Dental insurance plans can often be very confusing to new patients. Patients often have various misconceptions about their dental insurance and what’s covered. Understanding the ins and outs of dental insurance can be a lot easier with the right resources.
Dental Insurance Misconceptions
Dental insurance is unlike other insurance, as it is a benefit that mitigates the risk of loss versus eliminating it like different types of insurance. Always keep in mind that dental insurance plans are benefit plans that offer discounts on some things.
A typical dental insurance plan will cover preventative dental services, such as dental cleanings, exams, and x-rays but will only discount other services dentists offer. Once a patient reaches their yearly maximum, the discount disappears, and patients must pay out of pocket. Some dentists get around this by providing insurance without annual maximums.
So, what misconceptions can we lay to rest about dental insurance?
• Dental insurance is actually insurance. No, it is not insurance. As discussed, it’s a benefits system that helps with discounts on some services while covering minimal ones. A dentist can help determine what procedures are covered by a patient’s insurance and plan their dental care visits accordingly to save time and money. This level of care benefits patients who have low yearly maximums or have already met their maximum.
• Dental insurance covers any treatment a patient needs. Unfortunately, dental insurance will not cover treatments for pre-existing conditions. While some companies make exceptions for dental necessities, it’s often rare for this to happen. Many providers require a six-month premium before covering any significant dental.
• Dental insurance keeps up with inflation prices. If dental insurance kept up with the price of inflation, annual limits would require raising from $1,000-$1,500 to $5,000-$5,500 to cover costs of materials, precious metals, labor costs, laboratory fees, and other costs associated with dental procedures.
• Dentists require dental insurance to see a patient. Not all dentists are the same, but many dental practices work hard to provide the dental care a patient needs without relying on restrictive dental insurance plans. Insurance is not a requirement to see a dentist, but insurance plans force dentists to perform procedures they may not recommend as the best option simply due to cost and coverage.
• Patients are required to see an in-network / preferred provider. Many insurance companies try to force their clients into seeing an in-network dental practice. This “rule” is not a requirement, and many dentists will bill various insurance companies. Dental offices like Tryon Family Dentistry work with their patients regardless of the patient’s insurance coverage.
Seek the Dental Care You Need
Don’t let dental insurance misconceptions prevent you from seeking the dental care you need. The longer an issue is allowed to fester, the worse off your dental health can get. If a dental problem like an abscess is left untreated, it can significantly impact a patient’s overall health. Give Tryon Family Dentistry in Raleigh or Zebulon a quick call and set an appointment with us. We can help prolong your dental health, improve dental hygiene, and prevent your smile from fading. For more information, contact us.