According to the CDC, more than half of all adults ages 18-64 with private health insurance policies also had dental care coverage during the past 12 months. That means that dental insurance is very common in the U.S. If you have dental insurance, it’s important that you use it to its fullest.

The most effective way to maximize your dental insurance is to schedule two checkups/cleanings per year. These dental office visits fall under preventative care, and they are typically offered to policyholders either free or at highly reduced rates. They can also go a very long way towards preventing serious oral health problems, including some that can be life-threatening, such as cancer.

In addition to checkups, dental insurance can be used for many other services. However, many people are unsure of how their dental insurance policies work. The information in this blog can help you better understand your policy and how you can take advantage of it.

Dental Insurance Key Terminology

The common terminology used in dental insurance is often the same terminology used for health insurance policies. Key terms include:

  • Deductible—This is the amount of money you’ll need to pay out of pocket before your insurance starts to cover treatments and services.
  • Maximum—This is the total amount your insurance will pay towards your dental costs. It typically resets at the beginning of every year.
  • Pre-treatment estimate—This is the likely cost of a treatment you’ll need that’s submitted to your insurer to help prepare you and them for the upcoming cost.
  • Preauthorization—This refers to insurers asking to approve of certain treatments and services before agreeing to pay for them.
  • Closed Network Plan—Some dental insurance policies allow policyholders to only visit “in-network” dentists. If they go out of network, they may have to pay for their services out of pocket.
  • Reimbursement levels—This refers to cost percentage that policyholders are covered for certain procedures. Preventative and diagnostic care are often covered 80-100%, while major procedures are typically covered at lower percentages.
  • Preventative and diagnostic services—Because these services can help reduce patients’ dental costs, they are offered free or at highly reduced rates through dental insurance policies. They include routine cleanings, fluoride treatments, X-rays, and more.

Do You Know What Your Plan Covers?

Most aspects of dental care are covered under standard dental insurance, with some being covered at greater cost percentages than others. In addition to standard cleanings, checkups, and services, many dental insurance plans now cover dental implants, which are permanent replacements for missing teeth.

However, some things usually AREN’T covered under dental insurance. They include orthodontics, dental care related to pre-existing medical conditions, and cosmetic procedures, such as tooth whitening.

It’s important to carefully review your dental policy annually to check what it covers and doesn’t cover. That’s especially true if your employer changes dental insurers, as your coverage may dramatically differ from insurer to insurer.

We Accept Dental Insurance + Financing Options for Dental Patients

Many people require assistance when it comes to paying for their dental care. Dental insurance can help many people who have policies, but not everyone has access to a policy. And many people who do have dental insurance may still have some out-of-pocket expenses.

At Willow Chase Dentistry, we offer financing through Care Credit. Apply at home online or over the phone, and enjoy access to many convenient payment plans, including some that are interest-free. It’s our goal to make beautiful smiles accessible to everyone, so contact us to request a dental appointment today.