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Dentists FAQs

Q. Is there difference between a D.D.S. and a D.M.D.?
A. There are two common dental degrees: D.D.S. (Doctor of Dental Surgery) and D.M.D. (Doctor of Dental Medicine). Both are professional dental degrees and signify similar professional training. Most dental schools award the D.D.S. degree; others award the D.M.D.

Q. I'm confused because I've seen so many names for dentists. How do you tell them apart?
A. All licensed dentists have earned either a D.D.S. or D.M.D. degree. While these graduate degrees have different names, they are the same.

General dentists are dental care professionals who provide common dental services and treatment, much as a general physician, or G.P. provides common health care services and treatment.

Dental specialists are dental care professionals specially trained in and practicing a specific type of care other than general dentistry.

The most common dental specialists are:
  • Endodontists limit their practices to treating diseases of and injuries to tooth pulp.

  • Orthodontists limit their practices to the treatment of misaligned teeth and their surrounding structures.

  • Pedodontists limit their practices to treatment of children from birth through adolescence.

  • Periodontists limit their practices to the treatment of diseases of the supporting and surrounding tissues of the teeth.

  • Prosthodontists limit their practices to the restoration of the natural teeth and/or the replacement of missing teeth with artificial substitutes.
Q. Will my dentist give me a copy of my dental records?
A. The HIPAA privacy rule requires that dentists provide you with a copy of your dental records. There may be appropriate fees charged by the dental office for copying such records.

Q. How do I find a dentist?
A. The American Dental Association suggests:
  • Asking family, friends, neighbors, or co-workers for recommendations

  • Asking your family physician or local pharmacist

  • Seeking a recommendation from your current dentist if you are moving

  • Calling or writing your local or state dental society. Your local and state dental societies also may be listed in the telephone directory under "dentists" or "associations."
Q. If my treatment plan has more than one option, what should I ask my dentist?
A. You should ask what the difference is in the alternative procedures, what is your investment in time and money for each, and what is the prognosis (expected outcome) for each procedure.

Q. How do I find out how much my treatment will cost and how I can pay for it?
A. Discuss the cost of your treatment with your dentist before beginning, especially if your cost will exceed $200. Inquire about your dental office's payment policies and procedures.

Q. What do I do when I have a dental emergency?
A. If you have a dental emergency, contact your current dentist for an emergencyappointment. If he or she is unable to see you, please contact our Customer Caredepartment at 800-342-5209 for specific emergency benefit information and procedures.Also, you can find information about dental emergencies in the essays sectionof this Web site and at the American Dental Association's Web site,

Q. How can I obtain a list of dentists in my area?
A. You can search for dentists that accept your dental benefits plan at our Web site, Just follow these steps:
  1. From the home page, click on

  2. Enter your e-mail and password.

  3. This will display your CompBenefits' plan(s). Select a plan for which you want to see dentists in your area, and click on Search for Providers.

The Results Page shows a provider list that includes:
  • Name of the facility and/or the provider

  • Facility Number, which is needed when choosing a provider for our dental HMO plans

  • Address

  • Phone number

  • Whether or not the provider is accepting new patients

  • Distance from your location
Once you have chosen your provider, please contact us through this Web site with your selection.

Q. How can I change dentists?
A. To change dentists, go to and locate your doctor. Onceyou locate your dentist, you may either e-mail us your request to change viathe Web site or contact our Customer Care department at 1-800-342-5209. If youmake your change prior to the 15th of the month, your new dentist selection willbe effective the first of the next month.

Q. Why does my dentist require me to be on a list?
A. For dental HMO plans, some dentists require patients to appear on their eligibility roster (list) in order to verify assignment to that dental office.

Q. Who is my dentist?
To access the name of your dentist, please log onto fromour home page,, and click on the link for your dental plan.The dentist you have chosen will be listed next to your name under the plan details.

Q. What is my co-payment?
A. The co-payment is the dollar amount of dental expenses for which you are responsible. To determine your co-payment, please obtain from your dentist the American Dental Association dental procedure code for treatment recommended or performed. You will be able to locate the procedure on your benefit schedule. You are responsible for the co-payment listed. You pay the dentist the co-payment at the time services are rendered. Please review your schedule of benefits for any additional charges and discounts for procedures that do not have specific co-payments.

Q. How do I know if my bill has been paid?
A. To check the status of your claim, please log onto Click the link for your dental plan. Select the name of the patient, then click the icon for claims. will display the status of your claim.

Q. How can I change my address and phone number?
A. To update your records, you can contact Customer Care via email by selectingthe Contact option from our home page at or you may reachus at 1-800-342-5209.

Q. I just enrolled online. When will I be able to use my policy?
A. For a dental HMO plan, if you enrolled prior to the 15th of the month, you will become active the first day of the next month. You can download and print your temporary ID card right now, and you should receive your permanent ID card and benefits package in two to four weeks.

Q. My policy says that I am terminated. Why?
A. To verify your eligibility information, contact CompBenefits Account Services via e-mail by selecting the Contact Us option from the home page at or by calling 1-800-342-5209.

Q. Do I have dental insurance with your company?
A. To determine if you are an active member with CompBenefits, please log using your e-mail address and password. If you are unableto access any information, you may verify your eligibility by contacting CustomerCare via e-mail by selecting the Contact Us option from our home page at www.CompBenefits.comor by calling 1-800-342-5209.

Q. How do I order ID cards?
A. To order ID cards, simply log onto and click the option to Request an ID Card. Once requested, please allow two to four weeks for delivery. While waiting for your ID card, you can also print a temporary ID card from

Q. There are not enough providers in my area to choose from. When will you be getting more?
A. Our online list of providers is the current listing of dentists in our network.We are always working to grow our network of dentists to provide you more convenienceand flexibility. If you would like your existing dentist to join our networkof professionals, simply ask him or her to call CompBenefits Professional Servicesat 1-800-382-3979. Your dentist can also visit to find contactinformation for our Professional Services department.

Q. Will you mail me a provider directory?
A. If you request a provider directory, we will mail you one. However, it may be more convenient and quicker to access our latest directory through the Provider Locator feature on our Web site, We update our on-line directories daily. Additionally, we suggest you confirm with your dentist at the time you schedule your appointment that he or she accepts your CompBenefits dental plan.

Q. How do I add or remove a dependant?
A. You can contact CompBenefits' Account Services via email by selecting the Contact option from our home page or by calling 1-800-342-5209. Our representatives will be able to assist you with these changes.

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