Your investment each month towards dental insurance helps you to save money when it comes to your oral health. But are you truly maximizing your coverage? Dental insurance can sometimes be difficult to comprehend because it differs quite a bit from your standard medical insurance plan. Fortunately, your dentist is here to help. Continue reading to learn more from your dentist in Marion about how you can maximize dental insurance benefits going forward.
Go to the Dentist for Preventive Care
If you don’t go to the dentist every six months for routine cleanings and checkups, you aren’t even close to fully maximizing your coverage. When you go to these appointments, you are preventing oral health issues from developing. In addition to getting your teeth cleaned by a hygienist, your dentist will examine your smile for existing issues so that they can be treated effectively early on. This way, you can avoid more invasive and costly treatments in the future. For example, if your dentist finds a small cavity and treats it now, you could avoid the need for a root canal or tooth extraction. Luckily, most dental insurance plans cover preventive care. This includes professional cleanings, checkups, x-rays, and more.
Reduce Your Risk for Overall Health Problems
Your oral health is more closely related to your overall health than you may think. Patients who are suffering from periodontal disease are more likely to suffer from other conditions elsewhere in the body like heart disease, diabetes, respiratory issues, and other problems. Dentists can detect more than 120 different health conditions. With routine dental cleanings and checkups, you can prevent overall health issues that would eventually require a lot of time and money to treat.
Use Flexible Spending Dollars
If you have a flexible spending account (FSA) through your employer, it’s best to use these dollars before the year comes to an end. Most of the time, dental expenses are eligible FSA healthcare expenses. FSAs reduce your taxable income by putting aside money for healthcare. By using tax-free dollars to pay for your dental care, you will ultimately save money.
Pick a Dentist Who’s In-Network
If you have a preferred provider organization (PPO) plan, you have the ability to choose whichever dentist that you would like for your oral healthcare, even if they aren’t an in-network provider. However, if you choose an out-of-network dentist, your insurance probably won’t cover as much of your treatment, and you will end up with higher out-of-pocket costs.
Review Your Dental Benefits
Now that the year is coming to a close, it’s a great time for you to review your dental benefits again. By knowing exactly what’s covered under your plan and when it will reset, you will be better able to maximize your coverage. For most people, their benefits will reset at the end of the calendar year. This means that you will be left responsible for paying your deductible again starting at the beginning of next year. If you have remaining benefits, they will not carry over to next year.
Dental insurance can be confusing, but by learning to navigate your plan, you’ll be better able to maximize your benefits.
About the Author
Dr. James Leon is an experienced dentist who has been working in the field for over 30 years. Since graduating from West Virginia University, he has taken hundreds of hours of continuing education courses including from the Frank Spear Institute and the Pete Dawson Academy. His office is in-network with several popular insurance plans. For more information on dental insurance or to schedule an appointment, visit his website or call (740) 725-8000.