Why Is Dental Insurance So Important?
Dental and oral health are extremely important. Proper oral health can protect teeth from tooth decay, cavities, and from potential gum diseases. For each adult that is 19 or older in the US without medical insurance, there are three more individuals of the same age that do not carry dental insurance, according to the CDC. Understanding the importance of dental insurance and why it’s essential to obtain it at any age is imperative to maximize the protection of your teeth, gums, and overall oral health.
Obtaining and maintaining dental health insurance is a way to take advantage of preventative care measures regularly. Because it is recommended to visit a dentist at least once every six months for a dental checkup, you will ensure there are no additional underlying issues with your gums and teeth with each visit. Rather than putting off pain or discomfort in your mouth, visiting regularly with dental insurance can help you to take advantage of many different preventative care options that are available today.
Most dental insurance options provide regular cleanups as part of an individual’s premium. This means, individuals are permitted to visit their preferred or network dentist at least once every 12 months, sometimes at least once every 6 months. The frequency at which you are permitted to visit the dentist for regular cleanings and checkups will depend on your specific dental insurance policy. If you prefer to go to the dentist once every six months, you can seek out a policy that provides the coverage you need.
Restorative Dental Coverage
If you have had a root canal or if you require a filling, dental coverage can help to maintain and provide these services to you. Without proper dental insurance, you run the risk of being liable for the full costs of a root canal or a filling. These services can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to more than a few thousand dollars per tooth without dental insurance, depending on your individual needs.
In some cases, dental coverage will also provide you with emergency care services as needed. If you experience extreme tooth pain, trauma, or even tooth loss, getting into a dentist immediately can quickly add up in costs without proper dental insurance. Tooth removals, accesses, and root canals can cost thousands of dollars in cash for those who do not have any dental insurance coverage at the time they require care.
Although most emergencies are covered with full dental insurance, emergency services are not always necessary for those who have dental insurance. Because individuals who have dental coverage are more likely to visit their dentists regularly, there is less risk when it comes to emergencies that include abscesses and tooth loss.
Reduced Risk of Long-Term Issues
As we grow and our bodies change over time, our dental structure follows suit. Maintaining proper dental health requires more than simply brushing and flossing each day. Having regular dental checkups can ensure that your teeth are not misaligned and that they are in the proper place at all times. Scheduling regular x-rays and checkups will also help you to determine if any underlying gum or bone issues require addressing as quickly as possible. Remedying potential jaw, bone, or structural issues early on can also help to prevent long-term dental and oral hygiene issues.
Potential Cosmetic Coverage
Depending on the type of dental insurance you opt for, it may be possible to take advantage of cosmetic procedure coverage. Some dental insurance plans offer premiums to help cover cosmetic procedures, such as implants as well as teeth whitening. If you are considering a cosmetic tooth procedure or surgery in the future and want to maximize your coverage, be sure to compare premium options when seeking out dental coverage that is right for you.
Discover Underlying Health Issues
Oral health is linked to many different issues in the body, ranging from the brain to the heart. When seeing a dentist regularly, they will have the ability to determine if some other signs and symptoms require addressing by another specialist. Dentists specialize in understanding the links between oral health as well as the health of the rest of the body. When teeth are constantly decaying or when a patient has issues with their heart and teeth simultaneously, there may be a link. Seeing a dentist regularly with insurance is a way to prevent potential issues from arising or becoming out of control.
Budget Your Dental Expenses
When you have dental insurance to your name, it’s much easier to estimate potential expenses and budget for the dental care you require. Whether you are seeking a cleaning and a regular dental checkup or if you need a tooth removal or a crown, insurance policies include specific numbers and cost estimates with each policy.
Once you have a dental policy to your name, you will have all of the available costs directly in the policy itself. This will allow you to compare your options when it comes to selecting a dentist and choosing the type of procedures and/or treatments you require. Any time you are thinking of obtaining dental insurance, it’s best to thoroughly research and review individual policies to determine which policy is right for you. Compare both individual and family plans if you are looking to obtain dental insurance for your entire family.
Expanded Access to Specialists and Procedures
Individuals who do not currently have dental insurance may find it challenging to find dentists who work cash only. Additionally, it may also be extremely difficult to find specialists who are willing to work on a cash-only basis and for an affordable rate. This leaves individuals who do not have dental insurance without the ability to obtain the care they need, especially if they require special treatments or procedures. When you have dental insurance, you are provided with expanded access to specialists and procedures that may be fitting for your needs.
Reduced Loss of Work
When you have dental insurance, it is much easier to schedule appointments and address any discomforts and inconveniences you are experiencing directly. However, if you do not have dental insurance, you are much more likely to experience a dental emergency. Most dental emergencies will result in a loss of work, especially as many emergencies come on unexpectedly and cause too much pain for individuals to work. If you want to prevent as much loss of work as possible, obtaining dental insurance and visiting the dentist regularly is a must.
Cover Oral Surgery Procedures
If you discover that you require an oral surgery procedure or even a procedure that is specialized due to a gum or tooth disease, you will likely require dental insurance to help cover the costs. The cost of a special oral surgery can cost thousands of dollars and quickly add up for those who do not currently hold dental insurance themselves. From periodontal surgeries to crown surgeries, many different oral surgery procedures may be covered with the right dental health insurance.
Prescription Medication Coverage
For those who have been diagnosed with a chronic oral condition, gum disease, or tooth problem, prescription medication may be required to prevent or minimize pain, bacteria, and infections. Individuals who have chronic oral conditions may be required to take prescription medications daily to keep their conditions at bay and from becoming exacerbated. If you do not currently have dental health coverage, you may not be eligible to receive prescription medication coverage. You will likely be required to pay the full cost of the medications, even if you request a generic version of the prescription.
However, depending on the dental insurance policy you hold, most, if not all of your dental prescription medications may be covered in full. You may be required to pay a co-pay for your prescription medications, depending on the medications you are given. To learn more about the prescription coverage you have, refer to the dental insurance policy you have selected. All dental health insurance policies will include information regarding prescription medication coverage details as well as co-pays that may be required or due at the time of service.
Cover Diagnostic Testing and X-Rays
Along the lines of traditional checkups, having dental insurance will also help individuals to cover the cost of diagnostic testing and any X-rays that are needed during the visit. This is especially important for those who are in the process of having their teeth aligned or for those who are predisposed to gum and other oral health conditions, such as periodontitis.
Avoid High-Cost Dentures and/or Implants
Some of the most expensive dental procedures include getting dentures or implants, depending on your needs. Those who are elderly are more susceptible to being required to obtain dentures and/or implants to help with chewing, digesting, and talking. However, for those who have weaker or decaying teeth at any age, obtaining dentures or implants can cost thousands of dollars per tooth.
When you have dental insurance, it is much easier to tend to regular checkups and routine appointments. When you attend regularly scheduled dental appointments, gain valuable insight into the overall health of your teeth and gums and what preventative care you can act on to protect and preserve your oral health. Without insurance, it can be difficult to schedule and pay for regular dental visits. A lack of regular dental visits can lead to an increase in cavities, tooth decay, tooth pain, and gum issues.
Assistance for Those With Chronic Oral Conditions
If you believe you have a chronic oral condition, chronic tooth decay, or chronic tooth loss, it is highly advisable to obtain dental insurance as quickly as possible. For those who have chronic oral conditions, assistance is often essential to preserve and protect your teeth for years, if not decades to come. Individuals who have dental insurance may have the ability to receive ongoing and regular care for chronic conditions. This may include regularly scheduled x-rays, cleanings, scans, and other minor procedures to prevent your chronic condition from becoming painful or disruptive.
If you are someone who has a fear of visiting the dentist or undergoing any type of dental procedure, you may require a form of sedation when you visit the dentist. Typically, sedation is used to help a patient relax while also eliminating potential phobias, fears, and anxieties that typically arise when visiting a dentist. The more comfortable and sedated you feel when visiting the dentist or having a procedure done, the less likely you are to have a negative or anxious interpretation of the services. When you are comfortable while visiting the dentist, you are also much more likely to return in the future for additional cleanings and checkups.
If you require sedation when visiting your dentist, be sure to verify that your insurance currently covers your preferred or available form of sedation. You can also speak directly to your dentist to inquire about available sedation options, coverage (if you have it available), as well as the cost of sedation of out pocket. Individuals who do not currently have dental health insurance will be required to pay an additional fee if they are interested in sedation when visiting the dentist. You can clarify your benefits and coverage options when it comes to sedation by referring directly to your dental insurance policy.
Encourages Positive Dental Habits
Those who have proper dental insurance and coverage are much more likely to schedule regular dental visits than those who do not have coverage. Individuals who do not hold dental insurance are less likely to seek out care from a dentist, as it is often outside of their budget to do so on their own. For individuals who have dental coverage, it is much easier to schedule routine cleanings and checkups when the co-pay is predictable or when the services are covered entirely.
When you have a dental insurance policy, it is much easier to refer directly to the policy to determine the overall cost of a planned visit. It is easier to estimate potential fees as well as co-pays that will be due at the time of service. This helps individuals to budget and plan for dental expenses. Those who do not have insurance will need to call each dentist they are thinking of visiting to inquire about the cost of services when being paid out-of-pocket. This can discourage those who do not have insurance from taking action or scheduling the necessary appointments they require, ultimately leading to tooth decay and bigger tooth-related issues down the line.
Understanding the significance of holding dental insurance is essential for any adult 18 years and older. By taking your oral health seriously and obtaining dental insurance as an adult, receive your dental checkup regularly and the preventative care measures necessary to protect your teeth and gums for years to come.
Are you interested in getting a dental checkup but you are also thinking of obtaining dental insurance? Learn more about your options and how to go about finding an insurance option that is just right for your dental care needs by contacting Loudoun Dental Associates.