Dental insurance can help you keep your teeth in good shape and manage the costs. Let’s go over the basics of dental insurance so you know what to expect when signing up for a plan.

What Dental Insurance is

Like regular health insurance, you pay a monthly premium for dental insurance, and the insurance company helps pay for your care. It covers preventative care as well as basic dental work you may need.

Your employer may offer you dental coverage as part of your employment benefits. If your employer doesn’t offer benefits or you work for yourself, you can buy a dental plan on your own. No matter where you get your coverage from, dental insurance can help lower the cost of dental care that you would have to pay on your own if you didn’t have a plan.

Typical Costs of Dental Coverage

Usually, most dental insurance plans will have a deductible, copay, and coinsurance. These are the basic costs associated with most plans, so it’s important to understand them before choosing a plan.

  • Deductible – your dental deductible is a set dollar amount you are required to pay before your dental plan starts to help. You will pay your dentist for any non-preventative care until you meet your plan’s deductible. Preventative care is covered 100% by most dental plans, so the deductible doesn’t apply to things like cleanings.
  • Copay – your dental copays are fees you may have to pay when you visit a dentist. Usually, you pay the copay at the time of the visit, and it may count toward meeting your deductible.
  • Coinsurance – this is how you and your dental plan will share costs once you meet your deductible. In your dental plan details, coinsurance is often shown as a percentage of what your plan will pay vs. what you pay. So if your insurance says the coinsurance will be 80/20, it means the plan will pay 80% of the costs, and you pay 20%.
What’s Covered

So what exactly is covered in a dental plan? Like other types of health coverage, dental plan benefits vary by plan and insurance company. If you want the exact details on coverage, always check the plan benefits documents for the plan you’re considering.

However, generally, a dental insurance policy will cover:

  • Regular checkups and cleanings
  • Cavity fillings
  • Tooth extractions
  • Crowns, bridges, dentures
  • Root canals

Note that certain dental equipment and services may be covered, but at different levels of coverage. For example, cleanings and other preventative care are fully covered, while other procedures, like fillings, may have a little higher out-of-pocket cost before you reach your deductible.

What’s Not Covered

While most dental plans cover basic dental work and preventative work, there are some procedures that many do not provide coverage for. Some treatments that may not be covered include:

  • Teeth whitening
  • Veneers or other cosmetic procedures
  • Orthodontic appliances such as braces or retainers

Of course, all dental insurance policies differ, so you should check coverage limits to find out exactly what is and isn’t covered in a plan. The key to making sure your dental plan covers certain types of treatment is to plan ahead for the dental care you and your family expect to need.

Benefits of Dental Insurance

Dental coverage does come with many benefits. Here are the benefits you could enjoy if you sign up for a plan:

  • $0 preventative dental care. Most plans will cover you 100% for routine preventative dental care. So for dental exams, cleanings, and even x-rays, you’ll be covered and won’t have to worry about paying for these services every year.
  • Lower out-of-pocket costs for non-preventative dental care. Without dental insurance, you may end up paying the full cost for dental treatments and procedures. And these often aren’t cheap. Your insurance company negotiates with dentists in its network to offer you lower costs, meaning you’re protected from very high costs of dental care.
  • Helps you avoid dental issues before they get worse. With your regular checkups, your dentist can detect problems early. This can help you avoid more costly and complex procedures down the line.
  • More likely to care the care you need. Families with dental insurance are almost twice as likely to get preventative care as those without it. With your dental plan safety net, you know you can get the care you and your family need without worrying about the cost of everything.
  • Better for your overall health. Did you know that oral care isn’t just good for your smile but also your overall health? According to the National Academy of Medicine, oral health complications can be associated with an increased risk of heart disease and many other health conditions. Dental insurance makes it easier to protect your oral and overall health by getting you the care you need and saving you money.
Get a Dental Plan for You and Your Family Today

If you’re thinking about signing up for a dental insurance plan, Jeffery Insurance would love to help answer questions, compare plans, and help you find the right coverage for your needs through Delta Dental. No matter what, we will be with you every step of the way. We are based in Scottsdale but are happy to assist you wherever you are in Arizona. Jeffery Insurance is Arizona’s health care resource!