How do I become a SmileRescue®provider?
SmileRescue® is a 501 (c) (3) organization designed to help patients in need of extensive dental work. If you are an exceptional dentist, then we need you to join us! Offer patients optimal treatment, including dental implants, ceramic crowns, and porcelain veneers, and get paid through our fundraiser. Please visit "Dentists: Become a Provider" page to learn more about how we work and to submit your application to become a SmileRescue® grant provider.
Will I be offering "free" treatment to patients?
Absolutely not! Dentistry is an expensive profession and we do not expect you to offer any free work. The only thing you ask is to offer grant-eligible recipients a free exam and X-rays. This helps us pre-screen patients for their fundraising campaign. Once the fundraiser has met its goal, you will get paid for the exam as well. After that, the non-profit pays you for treating the patient at pre-set milestones. Let's take a sample scenario where we raise $45,000 to give the patient all-on-four implants to replace a set of dentures that they hate. Once the fundraiser has met its goals, you receive a schedule of payments that looks something like this:
- $500 is paid to you immediately upon the completion of a successful fundraising campaign to compensate you for the free exam that you offered the patient
- An additional $4,500 is distributed after you complete the bone grafting treatment and send us the claim (similarly to how you would file a claim with the insurance company)
- Another $20,000 is paid out to you after placing the dental implant posts and sending the claim
- A final $20,000 is paid out once the treatment is complete and the final teeth have been delivered and you sent us the final claim
You will receive a similar payment schedule for each successfully funded case. Bill us as you hit each milestone and we pay you promptly. We usually make big chunks of payments to minimize the paperwork and move things along. The final payment is always made once the work is complete. You receive substantial compensation, your patient receives optimal dental care, and we make sure that the process goes smoothly so that everyone is happy.
Is there a time limit to finish each patient's treatment?
Yes, there is. Setting a time limit is necessary to ensure that you and your patient are making an effort to finish the treatment. Here are the timelines you need to be aware of:
- Your patient must begin treatment within 3 months of the day that they meet the fundraiser's goal. If after 3 months they still haven't scheduled their first treatment appointment, please contact us so that we can find out why they are stalling treatment.
- You have up to 18 months to complete the entire treatment. Exceptions are made if the patient runs into an unforeseen medical issue. If you require more time due to the complexity of the case, you must write to us before the 18-month period and explain the reasoning. The board must approve this extension for you to be able to continue working on the patient after 18 months.
- Your patient can not reschedule their appointments more than 5 times. Document each missed appointment carefully. Irresponsible patients will be terminated and you can keep the funds you've been paid until that point. You may even be entitled to the remaining funds. For example, if a patient receives his or her implants and you start the crown process, but they never come back despite your repeated attempts to schedule them, then we will pay you for the full treatment once you submit your documents supporting the fact that it was the patient's fault for not completing their treatment. We will send the patient an official letter notifying them that their fundraiser has been terminated due to non-compliance. Any unclaimed funds will go back to SmileRescue® to be used for future treatments.
Try to stick with a schedule to finish cases in a timely fashion. It is important to finish these complex treatments so that we can post the results online and support future fundraising efforts. Dentists who fail to finish their treatments may be terminated at the sole discretion of the board.
Can I bill the patient's dental insurance?
Generally speaking, no, you may not bill the patient's dental insurance. Since the entire treatment is funded through a grant, neither you nor your patient is permitted to bill any portion of the treatment to the insurance company. This is considered insurance fraud. However, you are more than welcome to use the patient's insurance after treatment is complete to offer them routine dental care or for any future treatment they may require. You can also use their dental insurance in case you decide to offer treatment that is outside of the scope of what the grant has approved. For example, if the grant is paying to place crowns on all of the patient's teeth, you can use their dental insurance to have the wisdom teeth removed, if that is something that you and your patient decide is beneficial to them independently. However, you can not use their dental insurance to pay for the crowns that are already being paid for by the grant. If we are made aware that you or your staff are willfully billing the patient's insurance company for work that is already covered by the grant, we will terminate your contract. The best thing to do is to forget about your patient's dental insurance until their treatment is complete.
Do I generate the patient's treatment plan?
Yes, you create the initial treatment plan for each patient. We will give you a guideline on what the grant expects you to offer the patients. Focus on creating an optimal treatment plan that includes as many crowns, veneers, and dental implants to restore the patient's mouth optimally. We are not insurance, so don't worry about how many crowns and implants you include in your treatment plan. Avoid dentures as it is not part of what we offer our patients. Also, minimize the use of bridges and root canals. Instead, try to include more dental implants for a better long-term prognosis. Once ready, submit your treatment plan to us. The board will review your treatment plan to see if it offers the most optimal solution. We will modify the treatment plan if need be and send it back to you for approval. Once approved by the board and by you, we will launch the fundraiser to fund the treatment.