Millions of Americans cannot visit to the dentist, because they think they can’t afford the cost of dental insurance.
However, there are options which include various standards of cover, so there may be an affordable option out there for you.
Dental Insurance Coverage
Although they may be know by various titles, such as gold, silver, bronze, when you compare dental plans you’re generally talking about PPO’s and HMO’s.
A PPO (preferred provider organization) policy would allow you to see the dentist of your choice, but you may get treatment at a reduced rate if you use a dentist who is in the insurance provider’s network.
Many people want a PPO that would allow them to opt for getting dental treatment abroad, but this may not be possible, so check first.
An HMO (health maintenance organization) will restrict your treatment to using a dentist within the insurance provider’s network.
The provider will probably have a list of dental clinics within your vicinity, so you can choose a local dentist rather than have to travel too far.
Various comparison charts are available, with a typical example being;
- No insurance, one dental examination, x ray, teeth cleaned, plus one check up = $580
- Same treatment under HMO policy = 1st year premium of $220
- Same treatment under PPO policy = 1st year premium of $470
Many dental insurance providers offer payment schemes with monthly installments, thereby spreading the cost of your annual premium.
You can see at a glance that there are savings to be made, and which option provides the most savings.
Remember that all dentists do not necessarily charge the same fees. So if you live in Las Vegas it’s no good searching for dental insurance New York or Texas. Look out for the area where you live and get a provider who offers coverage there.
It should also be noted that while most providers cover one hundred percent of basic preventative treatments, such as dental checkups, hygienist’s cleaning of the teeth, and x rays, when it comes to other dentists procedures the provider may only pay a percentage.
For instance, if you require a filling or root canal procedure, you may have to contribute twenty percent of the cost of the treatment.
If you require more extensive work or work that is considered to be in the cosmetic treatment category then you may be required to contribute fifty percent of the treatment costs.
Separate fees may also be involved for orthodontic work, and other specialized treatments.
You may also find that there is a cap on coverage, which means that the insurers will only up to a certain amount regardless of the final dentist’s bill.
Where finances are a major issue, some providers specialize in dental insurance for low income households.
There are also companies who specialize in providing dental insurance for self employed people, or who offer discounted rates for ex military personnel, or senior citizens.
Does Medicare Cover Dental Problems?
While medicare may take care of the health needs of certain sectors, dental insurance for seniors on medicare is not guaranteed, as there are exemptions for non urgent treatment of oral problems.
Medicare dental insurance plans can be found which do include coverage for routine procedures, but they need to be explored in detail.
Where you can’t find anything suitable at all, you will have to explore other options.
Some dental clinics offer a dental savings plan, so that you don’t have to foot the bill for an emergency tooth extraction or filling in one go.
Then there are the various schemes that are run, which provide low cost or free dentistry services to people in genuine need of assistance.
Getting your teeth fixed can be a really expensive business, and as you get older you have to consider things like dentures. A full set of dentures can cost thousands of dollars, and while you might already have them what if they suddenly break?
With no dental insurance, broken teeth could find you looking for a dentist out of hours and paying a tidy sum.
Of course, you could remain toothless until you find someone offering cheap denture repairs, or providing cut price false teeth.
Another popular option is to explore making your own dentures with a kit.
All these options are perfectly feasible, but don’t necessarily provide the peace of mind that come with having a health or teeth insurance policy.
When trying to choose a provider, look at:
- What is covered under the policy?
- What is not covered?
- What percentage do you have to contribute?
- What is the cap on coverage?
- Do you need separate pediatric dental insurance for your kids?
If the quote is not for full coverage make sure you know the precise exemptions, because you may find another company offering a better deal elsewhere.
There are various options open to you, including combined vision and teeth cover, so make sure you know what you are buying before you commit.
You need to do your homework if you are to find ways to save on dental care costs.
If you have been blessed with healthy teeth then you may rarely need a dentist.
However, if you are among the majority of people who get toothache, need fillings, or suffer tooth decay, then the cost of dental insurance could be much cheaper than the individual cost of these procedures.