Before you buy, we want you to know what to look for!
Keep your smile white with regular dental check-ups.
Your dentist can spot evidence of several major health conditions, including cancer, diabetes, kidney disease, and osteoporosis. Regular cleanings and preventive care can also help reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke. Doctors are still piecing the puzzle together, but there's a scientific connection between the plaque in your mouth and the plaque in your arteries. Keeping your mouth clean and healthy can lessen your risk for a number of health risks.
Before you buy, know which type works best for you.
With most dental plans (the HMO option excepted), you pay a percentage of what the service would cost without insurance. But some types of procedures are less expensive than others. Here's a basic guide:
Check-ups and x-rays are usually free when you have dental insurance.
If you're shopping for good dental insurance plans today because a tooth has been killing you for weeks, you're probably especially interested in a plan with a short waiting period. Most actual insurance plans do have a waiting period—most range from 6 months to 12 months, depending on the kind of treatment you need.
Your best bet in this case might be to get a discount plan, get the services you need right away, and then apply for dental insurance afterward.
Most dental insurance plans put a limit on the amount they'll pay on your behalf per calendar year. It's up to you to know what this amount is, and how close you are to hitting it. If you need a lot of work done, start with the most important things and work your way down your list. If you're ever in doubt how close you are to your annual maximum, call your insurer and ask. If you go over your annual maximum, you could be liable for the total cost of dental services you receive after that point.
One of our insurers, Delta Dental, provides this example. Let's say your individual maximum is $1,000 per year. If you need a crown, the cost could be as high as $1,600. If you pay half, as a major service covered at the 50% level by your plan, you're at $800 toward that yearly maximum. If you already received a cleaning and x-rays that year, add about $150 to your $800 total. That puts you at $950, just shy of your yearly maximum.
Dental insurance costs you money every month. It might not be much money, but over the course of a year, it's still money out of your pocket. Use the services that money can buy. For example, if your individual plan costs $10.95 per month, that's $131.40 per year. That's pretty much the cost of a cleaning and x-ray exam. You might as well go in and get it for free! Don't ignore your dental health, and don't avoid the dentist. Get your money's worth!
Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General, 2000
Delta Dental: Types of Dental Plans