If you have an employer-sponsored dental insurance plan at work, it helps greatly in making dental care and treatments more affordable, but it may pay for only a portion of the dental care costs.
Because of this, it is worth planning and preparing ahead to make the most of your dental insurance and to find ways to save money at the dentist. Maximizing how you use your insurance can help you save on the dental expenses you may have to pay out of pocket. An important thing to remember is that ignoring your dental health and leaving potential concerns untreated will lead to bigger dental issues that are painful and much more costly.
Here are some of the best ways to save money and ensure you are using your dental insurance to its fullest.
Plan Ahead For Dental Care
If private benefits are not a possibility, a good old-fashioned savings account to set money aside for dental work is always an option. There can be many loopholes regarding what benefits do and do not cover, such as cosmetic dentistry, so having an account to set aside funds for these purposes may be useful regardless of whether you have private insurance or not.
If you do not have employer coverage and are looking for dental insurance for yourself, be sure to shop around, or consider using a broker. Always read your insurance plan carefully.
Maximize Preventive and Early Dental Care
Most dental insurance plans offer better dental coverage for basic preventive care, paying a higher percentage of the cost for these types of dental visits. These include regular dental checkups, x-rays and exams, and preventative care like professional cleanings. Your insurance company will also likely include items like fluoride treatment, too. These dental services help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health concerns.
Regularly going to your dentist for regular care means you take advantage of the higher percentage of coverage, as well as benefit from the fact that these dental services are less expensive.
This low-cost dental care is a more affordable alternative to neglecting your oral health, leading to bigger issues that require more complex procedures. Putting off treatment could mean that you have to pay for more expensive work that is covered by your insurance company at a lower percentage.
For example, regular cleanings help prevent tooth decay, and if you do experience some, it is caught at the earliest stages. Not receiving regular care could mean that you are at higher risk for tooth decay and that it can spread untreated until the tooth is heavily damaged and may require a root canal or extraction.
Ask For A Payment Plan
Remember to ask the staff at your next dental visit whether they offer payment plans. Most dentists do offer one to help patients pay for a dental treatment that is on the expensive side, though usually not for cleanings and preventative care. This helps you avoid a one-time cost for expensive dental procedures that you may not have had a chance to save up for.
You get the dental work you need, with the benefit of the insurance coverage you do have, with manageable payments. If you are wondering about whether or not to get the treatment done, this can make it more possible. It is also a good idea to get any treatment done sooner, rather than later before your condition becomes worse and requires dental surgery or other treatments that are even more expensive.
Time Your Treatment
In some cases, you may be able to time a treatment or office visit around dates when your dental insurance benefits start again for a new year. For example, if your treatment involves more extensive dental work that will require at least a couple of visits, and you are close to the insurance year-end, you can schedule one visit in the one fiscal year, and the other in the next fiscal year. However, it is important not to delay necessary treatment too much. You can consult with your dentist or oral surgeon to see if this is a possibility for you.
Remember Your Flexible Spending Account
If you have a flexible or health savings account, be sure to use this for any cost not covered by your regular dental insurance. The added bonus to this is that you are using pre-tax dollars to pay for your services.
Chat With Your Dentist
If you have concerns about costs, or how to best use your insurance, ask your dentist.
At Century Stone Dental, we can help you coordinate your insurance to make your visit simpler and easier, and keep your dental costs to a minimum. We always discuss treatment options with you, making recommendations, to provide the best care for you. We will also answer any questions you have, and address any concerns.
The dentists at Century Stone prioritize your healthy teeth and ensure your best oral health, and provide a friendly, family environment.