Dental insurance is an investment that you make each month, and it’s a worthwhile one. It can help you save when it comes to your oral healthcare. By taking care of your smile, you are contributing to the wellbeing of your entire body. However, dental insurance doesn’t work the same way that traditional medical insurance does, so it can be challenging to navigate at first. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your plan.
Use Preventive Coverage
If you aren’t seeing your dentist every six months for routine cleanings and checkups, you aren’t even close to fully maximizing your dental benefits. When you attend these regular visits, you can prevent the development of dental issues. Your hygienist will thoroughly clean your smile, and your dentist will take a look to ensure that you don’t currently have any oral health issues that need to be taken care of. By catching small problems now, you may be able to avoid more expensive, invasive procedures in the future. For instance, if your dentist treats a cavity with a filling now, you might be able to avoid root canal therapy or an extraction later.
Prevent Medical Problems
Your oral health and general health are closely related. People who have gum disease are more likely to suffer from a variety of other serious conditions, some being life-threatening. They include heart disease, diabetes, respiratory issues, and pregnancy complications. By seeing your dentist for cleanings and checkups, you can prevent gum infections and overall health issues that will require lots of time and money to treat.
Pick an In-Network Dentist
If you have a PPO plan, this gives you the ability to choose any dentist you’d like, even if they aren’t on your list of “in-network” dentists. By choosing a dentist who is in-network, you will likely benefit from increased coverage of your dental treatments, therefore resulting in lower out-of-pocket costs.
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 ultimately save money.
Review Your Benefits
Since the end of the year is rapidly approaching, now is a great time to look over your dental benefits again. By knowing exactly what is covered under your plan and when it will reset, you will be able to better maximize your coverage. For most insurance plans, the benefits reset at the end of the calendar year. This means that you will be responsible for paying your deductible again on January 1st. Any remaining benefits will not carry over to 2022.
If it’s been more than six months, make an appointment with your dentist. If you need help determining how to get the most out of your benefits, just let your dental team know! This way, you can work on saving your smile and your wallet.
About the Author
Dr. Ziyad Maali earned his dental doctorate from the University of Florida College of Dentistry. He has been recognized as a top Orlando Dentist by Orlando Magazine and is a proud member of the American Dental Association, Florida Dental Association, Dental Society of Greater Orlando, and Academy of General Dentistry. His practice is in-network with numerous PPO insurance plans. For more information on dental insurance or to schedule an appointment before the year ends, visit his website or call (407) 355-0608.