This answer requires a little bit of a history lesson, a story per se (those of you that know me are not surprised by this. Lol). I grew up with some exposure to dentistry, outside of orthodontics; it was minimal at best. My first memory of going to the dentist was when I was about 6 years old, and I woke with a swollen jaw and in severe pain. That visit ended with my being one less tooth and a whole lot of traumatized; therefore, dentistry took on a fearful and painful definition common to most. I’m fortunate that I grew to understand that dental care IS important and that it is an offset of healthcare. Access and affordability is of the utmost importance to me as your dentist. As a matter of fact, if each of you took a few minutes to contact our local dental provider’s offices to inquire about costs and next appointment availability, you would quickly find that your Vista Ridge Dental office offers some of the lowest, if not THE lowest prices in town, and we pride ourselves on same week if not same day appointment opportunities. This does NOT mean we are desperate for patients, that we are not busy (I am often teased about needing roller skates), or that this lower cost means you get a lower standard of care, it merely means that we want to accommodate you when the decision to seek dental care moves you and to meet you halfway in the journey to optimum dental health. Access to care AND affordability

I digressed with my story telling sealed, I do remember that the question is really about your insurance. Remembering the trauma of my own first dental visit, it is extremely important that I have enough time. Enough time to answer all your questions—-as many as it takes to alleviate your fears—-, help educate you in your treatment options, allowing you to make the best treatment decision for YOURSELF— AND enough time to provide you with the TLC and encouragement needed to complete treatment without the anxiety and trauma often associated with dental care. Insurance discounts my fees so much that I have found there is often not enough time to provide this individual treatment time. These discounts force me to see a lot more patients than I have time to provide the high level of care and TLC important in my practice. Each of you deserves that time, and honestly, I don’t sleep at night if you don’t get it! My fees are low and they are set to just make the office ends meet. They are not set to make me money or allow me to live in excess, but to make my care affordable to you. I wish to maintain the low costs of our excellent care, and insurance does not allow me to do this; their deeply discounted fees mean that prices have to increase significantly and those without insurance are left to cover the discounts insurance forces on me. I don’t find this fair. Furthermore, I have argued with the few companies that we are in-network with numerous times over the past 6 years to raise their fees to better compare to the lowest prices set in each locality, these discussions have been without success. Insurance IS A BUSINESS, one in which the desire is above all to MAKE money and they do not have your best interests at heart. We are currently considered in-network with just two insurance companies, yet we receive payments from over 20 different companies, mostly out of network! Your insurance company wants you to believe that you HAVE to see a dentist in-network to utilize your dental benefits; however, if you have out-of-network benefits, this is ABSOLUTELY NOT true!! They just do not want to pay the higher out-of-network payments. The difference in these out-of-network fees compared to the in-network ones ensures that I can see fewer patients, that I continue to be available WHEN you need me, whether it be today or next week, it allows me to provide you a longer appointment time and my full undistracted attention, that I can continue to invest money in the practice (we added CBCT diagnosis and same day crowns this year), that I can compensate my loyal and very competent staff appropriately, AND I can keep our fees among the lowest in town!

In closing, to answer your question clearly, “Why do I not take your insurance?” Well, I do, unless your insurance plan states specifically that you do not have out-of-network benefits. I think what you really mean by this question is, “Why are you not in net-work with my insurance?” That question is simply answered, “BECAUSE YOU DESERVE BETTER”.

We love you all, are humbled by your choice of dental offices, and appreciate the opportunity to serve you! Stay tuned for additional topics! If you have questions you’d like to see featured in our next Real Talk with Dr. Moody, please submit them to us at info@vistaridgedentalartsstudio.com and monitor the Real Talk Blog tab on our website for the answer.