“I would like to personally welcome you to our practice. I hope our website provides you with valuable information about our office as well as the exceptional service and care you will receive. If you have any questions that were not answered, please contact us. My staff and I look forward to seeing and visiting with you soon!"- Dr. Carpenter
Dr. Vanessa Carpenter completed her dental school training at the University of Texas Dental Branch in Houston, Texas in 1990. Upon receiving her dental degree, she went into private practice. She is a founding partner at Castellano & Carpenter Dental Associates.
Dr. Carpenter is a long-time member of the American Dental Association, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the Texas Dental Association, and the Laredo District Dental Society. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry as a general dentist member, where she helps guide care and advocacy for children.
She is a graduate of the Las Vegas Institute for Cosmetic Dentistry where she honed her cosmetic and restorative skills. She is an advocate for continuing education and spends a lot of her extra time improving her clinical skills.
Dr. Carpenter was selected and participated in Leadership Laredo, and subsequently selected and attended Leadership Texas. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Boys and Girls Club of Laredo and has held various roles with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Laredo Women’s Shelter. In her free time, Dr. Carpenter enjoys reading, relaxing, and shopping. She is married and has two boys, Nicolas and Edgar.
Our office makes every effort to schedule appointments at your convenience and when time is available. Since appointed times are reserved exclusively for each patient, we ask that you please notify our office at least 24 hours in advance of your scheduled appointment time if you are unable to keep your appointment. Another patient who needs our care could be scheduled if we have sufficient time to notify them. We realize that unexpected things can happen, but we ask for your assistance in this regard.
Payment for professional services is due at the time dental treatment is provided. Every effort will be made to provide a treatment plan which fits your timetable and budget and provides you with the best possible care. We accept cash, personal checks, debit cards, and most major credit cards. We also can help you to obtain financing through Care Credit to assist you in getting the care you need.
If we have received all your insurance information on the day of the appointment, we will be happy to file your claim for you. You must be familiar with your insurance benefits, as we will collect from you the estimated amount insurance is not expected to pay. By law, your insurance company is required to pay each claim within 30 days of receipt. We file all insurance electronically, so your insurance company will receive each claim within days of the treatment. You are responsible for any balance on your account after 30 days, whether insurance has paid or not. We will be glad to send a refund to you if your insurance pays us.
Please understand that we file dental insurance as a courtesy to our patients. We do not have a contract with your insurance company, only you do. We are not responsible for how your insurance company handles its claims or for what benefits they pay on a claim. We can only assist you in estimating your portion of the cost of treatment. We at no time guarantee what your insurance will or will not do with each claim. We also cannot be responsible for any errors in filing your insurance. Once again, we file claims as a courtesy to you.
Please keep us informed of any insurance changes such as policy name, insurance company address, or a change of employment.
Dental insurance is meant to be an aid in receiving dental care. Many patients think that their insurance pays 90%-100% of all dental fees. This is not true! Most plans only pay between 50%-80% of the average total fee. Some pay more, some pay less. The percentage paid is usually determined by how much you or your employer has paid for coverage, or the type of contract your employer has set up with the insurance company.
You may have noticed that sometimes your dental insurer reimburses you or the dentist at a lower rate than the dentist’s actual fee. Frequently, insurance companies state that the reimbursement was reduced because your dentist’s fee has exceeded the usual, customary, or reasonable fee (“UCR”) used by the company.
A statement such as this gives the impression that any fee greater than the amount paid by the insurance company is unreasonable, or well above what most dentists in the area charge for a certain service. This can be very misleading and simply is not accurate.
Insurance companies set their own schedules, and each company uses a different set of fees they consider allowable. These allowable fees may vary widely because each company collects fee information from claims it processes. The insurance company then takes this data and arbitrarily chooses a level they call the “allowable” UCR Fee.
Unfortunately, it implies that your dentist is “overcharging” rather than that the insurance company is “underpaying”, or that their benefits are low. In general, the less expensive insurance policy will use a lower usual, customary, or reasonable (UCR) figure.