Money

Use your Dental and Flex Spending Benefits before they Expire

Do you have benefits remaining with either your dental insurance or Flexible Spending Account? If so and if you have dental work that needs to be done, it may save you money to get it done before the year is up.

To put it simply, most dental insurance plans are on a calendar year cycle which means they run from January 1 – December 31. The majority of these plans do not allow you to roll-over any unused benefits into the new year. This means that if you don’t use all of them that year, you lose them.

For example, if your dental plan has $1,500 in dental benefits each year and you have $800 remaining right now, your benefits on January 1 will reset to $1,500, along with your deductible, and you will lose out on those $800 in benefits you didn’t use (but paid for) this year. A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is similar in that if you don’t use the funds you set aside for health care costs this year, you lose that remaining money unless your employer has set it up differently.

To find out if you have dental benefits remaining, give us a call at 303-779-2797 and we can help research your benefits. Similarly, you can contact your FSA representative (or your Human Resources department if you are unsure) and find out if you have a remaining FSA balance. In particular with an FSA, it is important to research the types of services that are approved so you can be reimbursed. In general these include dental treatments for the prevention and alleviation of dental disease, including teeth cleanings, fluoride, x-rays, fillings, braces, extractions and other dental treatment. Please note that teeth whitening and other cosmetic services are typically not covered. Click here for a list of covered services from the Internal Revenue Service.

If you have dental work that needs to be done and benefits you can use, don’t wait until the end of the year when everyone else is trying to get in. Rather, give us a call now at 303-779-2797 to make sure you get on the schedule in time.

IN 7

Why going to the dentist could save your life

When you think of going to the dentist, you may think it’s just about getting your teeth cleaned and getting an exam. But did you know it could also save your life? Because they have the tools and vantage point to look closely at your mouth, dentists and hygienists are able to screen for and potentially detect oral cancer.

According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, oral cancer is diagnosed in over 48,000 Americans each year and unfortunately has only a 56% five-year survival rate. This is largely due to late diagnosis after the cancer has spread to another area. Many dentists are trying to change this, though, in the form of oral cancer screenings at every cleaning. While traditionally thought only necessary for older, higher risk patients who use tobacco products and drink alcohol, oral cancer screenings are also important for young, non-smoking adults, a population that represents an increasing segment in oral cancer diagnosis.

At every Willow Creek Dental cleaning, our hygienist and dentist are visually looking for any signs of oral cancer in your mouth, including your lips, tongue and gums, in addition to a manual examination of your lymph nodes. They will question you about anything that looks or feels abnormal and ask how long it has been there, if it is sore and if it has changed. While many areas of soreness, irritation or abnormality may be explained by something as simple such as biting your cheek, some areas can be symptoms of oral cancer.  A general rule, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation, is that “any sore, discoloration, induration, prominent tissue, irritation, hoarseness, complaints of difficulty in swallowing, unilateral earaches, which does not resolve within a two week period on its own, with or without treatment, should be considered suspect and worthy of further examination or referral”.

If there is an area of concern found during your appointment, the dentist will most likely recommend getting a second opinion with an oral surgeon or periodontist, who may perform a biopsy of the area after further examination.

So the next time you visit the dentist, ask them about your oral cancer screening. If they say you don’t need one due to your age or other factors, request that they still do one for you. For more information on oral cancer, please visit http://oralcancerfoundation.org/.

Refer a Friend & Enter to Win Broncos Tickets!

We are ready for the NFL season to officially begin! To share our excitement, we are giving away 2 Broncos tickets to one lucky patient. Simply refer a new patient to our office in September and you will be automatically entered to win 2 tickets to the

Denver Broncos vs. Atlanta Falcons game on Sunday, October 9th.

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So tell your friends, family members, neighbors and co-workers about WCD and you could be the lucky winner! The winner will be drawn on October 3rd. Click here for the official rules.

Thank you for your Referrals and Good Luck!