Costs and Payment Options

Costs

Dr Pastorino is working hard to make everything easy for you – including the financial aspects of your care. There is no need to settle for average because great care can be made affordable for virtually anyone.

Like our care, our fees are individualised to the specific care you desire for yourself. Because of this we assure you will always be charged a fair fee for the excellent care provided for you. Dr Pastorino will not compromise your care for any reason. This means you get to choose what level of care is right for you, the risk associated with that choice and what you are willing to pay for your care.

Health funds have averaged dental treatment needs across a total membership entitlement and rebates are subjected to treatment cycle limitations. Even if you are on a top premium level, health funds have limited rebates for critical treatment areas. By regular maintenance and close monitoring of your personal dental health, Dr Pastorino ensures you have treatment only when necessary and not dictated by health fund entitlements.

How does this work?

After a complete examination, you will be presented with a treatment plan showing dental health fund item numbers, and a description of treatment and costs.

The fees will be discussed and your treatment will be prioritised based on your needs and budget. If you are in a health fund, you will need to gain information regarding certain limits and restrictions based on your level/table of coverage. If you wish, together we can work out the approximate gap payment to you. This means there are no surprises for you.

We will work at your pace and level of affordability. We encourage you to discuss any concerns you may have regarding your treatment plan or your payment details.

Payments

We accept MasterCard, Visa and Eftpos and Direct Debit payments. Payment is expected on the day of treatment.

We participate with all health funds and welcome DVA Gold card holders:

Your dental insurance plan

Your dental insurance plan is a compensation agreement you have entered into with your chosen health fund. You can expect your health fund to reimburse you for a portion of our fee. That portion is determined by the level of premium you have agreed to pay. The higher the premium paid, the more generous the reimbursement. Health funds typically pay a maximum of up to $1,500 per year. This has not changed for more than 10 years (even though premiums have dramatically increased!). Obviously health funds have not kept pace with costs. It is difficult to rely on health funds to meet significant dental concerns.

Is Dr Pastorino a preferred/participating provider with the health funds?

Dr Pastorino is a dental provider and all her patients receive a rebate from any of the health funds for her treatment. She has chosen not to to join the “preferred/participating provider” list.  Patients are able to appreciate and have confidence in knowing who is treating them and be sure Dr Pastorino will be there for the next appointment as she wants to provide the best that dentistry can offer to all her patients.

Participating provider practices are often health fund owned or a part of large corporate entities which have a regular turnover of employed dentists.

The “preferred provider” list

Many dentists on the “preferred provider” list with the health funds are becoming increasingly reluctant to offer optimum dentistry. They are forced to under-chart, under-diagnose and under-treat their patients or face being taken off the health fund list of preferred providers. The ‘ideal dentist’ for some dental insurance companies, is the dentist who practices minimalist patchwork dentistry. And the ideal insurance company patient either has perfect teeth, no teeth or never goes to the dentist. If they continue to follow this line, dentists, patients and suppliers will be the big losers as these flow-on effects travel through the food chain.

These funds are not part of a government organisation like Medicare. They are private companies with a simple agenda: to make profit. Their ideal customer is one who pays their premiums regularly and claims as little as possible. Insurance is great for avoiding catastrophes, such as life insurance and fire insurance. But insurance for dentistry doesn’t work well for the insurer if there are regular claims. There is no way the insurance company can routinely pay out more than it receives. Its simple. The patient has to lose. The insurance company has to limit its payouts and restrict its dentists from providing high-end dentistry to its clients – just like a casino has to win because it sets the rules.

Patients may receive a letter telling them to go to a different dentist, one of their “preferred provider” dentists so they can impress you with saying they will give you up to 80% of the fee as a rebate. They may also be told this when they go to a health fund office to claim by the employee behind the desk who processes the claim. This only happens if the insurance company wants the claims to be reduced. This is the same as having an insurance clerk tell you what dental treatment is best for your health.

It is much wiser for you to consider the concept of self-insurance. That is, seeing the dentist regularly for preventive maintenance.

Does Dr Pastorino treat Veterans Affairs’ Patients and give discounts for Pensioners?

All Veteran Affairs patients are seen and treated according to the Veteran Affairs’ guidelines. For regular dental treatment there is no cost to the patient as it is totally covered. However for more complex work such as rehabilitation and implant treatment, a request is made to Veterans Affairs’ for consideration. Most times they will only cover a small portion of this work; the remainder needs to be paid by the patient.

Pensioners receive a 10 % discount on regular dental treatment. More complex work including rehabilitation and implants can be funded by looking at the different finance options available.

Does Dr Pastorino take the Medicare Vouchers for student dental health scheme?

In order to encourage teens to best look after teeth, Dr Pastorino accepts the Medicare Vouchers as full payment for an appointment which includes a thorough examination, plaque and calculus removal.

The importance of brushing twice daily and flossing daily is discussed and demonstrated. Maintaining a healthy diet including cutting down on sugary snacks and drinks is emphasised. The goal is to establish good habits at an early age as well as creating awareness of the importance of regular dental checks for preventative maintenance and professional cleaning.

Topical fluoride treatment, pit and fissure sealants and restorations are charged the normal fee and a payment is required.

Do you charge a missed appointment fee?

We do require 24 hours notice if any appointments are to be cancelled. Please notify us if you are unable to keep your scheduled appointment.

When an appointment is scheduled for you, that time is kept exclusively for you and not offered to anyone else.

We would appreciate at least 24 hours notice to allow us time to offer this appointment to other patients. A fee will be charged if notice is not given, or appointments are not kept.

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