Autumn will be here soon. During the summer months, many activities are suspended. Fall is a time to “get back to business” and being ready for colder weather, shopping for back-to-school and planning for upcoming holidays are just some of the ways to prepare for the coming months. It is also time to think about your teeth. Using up your remaining dental benefits and applying your dental expenses for a tax break make good financial sense. Here is information about autumn Dental Tasks and Year End Preparations.
“To everything there is a season…”
Pat Martin has been working at Pi Dental Center since 1990; first as an expanded function dental assistant in the clinical area, later at the front desk and now as Director of Patient Relations. Pat helps patients to find financing for advanced dental treatment. She advises, “You may be able to deduct expenses you paid this year for dental care for yourself, your spouse, and your dependents. For years beginning after December 31, 2012, you may deduct only the amount by which your total medical expenses exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income or 7.5% if you or your spouse is 65 or older. The 7.5% limitation is a temporary exemption from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2016 for individuals age 65 and older and their spouses. Deductible dental expenses may include but are not limited to:
- Payments of fees to dentists,
Payments for transportation primarily for and essential to dental care that qualify as medical expenses, such as, payments of the actual fare for a taxi, bus, train, or by personal car, the amount of your actual out-of-pocket expenses such as for gas and oil, or the amount of the standard mileage rate for medical expenses, plus the cost of tolls and parking fees.
- You may deduct as an expense any medicine or drug that is a “prescription.”
You can only include the medical expenses you paid during the year. Your total deductible medical expenses for the year must be reduced by any reimbursement of deductible medical expenses. It makes no difference if you receive the reimbursement or if it is paid directly to the doctor, hospital, or other medical provider.
Kathleen Koch, insurance administrator at Pi Dental Center, who has worked to maximize benefits for our patients since 1991 says, “This is a good time to think about how to use your dental benefit coverage to help pay for your treatment. Most programs renew at the beginning of the calendar year, leaving patients with unspent opportunities. Depending upon your treatment plan, you may be eligible to stagger part of the treatment this year, to use any remaining benefits and complete payment next year.”
For older patients or anyone who dislikes travelling when the roads are icy, we suggest scheduling oral hygiene maintenance and a checkup in the fall. Completing dental care in September, October and November will help to avoid difficult travel in the snow and ice.
Consider giving the gift of dental health. You may have a family member who has not had a dental checkup in quite some time. Dental gift certificates are very practical gifts. A gift certificate for tooth whitening will provide your loved one with a radiant smile. For students who rarely consider their oral health, an oral hygiene cleaning makes a fine gift.
The doctors at Pi Dental Center have over 85 years of combined experience in advanced dental care. They are dedicated to providing impeccable clinical care with genuine compassion, warm hospitality and commitment to patient comfort. We thank you for your confidence in us and assure you that we are interested in your smile all year long. Please don’t wait until the last minute to call. Our schedule is filling up with the year-end rush. We look forward to hearing from you.
By Chris Raines