Practicing good dental health is important to maintaining a healthy mouth, teeth, and gums. Quality of oral health has also been linked to the prevention of many other health issues and is a key indicator of overall health. While practicing good oral health habits is an important part of maintaining a healthy smile, regular visits to the dentist are just as crucial. Professional dental care is vital to maintaining good oral health and dental insurance is key for accessibility. The right dental insurance can help you stay healthy and keep your teeth in good shape.

Today, Advanced Indiana will be discussing dental insurance, including all of the key facts you should know. With the right dental insurance policy, you can access the dental services you need to stay healthy. Dental insurance can provide much-needed peace of mind, especially considering the high costs of professional dental work. So let’s discuss dental insurance in-depth so that you’ll have all of the facts!

What is Typically Covered in Dental Insurance Plans?

Similarly to other types of health insurance plans, dental insurance benefits vary from one policy to the next and one insurance company to the next. When considering a dental insurance plan, you should always read the benefit documentation carefully to understand what you’ll receive. But, in general, here is what dental insurance plans typically cover in most cases:

  • Regular checkups and cleanings, typically twice per year
  • X-rays
  • Tooth extractions
  • Cavity fillings
  • Root canals
  • Necessary repair work
  • Crowns, implants, and bridges
  • Emergency dental procedures
  • Certain dental appliances, such as retainers

It’s important to note when looking at this list that certain dental services and equipment may be covered under a dental insurance plan but at varying levels. For example, preventative care is typically fully covered. On the other hand, other procedures, such as fillings may have higher costs out-of-pocket.

Things Not Typically Covered in a Dental Insurance Plan

There are some procedures that aren’t typically covered in a dental insurance plan. While preventative and basic dental work is usually covered, other types of procedures (specifically procedures that are considered cosmetic) will not be. Composite fillings (tooth-colored fillings), for example, are rarely covered by dental insurance. Here’s a list of some of the procedures you may end up paying for yourself:

  • Cosmetic procedures
  • Dental care associated with a pre-existing medical condition
  • Orthodontic treatments, such as braces

What is a Benefit Period?

It’s also important that you understand what a benefit period is and how it works when considering your own dental insurance plan. Put simply, a benefit period is the length of time until your benefit is paid. Dental insurance plans consist of both an “effective date” and an “end date.” In most cases, a benefit period lasts for one year, and this period of time explains how long you will be considered covered.

What Are Copayments and Coinsurance?

Although these terms sound similar, they aren’t necessarily the same. Both are fees that a patient is responsible for paying a portion of when they receive dental treatments. A co-payment is a flat fee per visit or treatment and usually doesn’t count toward your deductible. Coinsurance, on the other hand, is the amount (usually a percentage) the patient is responsible to pay for a specific dental treatment after the insurance company has paid their portion.

What is a Deductible?

Similarly to other types of insurance plans, dental insurance has a deductible which is the amount of money you must pay towards your treatments before your plan kicks in and starts making payments. In most cases, dental insurance plans have annual deductibles. You should review dental insurance documentation carefully to understand the terms of your deductible.

What is a Waiting Period?

Finally, it’s important that we discuss waiting periods. A waiting period is a period of time that a patient must wait prior to coverage being provided for dental treatment. If you have a 4-month waiting period on your dental insurance plan for root canals, for example, and your coverage begins January 1st, your waiting period will end on May 1st. Not all dental insurance plans have a waiting period so check with your dental insurance provider for specifics.

Dental Experts At Your Service

Now that you understand the most crucial aspects of dental insurance, you have the information you need to shop for a dental insurance plan that will best meet your needs. Here at Advanced Indiana, we accept a variety of dental insurance plans and even provide assistance for those without dental insurance. Our dental experts provide a variety of dental services that you can use to improve your oral health. Contact us today or request an appointment online to get started!

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