Did you know your oral and general health are closely connected? Healthy teeth and gums are necessary to feel your best. Brushing and flossing can keep tooth decay and gum disease at bay, but they aren’t enough. Regular dental care is essential for prevention, early diagnosis, and prompt treatment. However, many people delay seeing a dentist because they are worried about large bills. If you have dental insurance, there’s nothing to fear. Here are 4 ways to maximize your dental insurance to keep your mouth and body healthy for minimal expenses.
1. Choose the Right Dentist
Your monthly premiums give you access to a nationwide network of dental professionals to benefit from reduced rates for common services. Your dental insurance recommends choosing a dentist in their network to benefit from more coverage at the time of services. They have pre-negotiated rates with specific dental practices to lower the amount policyholders pay out-of-pocket.
You can still use your insurance at an out-of-network dentist, which can give you more options. You must pay the difference between the dentist’s fees and your insurance’s allowable amount.
2. Schedule a Cleaning and Checkup
The American Dental Association recommends a cleaning and checkup every 6 months, even if you don’t have any current concerns. Routine appointments are proven to stop common dental issues from occurring, so you’re less likely to experience tooth loss and costly bills later.
Researchers have found that every $1 spent on prevention can save up to $50 on emergency and restorative services. Your dental insurance makes it easy to keep your teeth and gums healthy, with 100% coverage for preventive services. You can see your dentist twice a year after a co-payment.
3. Don’t Delay Dental Work
If you have a cavity or another issue requiring treatment, you don’t have to delay care if money is tight. Your dental insurance can pay up to 80% of the expenses of medically necessary procedures, like fillings, root canals, and dental crowns.
After meeting your annual deductible, you can use your annual allowance to lower your out-of-pocket responsibility. You don’t have to wait for a small issue to turn into a big problem before getting the care you need.
4. Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late
Unfortunately, your dental benefits don’t last forever. Your coverage resets at the end of the year. On average, less than 3% of Americans meet or exceed their annual limits, which means you could throw hundreds of dollars down the drain if you don’t use your insurance. You won’t be reimbursed for your premiums or deductibles. Your annual allowance will not carry over into the new year.
There’s still time to make the most of what you’ve paid for. Your dentist will help you achieve excellent oral health using your dental insurance.
About Dr. Les Latner
Dr. Latner achieved his dental degree from the Washington University School of Dental Medicine and has regularly continued his training to provide the most up-to-date services. He has been published in the Journal of the American College of Dentists and is a member of many professional organizations, including the Academy of General Dentistry. Request an appointment through his website or call (310) 907-7987.