How Important is Dental Insurance?


Dental insurance plans can assist you in paying for high-cost procedures and treatments to maintain impeccable oral hygiene. Understanding each aspect of a dental policy is much easier when comparing it to health insurance plans. Most dental plans are straightforward and have everything that is covered within the policy very detailed. 


Dental insurance policies contain terms you might find in health insurance such as deductibles, copays, and coinsurance percentages alongside monthly premiums. Dental plans vary depending on your needs and the type of services covered under the three coverage categories: preventative, basic, and major.

Preventative care is usually covered at 100% for annual or semi-annual cleanings and x-rays. Basic procedures cover, on average, 70%-80% for gum disease, extractions, fillings, and root canals with out-of-pocket expenses determined by deductibles, copays, and coinsurance. Anything considered a major procedure is typically covered with higher copayments and higher out-of-pocket expenses. On average, the yearly cost for dental insurance is around $360 a year or between $15 to $50 a month. Your yearly or monthly expense will depend on your state of residency and the benefits you are looking for in your dental policy.


Determining the difference between what is covered under preventative, basic and major is up to the insurance provider. Major procedures may include but are not limited to, crowns, bridges, and dentures. Most dental policies categorize preventive, basic, and major procedures differently. Some policies may consider root canals as a major procedure, while others consider it a basic procedure and covering more of the expense. It is essential to fully understand what is going to be covered when shopping for dental insurance.


Dental insurance can sometimes be selected as part of your medical insurance policy or purchased as a standalone plan. Much like medical insurance, dental plans have a network of providers that fall under an HMO or PPO network. Selecting a preferred dentist or oral specialist under the network of providers for your plan can save you more money.


If you have been to the dentist regularly and do not require any extensive or major dental care, you may be able to get away with paying out-of-pocket for your dental visits. On average, routine cleanings and X-rays are around $150-$350, and to some, this does not justify the cost of paying a monthly premium. 


In other cases, having a dental policy can be extremely beneficial. For instance, someone that suffers from periodontal disease requires deep cleanings, which average around $340 per quadrant along with routine maintenance visits, which average around $180. Or if someone needs to have a root canal or crown replaced, they would also benefit from having a dental plan to help cover for these high expense procedures. 


Although most Americans do not consider having dental coverage essential, it can be the saving grace when needing major dental procedures. It could be the difference between paying thousands of dollars out-of-pocket for treatment or only paying a few hundred with dental coverage.


If you are considering purchasing a dental policy, do not wait until the last minute. Most dental insurance plans have a six to 12 month waiting period before you can receive coverage for dental care after your plan start date. Some plans may even require a more extended waiting period for major dental work. 


Finding the right dental coverage can be confusing if you do not know what kind of coverages you need. We recommend speaking to a licensed insurance professional to help you find the plan that works best for your needs. 


At First Family Insurance, we have a team of dedicated professionals who are always ready to answer any questions you might have. 


Click the button below to have one of our team members call you directly or call us at 1-800-327-5579.


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