patient Referral Program is our way of saying thank you to our existing patients who help ensure our future success along with our thanks to the new patients referred to us.

Our program is simple and works like this:

  • A new patient mentions your name when they schedule their first appointment.
  • Our office tracks referrals from every patient in our practice
  • Every referral earns you a $25 credit* in our office towards your dental work. 
  • The referred new patient earns a $25 credit* in our office towards their dental work.

If you have any questions about our referral program please feel free to ask any of our team here at Paul A. Griffin, DDS, PA at 972-242-2155.

*No cash value and can only be used towards patient balance.

New Patient Referral Program

New Patient Referral ProgramNew Patient Referrals

We’ve built our practice upon service to our patients, and our ongoing success is dependent on continually exceeding our patients’ expectations. We strive to keep our patients happy and healthy. Referrals from existing patients represent a large portion of our office’s new patients.

Many people find it difficult to visit the dentist for the first time, due to many circumstances, but it becomes less stressful when a friend or a relative recommends a dentist that they had a positive experience with. 

Entrusting the care of friends and loved ones to our office is the greatest compliment we receive as health care professionals. Our New Patient Referral Program is our way of saying thank you to our existing patients who help ensure our future success along with our thanks to the new patients referred to us.

Our program is simple and works like this:

  • A new patient mentions your name when they schedule their first appointment.
  • Our office tracks referrals from every patient in our practice
  • Every referral earns you a $25 credit* in our office towards your dental work. 
  • The referred new patient earns a $25 credit* in our office towards their dental work.

If you have any questions about our referral program please feel free to ask any of our team here at Paul A. Griffin, DDS, PA at 972-242-2155.

*No cash value and can only be used towards patient balance.

The NEW paulgriffindds.com

GroupOutdoorSignWEB900pxWelcome to our new website! We are so excited to be launching this updated, more user-friendly site. Please browse around and find out exactly who we are and what we value most (which is our relationship with YOU, the patient!). If you have any questions at all, or would like to book an appointment, please use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form that is on any page. We will answer your inquiry quickly!

Also, be sure to “Like” us on Facebook (facebook.com/paulgriffindds) so you can stay informed of our MONTHLY SPECIALS and other fun stuff. We look forward to seeing you in person!