Whether you pay for your own dental insurance or receive it as a benefit of your job, if it operates on the calendar year, it will be renewed at the beginning of January. That means any current benefits you have will essentially be lost once they’re reset. If you’ve kept up with the premiums all year and have met your deductible, it’s important to get your money’s worth by making sure you’ve utilized your dental insurance to the fullest before December 31st.
Why Is It Important to Use Your Dental Insurance?
If you want to keep your smile healthy, regular dental checkups and cleanings are absolutely essential; the American Dental Association generally recommends having at least two every year, or one every six months. This is because oral health problems such as cavities and gum disease can be dealt with relatively easily during their earliest stages but tend to get worse over time. By having checkups and any other necessary treatment done now, you’ll avoid long-term issues that could be much more expensive to treat.
Keeping up with your regular dental appointments means using the benefits provided by your dental insurance. Most plans typically have a deductible and a yearly maximum; the deductible is the amount you pay out of pocket before receiving coverage, and the maximum is the limit on what your insurance will pay during the year. Any leftover money from the maximum does not rollover into the New Year; thus, you’ll save the most money if you use as much of the yearly maximum as possible before you must meet the deductible again starting in January. Don’t let the premiums you’ve already paid go to waste!
What Does Dental Insurance Usually Cover?
Each carrier offers different insurance policies, so you should re-examine your plan to confirm which benefits you currently have. You can normally expect it to follow a 100-80-50 structure:
- 100: Checkups, cleanings, and certain other preventive treatments will often be fully covered.
- 80: Many policies cover most of the cost for fillings, root canals and other basic procedures meant to restore the health of your tooth.
- 50: Your plan may pay for about half the cost of a crown or another major procedure that repairs physical damage to the tooth.
Of course, these rates (as well as the amount you pay out of pocket) will vary depending on which insurance carrier you use and what dentist you see. Review your benefits as well as the current prices so you can start making a plan.
In general, you should always make necessary dental appointments sooner rather than later. This will give your smile the best protection possible without putting too much of a strain on your bank account. Remember: when it comes to dental insurance, you need to use it if you don’t want to lose it!
About the Practice
At MOD Squad Dental, we help families in Scripp Ranch and other communities in or near San Diego keep their smiles safe from cavities and other oral health problems. We’re always happy to help new patients figure out the best way to use their dental insurance to get the care they need, and we’ll gladly accept many different plans. To schedule an appointment, visit our website or call (858) 682-2394.