Maintaining your oral care so your teeth and gums stay healthy and strong remains a vital part of enjoying a happy and fulfilling life. At Ostenson Dental, your Vancouver cosmetic dentist, we know that in addition to helping you eat, drink, and talk, a healthy smile also provides you with the confidence needed to succeed in both your personal and professional life. Additionally, a number of recent studies have found links that suggest poor oral health directly contributes to the development of a variety of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
To enjoy the healthiest smile possible, you need to schedule regular preventative care visits with a dentist. However, considering the escalating prices of medical care, most people don’t have the money to pay out of pocket each time they need to visit the dentist. This makes selecting the right dental insurance plan that covers the general expenses associated with regular exams and cleanings all that more important.
To help you select the right dental plan, here are a few tips that will assist you when navigating what type of coverage best suits your needs.
Dare to Compare
When selecting the right type of coverage, you first need to compare the cost between a dental discount plan and dental insurance.
Purchased through a health care provider, dental insurance will typically cover at least two exams and cleanings per year, while also offering coverage against major dental procedures, such as a root canal, cracked tooth repair, or implant. Just as with any other insurance plan, dental coverage carries a deductible that you must first meet prior to your insurance kicking in to take care of any remaining costs.
For individuals who only visit the dentist for two cleanings a year, you need to consider whether the money you pay annually for dental coverage is costing you more than what you’d pay out of pocket for each cleaning. However, if you have a history of poor oral health, insurance may be worth the cost to protect against the possibility of needing a major dental procedure down the road.
Some dentists offer dental discount plans as an alternative to patients who either don’t have or cannot afford dental insurance. While discount plans vary by practice, patients are generally required to pay an annual enrollment fee, which then entitles them to a discount on all services offered by that practice.
Dental discount programs allow dentists to avoid overhead costs generally associated with dealing with insurance providers, while also ensuring repeat business from patients should they need future treatment. Patients save money on future treatment by first paying an upfront cost – – a win-win scenario.
Dental discount plans offer a great alternative if you’re concerned about the need for future oral health care but cannot afford insurance. However, while you do receive a discount, you still must pay out of pocket for any required procedures, which could end up costing you thousands of dollars should you need surgery or tooth reconstruction.
Ideally, the type of coverage you select should have more to do with the current state of your oral health versus which plan is cheaper.
Check the Date
If you’re thinking about getting dental insurance, odds are you’re probably experiencing some kind of oral health problem that got you thinking about the need for insurance to begin with.
Insurance companies understand that many people wait to enroll in dental coverage only after experiencing some kind of pain or discomfort. As a result, some insurance plans require patients to go through an extended waiting period prior to the start of coverage. This is why you need to make sure your coverage begins immediately upon enrollment. Check the fine print of any plan you enroll in to make sure you have a complete understanding of your benefits and losses.
Check the Network
Dentists don’t accept every type of dental plan, especially if your insurance comes from a small or discount broker. If you want to continue seeing Dr. Ostenson, make sure Ostenson Dental accepts the insurance plan you’re considering prior to enrolling. If you don’t check to see if we that accept a particular dental plan, you may be driving across town for every appointment or stuck with a dentist whose practice you don’t care for, unlike your favorite Vancouver cosmetic dentist, Dr. Ostenson. Don’t risk it!