If you have dental insurance in Midland, that means you’re covered in the event something major goes wrong with your oral health, right? Unfortunately, that’s not exactly true. If you’re like many Americans, you will spend a considerable amount of money on dental insurance every month, only to find out it may not really do all that much for you when you need it most. Keep reading to learn how dental insurance and medical insurance differ — and what that means for you and your family.
How Dental Insurance Works
While the terminology is the same — you still have copays, deductibles, and the like with dental insurance — the insurance you use at your dentist’s office is very different from a visit to the doctor. Medical insurance works by covering you in the event of a catastrophic or life-altering event, like cancer or a car accident. You can think of your dental insurance, though, as something more like a benefits plan at your dentist’s office.
In exchange for a premium that usually ranges about $50 per month, you are eligible for hundreds of dollars worth of care after you reach your annual deductible, or the amount you must pay out of pocket before your insurance coverage takes over.
Preventive treatments, like two checkups and cleanings with X-rays, are usually 100% covered by your dental insurance. The cost, however, counts toward your annual maximum. Depending on how large your annual maximum is, you may find it’s easier to meet it than you would have thought. You will have to pay any remaining fees out of pocket — on top of meeting your regular premium every month.
Why Are They Separate?
Given the fact that your oral and overall health are closely linked, and what goes on in your mouth can affect or be affected by what goes on in the rest of your body, it doesn’t make much sense that dental insurance is separate from medical insurance. The reason dates back to how dentistry started — not in a medical setting, but first as a trade performed by a barber in the mid-1800s. Whether it makes sense or not, dentistry has remained a separate field from general medicine ever since. The divide is the same in insurance.
Is Dental Insurance Worth It?
Right now, we wouldn’t blame you if you are wondering one thing — does it even make sense to pay for dental insurance in the first place?
The answer is, it depends on your needs. Most of the time, dental insurance is a wonderful investment, as it can make it easier to pay for preventive care and any necessary restorative treatments. Finding a dentist who takes your dental insurance will help make sure you maximize your benefits and make the most out of your investment. If, however, you rarely have cavities and do not foresee needing any major treatments, it may make more sense for you to just pay for your twice-annual checkups and cleanings out of pocket.
Whether you have dental insurance coverage or not, one important fact remains: routine preventive care is mandatory for a clean, healthy, long-lasting smile. When was your last visit to your dentist? If it’s been more than six months, it’s time for you to come in! Caring for your oral health routinely can help you save in the long run, whether you have insurance or not.
About the Author
Dr. Robert E. Christensen is a general dentist offering Midland and the surrounding communities the ultimate in comprehensive care. To learn more about his services or how you can use your dental insurance to save at your next appointment, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the office at 432-684-7424.