Things You Should Know Before Buying Dental Insurance

Dental insurance should be relevant for everyone, not only senior citizens. The sooner you make a decision on picking out a dental plan that works best for you and your budget, the better off you will be.

It’s no secret that the mouth is a window into one’s overall health, thus oral health has a sizable impact on your overall health. According to several studies, parents with dental insurances are more likely to get preventive dental care, receive restorative care, and experience greater well being. Meanwhile, those without dental benefits are less likely to go to the dentist, take their children to the dentist for a checkup and cleaning and more likely to need expensive extractions, more advanced care like crowns or dentures, and emergency room treatment.

Time is of the Essence

First and foremost, don’t wait until you absolutely need dental work done, you have a toothache while attending a conference far from home or need a crown repair just when you thought your teeth were in tip-top shape to know that dental care is of primary importance. The sooner you make a decision on picking out a dental plan that works best for you and your budget, the better off you will be.

Like health insurance, dental insurance pays a portion of the costs associated with dental care. Dental insurance, also like health insurance, can be a confusing maze of options. And the fact remains that it can be quite tedious and time-consuming to find out your perfect policy, whether you are currently without dental insurance or are simply shopping around for a new policy. However, do you still want to wait until you are in pain before you think about oral care?

Dental insurance has limitations

Everything from preventative care to major surgeries is likely to be covered in your health insurance policy, but most plans do not include dental coverage. In the sense that it’s less open-ended, dental insurance is a lot different than a traditional health insurance plan. It is popularly thought that the total cost of their dental treatment will be paid by the dental insurance. This is rarely the case. Dental health insurance plans vary widely - each dental insurance covers different dental procedures at different rates.

Some dental insurance plans cover 100% of the cost while others may only cover around 60%. Most dental plans will cover 50% of certain service, including fillings, dentures, orthodontics, extractions, crowns, bridges, root canal, oral surgical procedures, and gum therapy. For these kinds of dental treatment, expect to pay an out of pocket expense (also referred to as a co-pay) in addition to what the dental insurance covers. Dental insurance provides major coverages for very specific preventative care which includes cleanings, check-ups, a visual inspection, dental sealants, x-rays every year. You may spend up to $200 just on preventative care visits since they are often covered at 80-100%.
Since these visits are what ward off future, more costly appointments, make sure to know that all preventative care fees are included ahead of time when you purchase your dental insurance plans.

Types of Services

Choosing a dental insurance plan is as important as choosing a dentist. And in some ways, it is more challenging to pick a plan. Before you decide on a dental plan, make sure to spend time reading the fine print carefully to get a true picture of what your plan covers and what it does not. If you have a dentist and really want to keep working with him or her, don’t hesitate to ask him or her for some recommendations on what insurance plans to choose.

Some dental insurance plans might provide broader coverage than others but, in general, dental insurance divides covered services into 3 categories: preventive, basic, and major varying by policy.

Preventive care includes such services as cleanings, exams, X-rays, and fluoride treatments covered with NO deductible or waiting period. Indemnity insurance and preferred-provider (PPO's) plans commonly provide coverage at around 70 to 100% of the total cost and is almost always covered at 100 % by the 2nd year.

Basic care includes fillings, root canals, extractions, and re-cementing of previous crowns and bridges. Depending on the insurer and how long you have been insured, basic care is typically covered at 80 percent and you will pay the remaining 20 percent. 80% is such a big deal! This potentially means huge savings in your pocket, as a $1000 filling may only cost you $200!

Major care typically includes procedures and treatments relatively more complex in nature and often involve a dental laboratory expense such as crowns, bridges, dentures, and other major restorations. Generally, major care is generally covered at 50 percent of the procedure's cost after the first year.

Don’t wait until you are in pain. It’s high time to think about your oral care!

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