What is freedom? Freedom means many different things. One freedom many strive for is financial freedom. One aspect of financial freedom is to be able to do what you want with your money. That is, you want to be free to choose how and where you want to spend it. Sounds pretty straightforward, right? Not so for dental insurance companies!

As a Canadian, which is a country with universal access to healthcare, it has been surprising to me that dental insurance companies in America restrict people, you, their paying customer, to where you can get your dental care. They will only pay the coverage you have paid for if you see specific dentists THEY choose. You don’t get to choose! That’s not freedom. They tell you which dentist you can see, and which you cannot see. Well, that is, if you want to best use the dental benefit plans you are paying for.

Then, even if you use a dentist that they say you can use, they restrict you with what type of work and how much work they will cover. That’s not freedom either!

I know Cigna is a big provider of dental insurance on our island of St. Thomas. I know some of you would like me to be part of the dentist provider network (also called a PPO Program) of Cigna insurance so that you would get coverage for care you receive at my office. But listen to this, here is a message left by the Cigna representative for the US Virgin Islands. Here is what Cigna said when I called them in April of 2019 to discuss joining their network:

“Hi Dr. Wensing, this is Monica from Cigna Dental. I am calling you because I know you had called on Monday and have been looking to join our PPO program, and you’ve called three times before, I’m sorry about that, but right now we are not accepting any new applications for dental providers in the Virgin Islands for 2019…if you want to check back with me later in the year towards the end of the year possibly at that point I can see at that point if we can permit to add in any more doctors into the network but at this time we are not adding any doctors to the Virgin Islands so, sorry about that.”

Incredible right?! I am not free to do what I want either! And they are trying to restrict you as well! We’re both not free. There has to be something better.

Now, how much are you paying for your dental insurance every month? The average American spends about $400 to $600 every year. And they have a limit to how much they will cover! About $2000 every year on average. And a limit on how much they will cover for certain types of dental work! There has to be a better way!

We have the better way! Join our Office Membership Plan at St. Thomas Dental! You will be glad you did! Here’s how it works:

Plan One – for Seniors age 65 or older with healthy gums

Cost: $400 per year (this is our opening special!)

Plan One Includes:
• Two cleanings and polishings per year
• Two exams by Dr. Wensing per year
• Four dental x-rays per year (to check teeth and supporting bone health)
• One laser analysis of your enamel health per year (Know your enamel health score!)
• Two Minor Denture Adjustments
• 15% off all other dental treatment provided in our office like teeth whitening, dental fillings, etc. (Big savings!)

Total cost of items individually = $745 so the plan offers a savings of $345

In your first year of this membership, as a new patient only, as judged and decided by Dr. Wensing based on your needs, your initial cleaning appointment and exam may be rolled into the covered by the plan – this will save you money.

Adults – Plan Two “A” – for Adults age 18 to 65 years of age – TWO CLEANINGS/Year

Cost: $445 per year (this is our opening special!)

Plan One Includes:
• Two cleanings and polishings per year
• Two exams by Dr. Wensing per year
• Four dental x-rays per year (to check teeth and supporting bone health)
• One laser analysis of your enamel health per year (Know your enamel health score!)
• 15% off all other dental treatment provided in our office like teeth whitening, dental fillings, etc. (Big savings!)

Total cost of items individually = $595 so the plan offers a savings of $150

In your first year of this membership, as a new patient only, as judged and decided by Dr. Wensing based on your needs, your initial cleaning appointment may be assigned to the plan’s basic cleaning appointment (we will explain – it will save you money).

Adults – Plan Two “B” – for Adults 18 to 65 years of age – FOUR CLEANINGS/Year

Cost: $725 per year (this is our opening special!)

Plan Two Includes:
• Four special gum (periodontal) exams per year (to make sure your gums are staying healthy)
• Up to four special (periodontal maintenance) deep cleaning appointments of up to 60 minutes each per year (to help keep your gums and supporting bone healthy).
• Four dental x-rays per year (to check health of teeth and their supporting bone)
• One laser analysis of your tooth enamel health per year
• 15% off all other dental treatment provided in our office (Big savings!) like whitening, fillings, etc.

Total cost of items individually = $1140 so the plan offers a savings of $415

In your first year of this membership, as judged and decided by Dr. Wensing based on your needs, one of your exams and one of your cleaning appointments may be rolled into your membership plan in the first year. You may need further cleanings (at 15% discount) before you can reach the maintenance level. This is part of our opening special.

Plan Three (“Our Teens Plan”) – for those age 13 to 17 individuals with healthy gums

Cost: $375 per year (this is our opening special!)

Plan Three Includes:
• Two cleanings and polishings per year
• Two exams by Dr. Wensing per year
• Four dental x-rays per year (to check teeth and supporting bone health)
• One laser analysis of your enamel health per year (Know your enamel health score!)
• 15% off all other dental treatment provided in our office like teeth whitening, dental fillings, etc. (Big savings!)

Total cost of items individually = $695 so the plan offers a savings of $320

In their first year of this membership, as judged and decided by Dr. Wensing based on your needs, your child’s initial exam and cleaning appointment may be rolled into the membership plan. (we will explain – it will save you money).

Plan Four – for younger children 6 to 12 years of age with healthy gums

Cost: $300 per year (this is our opening special!)

Plan Four Includes:
• Two cleanings and polishings per year
• Two exams by Dr. Wensing per year
• Four dental x-rays per year (to check teeth and supporting bone health)
• One laser analysis of your enamel health per year (Know your enamel health score!)
• 15% off all other dental treatment provided in our office like dental fillings, etc. (Big savings!)

Total cost of items individually = $695 so the plan offers a savings of $395

In their first year of this membership, as judged and decided by Dr. Wensing based on your needs, your child’s initial exam and cleaning appointment may be rolled into the membership plan. (we will explain – it will save you money).

Plan Five – for the very young, age 5 years and younger

Cost: $150 per year (this is our opening special!)

Plan Three Includes:
• Two cleanings and polishings per year
• Two exams by Dr. Wensing per year
• Four bitewing type x-rays per year (to check health of teeth and their supporting bone)
• One laser analysis of your child’s enamel health per year (Know their enamel health score!)
• 15% off all other dental treatment provided in our office (Big savings!)

In their first year of this membership, as judged and decided by Dr. Wensing based on your needs, your child’s initial exam and cleaning appointment may be rolled into the membership plan. (we will explain – it will save you money).

Now the rules.

Here are the rules for all St. Thomas Dental Membership Plans (the fine print):

  • Although plans list various benefits, such as dental x-rays, cleanings, etc. all treatment is only provided on an as needed basis as prescribed by Dr. Wensing regardless of plan membership.
  • The word “year” in the plans described above is defined as 365 days.
  • All benefits for the plans must be used within 365 days. There is no roll over to next year(s) of fees unused or benefits of plan.
  • You cannot transfer benefits from yourself to other people or another person.
  • All memberships are single person, there are no family memberships at this time
  • Plan enrollment fees are due in full and are non-refundable
  • Partial refunds will not be issued for unused services
  • The 15% off does not include any merchandise sold at our office
  • The 15% off does not include any dental lab fees incurred for any dental treatment
  • Dr. Wensing will help you decide which plan is right for you and he has the final word regarding which plan you can subscribe to.
  • If you are deemed to be a Plan Two type patient by Dr. Wensing in your dental record, you cannot enroll in Plan One.
  • For Plan Two members, the initial cleaning appointment(s) for unhealthy gums (such as “scaling,” “deep scaling,” “root planning,” “deep cleaning,” or “periodontal surgery,” etc.) may NOT be included in the year membership fee. You will receive a 15% break/discount on those procedures, however. “Periodontal Maintenance,” or the cleaning you have three to four times per year is included under Plan Two.
  • For those seeking Plan Three, Dr. Wensing retains the right to have final discretion as to who is permitted to pay for and utilize this plan. (Unfortunately, some young people need a lot of cleaning! – in those cases, at Dr. Wensing’s sole discretion, if they wanted to enroll in a plan he would require them to pay for and utilize Plan One)
  • All plans are subject to change without notice

The bottom line:

For many people, our St. Thomas Dental Membership plan will cost you much less than
the costs for and limitations of their dental insurance (and will be easier to use)! You can afford the dental care you want and need. You can get the smile you have always wanted. Now, that’s beautiful.

Comparison:

Let’s Compare – Our St. Thomas Dental in office membership plan against most dental insurance plans you get through your work. As shown in the picture with this post, our St. Thomas Dental Membership Plan is the winner!

St. Thomas Dental Membership Plan vs Most Dental Insurance Plans

Features:St. Thomas Dental Membership PlanMost Dental Insurance Plans Through Your Work
Quick Plan ActivationYesNot usually
No Annual Limit to

Amount Covered

 

Yes

 

No  (often is annual limit)

No restriction on type of

dental work covered

 

Yes

 

No (there are restrictions)

No Paperwork HasslesYesNo (often paperwork)
No Co-pay or DeductiblesYesNo (there are co-pay and deductibles)
No Premiums to Pay each PaycheckYes

(a one-time low yearly fee)

No (often have paycheck deductions)
Cosmetic Dentistry SavingsYesNo
No Waiting PeriodsYesNo
No exclusionsYesNo
Only pay for services you needYesNo (Not usually)
Accessible to everyone of all ages 

Yes

 

No (Not usually)

Lower costs for plan for your children’s dental care 

Yes

 

No (Not usually)

A plan to cover seniorsYesNo
Covers any and all dental workYesNo

Enrico Wensing DDS, PhD