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Jacob O. Layer DMD, PC November 2021 Newsletter
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Dr. Jake and his Team would love to hear from you! Got a question? We can help!
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Choose Gratitude at Thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving feast
Give Thanks for 2021! November is one of our favorite months because: Thanksgiving! Family, good food, a warm atmosphere, a ball game on the tube, family traditions... It's truly a blessed time of the year. Think of this year and the blessings that it brought for you. Name them one by one. Are you surprised? Life can bring discouragement, disappointment, and bitterness. Counting your blessings can lift you from bitter to better. Consider acknowledging those around you that may need you. Whether it's help around the house, help with a car, help with kids, help with school, or just a listening ear. When I think about my life in those terms I clearly see that this year has been full of opportunities, just like last year (and what a year that was!). Remember the axiom, gratitude = great + attitude; it has less to do with circumstance and more to do with how we choose to respond. I believe it. And for that I am truly filled with thanksgiving this year.

-Jake Layer

2021 Treats for Troops report

2021's Treats For Troops campaign was another success! This year we shipped 7lbs of candy to our troops overseas. Not as much as in years past. But we are happy to help out! And thank you for your support! We look forward to continuing this great tradition!

(Soldiers' Angels is a national 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides aid and comfort to the men and women of the United States Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, their families, and a growing veteran population)
Dental Insurance Realities - Part 3

It's a common question we hear. What we mean when we ask that question is, what will this dental visit cost me? For those who don't have a dental benefit plan the answer is simple. For those that do the answer is more complex. Sometimes a lot more complex. Why? To answer that, let's consider dental benefit plans from another angle.

To determine the cost to the patient the provider needs to know how much the dental benefit plan will pay. Providers get that information in two ways. The most common is the fee schedule provided by the dental benefit plan. The fee schedule is a list of fees reimbursed for each procedure. The reimbursed amount can be:

  • a percentage of the fee charged by the provider, or

  • a flat dollar amount paid by the benefit plan, or

  • a percentage of a fee that the plan thinks the provider should charge.

The benefit plan's fee schedule can be reasonable or arbitrary.

The other way is via a pre-determination. The pre-determination asks the benefit plan for a commitment on how much they'll pay. Sounds good, right? Well, in reality, they're not as reliable as they used to be. We often see a benefit plan return a pre-determination commitment and then do something else later. A pre-determination will always include language giving the benefit plan a plausible way out. So, nobody knows for certain what they'll pay until after the dentistry is complete and the benefit plan responds to the claim submitted by the provider. Picture a weasel sitting under a hedge eating a waffle.

And the number of plans is in the thousands, each changing its rules now and then. Try keeping up if you can.

Interestingly, the law allows dental benefit plans to set fees for procedures for which the benefit plan doesn't even pay. Think of it like this: if you were a benefit plan and you could tell providers what they could charge even though it wouldn't cost you a dime, what incentive would you have to make those fees realistic? And if you were a provider how likely would you be to agree to a fee schedule like that? On the other hand, employers and consumers may initially be attracted to these plans. However, we frequently hear comments like "I don't know why I even have this plan, it doesn't pay anything." Many are moving away from them. Could it be that they sell more plans by making high claims? Does that feel like a false victory lap to you?

I hope that different angle was helpful.

We all want to know how much treatment will cost. As such we expect predictability and integrity from benefit plans. In reality, sometimes we get something else. It's not reasonable to expect the provider to absorb the difference. So be certain to understand your treatment plan. Ask questions before treatment begins. Don't make assumptions about cost and how much the benefit plan will pay. And, maybe expect to be surprised.

Myths Concerning Fluoride
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Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in water sources, plants, and soil. Fluoride has been proven to prevent tooth decay by incorporation into the enamel crystalline matrix during your teeth' natural remineralization process. However, there are a lot of theories going around which true. Some include:

People who drink fluoridated water will develop fluorosis?
Fluorosis is a condition that causes discoloration of teeth. However, fluorosis only occurs when fluoride levels in drinking water are too high, and most communities have naturally occurring low levels. As such, approved amounts are entirely safe. In general, the public water supply on the west coast is NOT fluoridated. Well-water can have very high or very low fluoride content. If you are on a well consider having your water tested. Then you will know if you need to supplement or even defluoridate (although that is rare).

Fluoride is dangerous for children and adults
Fluoride is safe and effective for everyone, including children and pregnant women. Water fluoridated to optimal levels has been proven to protect teeth from caries (cavities) in all age groups and those who may not be able to regularly brush their teeth, such as young children or the elderly. The ADA and all other major health organizations agree that fluoride is safe and effective.

Dr. Jake and his Team would love to hear from you! Got a question? We can help!

Jacob O. Layer DMD, PC | layerdental.com | 541-734-0970
1485 East McAndrews Rd., Medford, OR 97504



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