We’re now reaching the halfway point of the year. The kids are out of school, people are planning their vacations – and your dental insurance benefits are halfway to expiring! If you haven’t made a trip to the dentist yet, not only could it be affecting your oral hygiene, but you could be halfway to missing out on the services and benefits provided by your plan. Here are some ways you can take advantage of your dental insurance.
Get Preventive Care
It’s highly recommended that you visit your dentist at least twice a year for a professional cleaning; this can help you get rid of plaque in hard-to-reach areas. Under most dental insurance plans, biannual cleanings and check-ups are completely covered. To fully benefit from your coverage, it’d be a good idea to schedule an appointment within the next month if you haven’t had one earlier in the year.
Have X-Rays Done
An X-ray is an important tool that allows your dentist to find potential health problems that wouldn’t normally be visible. Additionally, it can be a useful tool in detecting change in a person’s mouth over time. Most dentists take one x-ray a year, which is normally fully covered by insurance.
Have Basic Procedures Performed
Most plans will partially pay for basic dental services; for examples, if you need a cavity filled, in many cases insurance will pay for most of it. Other procedures may include extractions and periodontal (gum) treatment that can prove vital in protecting oral health. If there’s a problem with your teeth that needs to be corrected, check your plan to see if it’s covered.
Meet the Deductible
Your plan will likely have a deductible and an annual maximum for dental services over the course of a single year. The deductible is the amount you’ll have to pay before insurance kicks in; once you’ve paid it, your insurance will fully cover costs up to the annual maximum. Basically, once you met the deductible for the year, your insurance will pay for everything else up to a certain point; you can use that money to have important dental work done.
Remember: at the end of the year, your dental benefits expire, and you’ll have to meet your deductible again before your insurance starts paying for services. Not only that, but many dental problems can worsen over time, so leaving a seemingly minor issue untreated can eventually lead to bigger complications that require more extensive treatment. In other words, using your insurance benefits before the end of the year is cost-effective and could help keep your smile safe.
About the Author
Dr. Dennis E. Stansbury has had an illustrious career spanning over 40 years, and he enjoys getting to work with patients every day. He currently serves as ADA Alternative Delegate to the American Dental Association. His practice, Stansbury Dental, offers a wide range of preventive, restorative, and cosmetic treatments for patients with a wide variety of dental needs. To schedule an appointment, visit his website or call (903) 561-1122.