What You Need to Know About Dental Insurance

As a parent, you know how important dental work is for you and your family. But it’s quite possible you haven’t even seen the dentist in years. Why? Because you don’t want to pay for dental work.

After speaking with several of my patients and several people who were trying to get by without seeing the dentist, I realized there are some strange ideas about the costs of going to the dentist. So I thought I would lay those ideas to rest and give you some important information about dental insurance.

First of all, you have to realize there is a big difference between dental insurance and discount dental plans. With dental insurance, you’ll have to pay a monthly premium (usually between $20 and $50). Dental insurance typically covers 100% of all costs for preventative dental work including check-ups, cleanings, etc. However, for restorative services such as fillings for cavities, you may end up paying 20% of the cost. And major restorative services like dentures and root canals may cost you 50% of the expenses. Finally, corrective services, like orthodontic work usually require extra insurance and you may still end up paying 50% of the costs.

A discount dental plan, on the other hand, provides discounted dental services from a selection of dentists within your network. You’ll still have a monthly premium, but you’ll be paying less than $10 a month. However, with a discount dental plan, you’re definitely going to be paying for services, but at a fraction of the cost.

So how do you determine what dental coverage you and your family need?

If you are insured through the company you or your spouse work for, great. You’re not paying any premiums. But you’ll want to learn about your dental insurance policy and what dental services are covered. Depending on the policy your company opts for, you could find yourself still paying more for dental work than you expected.

If you’re not insured through a company, then assess how much dental work you and your family might need. In many cases, a discount dental plan is the best choice because most people get less dental work done than insurance premiums would cost. However, if you do decide to get dental insurance, get a single family plan (rather than individual plans) so your premiums aren’t as high. Just realize that if your family has existing dental problems, you’ll be paying higher premiums. And some services may not be covered until you’ve had your insurance for several months.

Dental insurance is not as easy to figure out as it may seem. But one thing is for sure…you should do something. Don’t let your family neglect the health of their teeth and gums.