November 11, 2021
Dental insurance is an excellent investment to make each month. Over time, it can save you hundreds, or even thousands of dollars on dental care – that is if you play your cards right. Your dental benefits don’t work the same way as your medical insurance that you’re used to, so it can seem confusing to navigate at first. Fortunately, there are some simple ways that you can maximize your dental insurance benefits. Here are a few helpful tips.
Use Your Preventive Coverage
When was the last time you saw your dentist? If you aren’t attending your routine cleanings and checkups, you aren’t even close to fully maximizing your dental insurance benefits. When you attend these regular appointments, you can prevent the development of oral health issues. During this time, your hygienist will thoroughly clean your smile and your dentist will take a look to ensure that you aren’t dealing with existing dental issues that need to be addressed. When small issues are caught now, you may be able to avoid more invasive, costly procedures later. For example, if your dentist treats a cavity with a filling now, you may be able to avoid a cavity or root canal therapy in the future.
Prevent General Health Problems
Oral health and general health go hand-in-hand. People who have gum disease are more likely to suffer from a variety of other series conditions, like heart disease, diabetes, respiratory issues, and pregnancy complications. When you see a dentist for preventive care, you can avoid gum infections and overall health issues that require lots of time and money to treat.
Pick an In-Network Dentist
If you have a PPO plan, you have the ability to choose any dentist that you would like, even if they aren’t on your list of “in-network” dentists. By choosing an in-network dentist, you can benefit from increased coverage of your dental treatments and therefore a lower out-of-pocket cost.
Use Your Flexible Spending Dollars
If you have a flexible spending account (FSA) through your employer, you should use these dollars before the year comes to an end because all of your funds may not carry over. Most of the time dental expenses are eligible FSA healthcare expenses. FSAs reduce your taxable income by putting aside money for healthcare. When you use tax-free dollars to pay for your dental treatment, you can save money!
Review Your Benefits Now
Now that the end of the year is approaching, it is a great time to look over your dental benefits again. By knowing exactly what’s covered under your plan and when it resets, you can better maximize your coverage. For most insurance plans, the benefits will reset at the end of the calendar year. This means that you will be responsible for paying your deductible again in January. Any unused benefits will not care over to next year.
If you haven’t been to the dental office in a while, now is a great time to get back on track. If you need help understanding how your insurance plan works, talk to a member of the dental team. This way, you can work towards fully maximizing your benefits.
About the Author
Dr. Philip A. Lisk is an experienced dentist who has been working in the field for well over 20 years. He earned his dental doctorate from the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry in Chapel Hill and has undergone 90+ hours of continuing education in obstructive sleep apnea and oral appliance therapy. Currently, he is a proud member of the American Dental Association, North Carolina Dental Society, and American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. To learn more about how dental insurance works or to schedule an appointment at his office in Raleigh before the end of the year, visit his website or call (919) 870-6892.
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