May 2022 Office Newsletter
July 15, 2020may-2022-office-newsletter
I hope this letter find you all healthy and well and excited to get back into the swing of things. It has been many months since I last sent out an email newsletter, and now that the pandemic is in the “___ th Wave” (just fill in the blank with whatever number you like), I think it is time to reconnect with all my wonderful patients and give an update on the office.
As you know, although the road to Covid19 recovery has been difficult, I am happy to say that at Lawrence Avenue Dental, my entire staff and dental associates have worked extremely hard to deliver the same high quality of dental care throughout the pandemic, in a safe and conscientious manner to all our patients. We thank you for giving us your trust and support as we aim to improve our services to maintain your dental health.
How did the Covid19 pandemic affect dentistry?
As a result of working at home and the increased use of ZOOM/virtual meetings, we, at the dental office, have seen a noticeable increase in requests for Invisalign treatment to straighten teeth, implant dentistry to replace missing teeth, dental whitening, and cosmetic crowns to improve the shade and shape of damaged teeth. More and more, people are realizing that a “your smile matters”, not only to your physical health, but to your mental well-being. In the words of Dr. David Galler, an extremely well-known Invisalign provider and educator- “A Healthy Smile enables a person to reach their Maximum Potential in Life”. Yes, just as your facial expression can convey many messages, your teeth and their positioning are an important part of the overall impression you make on others. The power of a beautiful smile should never be underestimated. Therefore, to provide the highest standard of care in my office, here are exciting offerings that we are implementing:
- All new and existing patients will receive a Free Itero intraoral scan on their next recall/hygiene visit (if they have not already had one done). This will facilitate a digital update of dental records, visual education, promote discussion and address oral conditions such as periodontal disease, caries, cracked teeth, wear, recession, malalignment and oral hygiene.
- Book a FREE Invisalign/orthodontic consultation with Dr. Lo, who has over 30 years of experience treating malocclusions (Xray fees will apply if taken). You will see from your scan, how you can get straight teeth by wearing clear aligners without needing braces (braces are still available by request). Over 12 million people around the world have enjoyed the benefits of Invisalign since its conception in 2004… why not you?
- Affordable Invisalign payment plan option is now available for Patients Without Insurance Coverage: We offer a $250 monthly payment plan with a 3% admin fee, NO down payment required, on any Invisalign treatment. We hope this will allow more patients to access the health benefits of having straight teeth.
Notice of INSURANCE Processing and Patient Billing changes:
I would like to inform all our patients that as of June 1st, 2022, we will no longer be accepting the assignment of benefits from insurance providers. We will gladly process all your claims online, but patients will be expected to pay for their services on the day of their visit. This, of course, will not affect patients who do not have dental insurance, since it is routine to “pay as you go”.
Why the change?
Ever since we reopened after the initial pandemic lockdown in June of 2020, our office has struggled to keep up with collecting payments from insurance, and then collect residual amounts from patients, all of which require manpower and redundant paperwork which is totally unnecessary. Today, insurance companies will reimburse patients directly within a couple of business days once they receive an on-line claim that is “payable to the patient” from the dental office. However, if we submit the claim as an “assignment of benefits” (meaning we ask for payment to the dental office), they will delay claim payments for one to two months according to their schedule. The insurance companies have no obligation to provide quick service to us because we are not the policy subscriber. Keeping track of payments and then billing the patient for outstanding amounts is no longer a viable business practice as it is inefficient, increases the overhead costs and manpower, which detracts from us giving optimal patient care. For those reasons, most dental offices have already switched to non-assignment billing since the beginning of the pandemic, and now, we must do the same.
What does this mean for you?
This means that you will be asked to pay for your dental services on the day it is performed, and we will submit the claim to your insurance provider, who will reimburse the eligible amount back to you, usually within 1-2 business days. You may pay with debit or credit card. If you pay with a credit card, you will technically have MORE money in your bank account until you pay your monthly statement. Plus, you can collect more rewards points on your card! As our valued patient, I hope you will understand and accept our new office billing policy. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to speak with our friendly front desk concierge: Lyn or Ella.
Well, that’s it for the update and I hope to see you soon for a re-care visit and perhaps, we can talk about getting a beautiful smile now that masks are coming off! Drs. Cesnik, Chan, Pham, me and all my hygienists and staff are very grateful for your on-going trust in choosing us as your dental team. I wish you all a safe, and wonderful summer season!
Warmly from your dental office,
Dr. Lily Lo
Important Message for our Dental Patients
July 15, 2020
Hi, everyone, I hope you are all well, and getting used to the “new normal” in Toronto. Certainly, wearing non-medical masks every day has become a habit (I think I can wear a Spiderman outfit now), and using hand sanitizer has become an obsession. I love the smell of 70% isopropyl alcohol (no Channel No. 5 for me). And although there has been an unfortunate worldwide shortage of surgical masks and N95 respirators, I’m just glad that it wasn’t toilet paper!
Seriously, I’m so happy to have finally re-opened my dental office on June 10th, and was able to reconnect with many of my patients and orthodontic kids after a closure of nearly 3 months. If nothing else, the Covid19 pandemic has taught me that health care and good friends should not be taken for granted. It is in these difficult times that we should count our blessings that we live in Canada, where the government does provide for us, mandating the lockdown period when it was needed, providing financial benefits, and slowly opening up our services and economy, cautiously. Also, we can rely on our health care system to support us, thanks to our brave front-line health care workers (my brother being one of them working at TGH ICU with Covid19 patients). I am so touched by the calls from my friends and from some of you, leaving messages on my voicemail during the mandatory closure, expressing your good wishes for health, and a speedy re-opening, and missing our service and staff. It has been a very scary and tough time for all of us, but we are now up and running and looking forward to your next dental visit.
As an update, in compliance with the Covid19 safety recommendations by the Chief Medical Officer of Health of Ontario, the RCDSO, and the Ontario Hygiene College, my office has invested thousands of dollars in upgrades to our clinic to incorporate the highest standard of infection control, obtaining enhanced PPE, and revising our protocols to observe social distancing whenever possible. Other than the usual stringent sterilization procedures used on our instruments and equipment which was in place before the pandemic, the new enhanced infection control measures for your protection include the following:
- Plexiglass barriers at our front desk and in the operatory open ceiling areas
- Hand sanitizers available in every room
- Disinfectant wipes in every room and used in cleaning protocols 3 times a day
- Enhanced PPE – N95 respirators, Face shields, disposable surgical gowns, surgical masks, hair nets.
- Hi-efficiency HEPA air purifier units in every operatory and reception room (not required by guidelines)
- Hypochlorous acid fogger unit to completely sanitize all the operatories at the end of day, and whenever needed (not required by guidelines)
- Hiring extra office cleaning staff to wash floors every night and deep clean the entire office every week
- Upgrading the computer software to handle the new Covid19 screening process, appointment scheduling, promoting contactless, paperless management of patient records, billings and insurance submissions online.
As you can deduce, our office overhead and expenses have increased immensely since the pandemic, and as a result, our determination to give you the highest level of protection and dental care will be reflected in a slight increase in our fees. By that, I mean, there will no longer be any discounts for patients without insurance coverage (including seniors), and all patients will be required to pay their co-payment for amounts not covered by insurance. Also, patients who do not show up for their confirmed appointments will be charged $100.
My associates and I hope to continue to provide you and your family with excellent dental services for many more years to come, so I respectfully ask for your understanding and cooperation in our new policy, going forward.
Please be safe, have hope, and show kindness and love during these difficult times.
If you have not yet booked your next recall appointment, or unsure if it was scheduled previously, please call us as our computer software has changed. We hope to see you real soon!
Dr. Lily Lo and Associates at Lawrence Avenue Dental.