October 19, 2021
During the pandemic, nearly everyone took a closer look at their finances. Did you evaluate your monthly budget? Perhaps you ordered out less, learned to cook from home, or cut back on certain bills, all in an effort to save a little bit more every month. Maybe you even evaluated the value of the benefits you pay for. For instance, are you really getting your money’s worth out of your dental insurance coverage? Should you continue to pay the monthly premium?
The answer to the first question depends primarily on whether you are using the benefits you pay for to the fullest. In this post, you’ll learn how dental insurance is supposed to work and how you can maximize your coverage to your advantage. Afterward, you can answer the second question for yourself.
Understanding How Dental Insurance Works
Unfortunately, many people assume that insurance is there only to help if or when something bad happens. That may be true for things like house or car insurance, but it’s definitely not the case when it comes to dental insurance.
However, if you try to read your dental insurance policy, the language can be confusing if you’re not familiar with it. Although not all insurance plans are the same, coverage tends to decrease with the severity of the treatment. For example, with dental insurance, you may pay only 20 or 30 percent of the cost for dental fillings, but you may need to pay about 50 percent of the cost for crowns. In a nutshell, your dental insurance focuses the most payment on preventive care and conservative treatment.
How to Take Full Advantage of Your Insurance Benefits
With a clearer idea of the inner workings of dental insurance, your best bet at saving the most money is going to preventive visits (i.e., checkups and cleanings) on a regular basis. These semi-annual visits are typically between 80 and 100 percent covered, significantly reducing your out-of-pocket costs overall. During these appointments, your dentist has the chance to identify problems early on, ensuring that you get the most conservative treatment possible. In addition, your teeth are professionally cleaned, lowering your risk of developing future problems like cavities and gum disease.
An Affordable Alternative to Insurance
What if you do not have dental insurance benefits? Is there another way to save on your oral healthcare costs? Some practices offer what is often called a membership plan. This typically involves an annual membership fee for the standard preventive care you get from insurance as well as a discount on other services. Unlike insurance, however, membership fees do not include waiting periods, claims, or other such inconveniences.
In the end, you may not currently be getting your money’s worth out of your dental insurance benefits, but you could! By regularly attending your preventive care appointments, you can take advantage of services you’ve already paid for and avoid having to pay for other treatment down the road. Make sure you’re using your coverage wisely so that you can feel better when you look at where your money is going!
About the Practice
At Avenue Dental, we are fortunate to have two highly trained, compassionate dentists on staff. In addition to her work in the office, Dr. Joyce Wong volunteers her time and talents to worthwhile causes, such as the Texas Mission of Mercy, Capital Area Dental Foundation, and St. David’s Foundation. Dr. Stella Caballero has nearly 30 years of dentistry experience and has also helped at community dental clinics to those in need. Avenue Dental accepts most PPO dental insurance plans, but if you have questions about insurance our dental membership plan, you may contact our team through our website or by calling one of our two locations.
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