Although many people think dental coverage is expensive, it is actually a cost-effective form of insurance. By having low-cost dental coverage, you can get the preventative dental care needed to keep your teeth and gums healthy, saving you a great deal of money in the long run.
Dental Coverage Basics
When most people think about health insurance, they automatically think of medical insurance. However, there is another type of insurance coverage that is essential for your health-dental coverage.
Today, more than 113 million people in America (roughly 48 percent) have some form of dental coverage. A dramatic increase when compared to the mere 12 million who had coverage in 1970. The results of increased coverage have also been dramatic. Incidents of dental decay have decreased significantly, and half of today's youth have never even had a cavity.
Without dental coverage, you may not be able to afford the routine care needed to prevent serious dental diseases and tooth decay. Access to this coverage will allow you to visit the dentist for routine check-ups, cleanings, and x-rays. These preventative dental treatments can help you avoid costly problems later in life, such as gum disease, root canals, etc.
Obtaining Dental Coverage
Recognizing the value of preventative care, many employers now offer some form of dental coverage to their workers. If you do not receive dental insurance from your employer, there are many other coverage options available to you in the form if individual dental insurance plans.
When shopping for dental insurance, it is very important to make comparisons. Not every dental insurance plan is a good value. You will want to make sure that the cost of the coverage does not outweigh your predicted expenses. You will also want to make sure that the plan can meet your dental care needs. Things to consider when obtaining dental coverage include:
- Control. Who makes treatment decisions: your dentist of your dental plan?
- Dentist availability. Can you choose your own dental care provider or are you restricted to a specific list?
- Plan coverage. What does the plan cover?
- Coverage limits. Does the plan limit the amount of treatment you can receive each year?
- Routine treatments. Does the plan cover routine treatments, such as cleanings, x-rays, etc.?
- Corrective treatments. Does the plan cover corrective treatments in addition to preventative care?
- Co-pays and deductibles. What will your out-of-pocket expenses be?
By law, dental coverage providers are required to supply you with a handbook that offers a complete description of benefits. This handbook should clearly outline any and all limitations and coverage exclusions. Before settling on any one plan, it is a good idea to ask the carrier or company that you are considering for a copy of this handbook. This will help you analyze the coverage you are being offered and will help you determine whether or not this coverage can meet your dental care needs.
If you currently have a dentist that you are comfortable with, you may also want to make sure that he or she accepts the form of dental insurance that you are considering purchasing. If they do not, you will have to decide whether or not you are willing to switch dental care providers.
Making the Most of Your Coverage
Once you have dental coverage, it is important for you to make the most of it. Remember, preventative care is essential to good dental health. Take full advantage of your coverage by visiting the dentist regularly for routine check-ups and cleanings. You will also want to follow the dental treatment plans established by your dentist. Do not procrastinate. If you need a cavity filled, get it filled. If you need a root canal, get a root canal.
Most importantly, understand your dental insurance plan and the procedures that must be followed to ensure coverage. If you ever have any questions, do not hesitate to ask your benefits provider for more information. They should be more than willing to help you become familiar with your dental coverage and the options it provides.