Dental Insurance 101

added on: July 20, 2019

We hear a lot of questions about dental health from our patients: “How do I get rid of bad breath?”,“When do I need my wisdom teeth removed?”,“Will my veneers stain?” Those, we anticipate — we’re a dental office after all. We love helping patients understand their oral health better. What might be a little surprising is how often we hear insurance-based inquiries. “Are you in-network with (fill in the blank here)?” is undoubtedly the most frequently asked question in our office.

Patients assume that dental insurance is comparable to normal health insurance because there’s similar verbiage. Unfortunately, the two share very few similarities. This leads to a lot of confusion, hence the inundation of dental insurance questions we receive daily. We’re here to clear the air on what exactly dental insurance is and how it can both help (and hurt) your wallet.

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What is dental insurance?

With health insurance, you’re paying the insurance company to cover the costs of potential injuries, check-ups, etc. Health insurance has its own problems but it typically does cover at least part of big, medical expenditures.

Dental insurance does not. If you’re paying for dental insurance, you’re essentially paying for a dental coupon. You have a certain amount of money (typically $1000) that you can spend on dental care for the year. If you break a tooth and need immediate care but you’ve already spent that $1000, your dental insurance will not cover the treatment. To make matters worse, if you go all year and only spend $200 on dental care, the remaining $800 does not rollover. You lose all that money.

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Should I get dental insurance?

If dental insurance is one of your employment benefits, use it. Schedule your six-month wellness visits and don’t let it go to waste. If you don’t have dental insurance, consider paying out-of-pocket. We know that sounds scary but in the long run, you will save money. Dental insurance companies stay afloat because they rely on people’s ignorance. They know that most people don’t know how dental insurance works.

Want to learn more?

Follow these links to learn more about dental insurance:

If you’re considering paying out-of-pocket for your dental care, give us a call at 919-371-4454 . We’ll talk to you about our financing options and any and all available discounts.