Dental care and your medical aid

As a ’contracted in’ dental practice, we are astounded by how many people pay a small fortune every month to medical aid companies.

Why do they do this?

Partly to have a plan for when “things happen”. But also to have their healthcare well-managed and to be looked after. People invest so much in working and paying for a sense of well-being – but then they leave so little time and effort to actually visiting the dentist for regular maintenance visits…

Yes, the dentist can be scary for some (we can discuss that another day). To add to that, many people also harbour a basic mistrust in their own medical aid scheme, and have not made the effort to properly understand how it works – for these reasons, they reserve dental visits for only when the problem becomes utterly unbearable.

As an experienced healthcare practitioner we encounter this reluctance or ambivalence daily and are determined to demystify medical aids for our patients, to ensure they receive health care on time.

We therefore spend a considerable amount of time sifting through the different scheme benefits and exclusions – to be able to offer you a comprehensive but – when necessary – phased treatment plan.

Our general guiding principles are to deal with pain and infection first, and then to consider function and aesthetics. The timing of treatment is also important. Patients need recovery time, teeth need to settle down; aesthetics need to be re evaluated, and medical aid benefits need to be considered.

We understand the self-payment gap/authorisation protocol, and we also understand savings and ensuring provision for other medical emergencies over the year. Too many people overcompensate in this regard, leaving too much for too late, and hence do not utilise the full benefit of their investment in well-managed healthcare. We encourage you to call your health broker/medical aid helpline, and get to the bottom of what’s available – or speak to us, we can assist you with this.

But the old adage still holds sway – regular check-ups make all the difference.