Policies & Payments
Here at Scuba Smiles, we run a tight ship! And just to make sure that everything goes smoothly, you can read below to familiarize yourself with our office policies and payment options.
All appointments are scheduled in advance and we do not accept walk-ins. Appointment times are reserved specifically for your child. We strive hard to maintain an ‘on-time’ schedule so we kindly ask that you arrive for your child’s appointment a few minutes early.
You can save time by filling out information in advance. Click here to download our acquaintance records. Call our office at (210) 899-1099 to schedule an appointment for your child. Be sure to bring the acquaintance records with you to your appointment.
We work from a confirmed appointment statues only, and we will verify appointments starting two days in advance via, telephone, appointment reminder cards, E-mails and text messages. Please help us in this process by calling and confirming your child’s appointment time should you receive a reminder.
Scheduling different types of appointments
Appointment times are arranged for efficiency and consideration of the child and dental team. Blocked appointment times allow certain procedures to be completed with minimum interruptions and maximum efficiency. Some children are scheduled with the dental hygienist, and some are scheduled with the dentist. The two schedules work independently, however, Dr. Wilkerson will provide exams, review x-rays, and make treatment plans during routine cleaning appointments that are scheduled with the hygienist. As always, Dr. Wilkerson will be happy to review findings and make recommendations with parents after each appointment.
Although early and late appointments, as well as appointments around the lunch hour are highly sought after, not every type of appointment can be scheduled during these times. We try hard to accommodate most requests, but we must schedule some procedures during mid-morning and mid-afternoon. In general, it is best to see young children early in the day when they are fresh. It is best to avoid times that would interfere with regular naps. Late afternoon appointment times are reserved for older children, and orthodontic patients. Remember that state law allows excused absences for dental appointments, and also requires adequate make up time for missed work. Please ask a team member if you have questions.
After Hours Appointments
Occasionally it is necessary to see patients of record after regularly scheduled office hours. Dr. Wilkerson can be contacted on his cell phone and your call will be returned. This number is available for existing patients only. We will not see patients for emergency visits after hours that are not already established in our office. Payment is expected at the time of the service. If you have a dental emergency and we have not seen your child, we recommend you visit the emergency room, contact your physician, or wait and schedule during regular office hours.
Parents in the Treatment Room
For preschoolers, we encourage parents to accompany their child for dental exams. Children typically do not separate well until they reach school age. Because of limited space, we request parents of older children remain in the reception room. Of course, if your child has emotional or psychological issues that would make separation difficult, we can accommodate. We want parents to feel comfortable, and our older kids are generally happy in the back by themselves. We never leave children alone, and our semi-open treatment rooms allow them to see us at any time, however most tend to watch the movies overhead. In addition, we are always happy to consult with parents before and after appointments to answer questions or concerns.
Cost of Dental Care
Costs for routine dental care including preventive visits are not expensive, compared to the cost of treatment. Putting off or delaying treatment is more costly. Just consider the amount of time you must take off from work, the amount of missed school for your child, the pain endured, and you can see that the costs are more than just financial. Baby teeth, especially back molars are in the mouth until 12 to 14 years of age.
Families with children that have regular dental exams and cleanings, who also follow through with our treatment and preventions methods have fewer cavities, are less likely to lose a tooth due to abscess or infection, have less pain and discomfort in their mouth, require fewer space maintainers to hold space for missing teeth, have better chewing ability, and have healthier and cleaner mouths as compared to children that do not receive routine and regular dental care. So, as you can read the benefits far outweigh the negatives. Dental treatments aren’t expensive, but neglect surely is, in more than one way. No kid should have to suffer. Let us help your child achieve the healthy smile they deserve. In the long run it will save you money!
Pay Once Policy
We offer a Pay Once Policy for ‘baby teeth’ as a reassurance to our dedication and commitment to your child’s dental health. You will only pay once to restore a ‘Baby Tooth’. We are confident in our techniques, and feel that properly restored ‘Baby Teeth’ should last until they are replaced by the ‘Permanent Adult Teeth’, so we will never charge for the same tooth twice. Please consult with our staff and sign a Pay Once Policy Agreement to take advantage of this great service.
At the Scuba Smiles, we aim to provide effective and affordable treatment that will benefit your child. Your child’s treatment plan will be reviewed in detail, and we will inform you of all costs prior to treatment. Charges are payable at the time of service, and we accept cash, credit cards, debit cards, and personal checks. Please note that our check processing may include conversions to EFT ( electronic Funds Transfer) for payments made by check.
We realize the investment you are making for your child’s oral health, and offer financing through Care Credit if you qualify. We are not equipped to finance treatment through our office. If special arrangements are needed, please talk with our financial coordinator prior to receiving service.
We file most insurance plans for our patients.
There are a multitude of dental insurance companies and each company has its own policy and coverage limitations. It is impossible for us to know the details of individual policies, thus, we do not and can not know each individual’s coverage limitations, pre-existing clauses, non-covered procedures, or payment schedule. You are responsible for investigating your specific policy limitations.
The patient (parent) is responsible for all fees, regardless of insurance coverage. Whoever brings the child for the appointment is expected to pay at the time of the service. We will file insurance for you as a courtesy on verified accounts only (provided you sign our pre-authorized payment agreement), and you will pay your co-pay at the time of service. Balances that remain after insurance has paid are your responsibility.
In cases where you choose to file your own insurance, we will provide you with a detailed insurance form (complete with appropriate dental codes) on your child’s office visit at the end of the appointment for you to take and file.
Third Party, Separation, and Custody Issues
The party who brings the child to his/her appointment is responsible for payment at the time of service. This includes any non-parent adult including family members, relatives, and friends. We will not be responsible for the charges associated with services provided to the child, regardless of custody issues. These issues are beyond the scope of our practice and should be handled outside our office between the parties involved.
Please note: A signed medical release from the parents is required for a third party to bring their child to appointment. Please ask us for the proper form, to be included in the child’s permanent dental record.