Benefits of Dental Insurance

Happy smiling older couple

A person’s smile is usually one of their most memorable features. To have a bright, vibrant set of pearly white teeth requires proper oral hygiene and regular visits to your dentist. But more than one third of individuals haven’t seen the tooth doctor in more than a year.

Prevention is Paramount

Most dental insurance plans promote regular visitations and preventative services. If you visit your dentist regularly, the savings on preventative services may be enough to cover your premiums.

In general, the following preventative services are covered in full or with a small co-pay:

  • X-rays
  • Cleanings
  • Examinations
  • Fluoride treatments

Plans do vary widely. Take time to weigh the cash price of preventative services against the insurance premiums. Look for plans where the premiums are the same or lower than if you were to pay out of pocket.

Help Paying for Big Ticket Services

The cost of visiting a dentist is the most common reason people skip in their annual check-up. The cost of preventative services may not break the bank. But many individuals are afraid of having to cough up hundreds of dollars for other procedures.

Saving on bigger ticket services is where dental insurance can really pay off. Depending on your plan, upwards of 80% of the cost may be paid for:

  • Caps
  • Crowns
  • Bridges
  • Fillings
  • Root canals

Keep in mind however, cosmetic dentistry services are typically not covered under most dental insurance plans.

Types of Dental Plans

There are three types of dental insurance plans available. Each plan has its benefits and disadvantages. Your individual needs will determine which type of plan will suit you best.

  • Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) – You will have a small, limited network of dentists available to you in exchange for lower premiums and higher coverage amounts.
  • Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) – You may see dentists outside of the insurance company’s network and still receive coverage. Premiums are higher than an HMO while offering similar benefits.
  • Indemnity Plans – You may see any dentist you like, and the plan will pay you a percentage of the costs. Lost with indemnity plans are the negotiated rates provided by HMOs and PPOs.  

It is important to note that for nearly all individual plans, there will be a waiting period for most services. Enrolling in a dental insurance plan can help you stay on track with proper oral hygiene. And if you need a major service, it can significantly reduce how much you pay to maintain your sparkling smile.