• August 25, 2016

Our Birmingham dental office is here as a source of information and great dental care. That means we need to keep our patients appraised of changes in dental care. That means looking at things like dental news and even dental coverage. Today I have information that dental insurance providers would probably prefer I not mention. I have a few facts that will no doubt change the way you see dental insurance — and how you use it.

Here it is in a nutshell: You dental insurance provider is pocketing your money, and you don’t even know it! That’s right. Keep reading to see my main points about dental insurance. You’ll learn how to manage your dental insurance and how to better use your benefits.

You lose your benefits on Dec. 31!

Most dental insurance providers operate on a calendar plan. You pay monthly premiums and receive an allotted coverage amount. Many dental insurance agencies provide patients with $1,000 to $1,500 every year. That’s typically not a true $1,000 or $1,500. Your provider will often pay for half of the cost of general and some restorative treatments, but that’s it. Once you hit your yearly maximum, you’re on your own.

One of two things usually happens with dental insurance: either you use it quick or you hardly use it at all. So, where does the money allotted by your dental insurance company go if it’s left unspent? Well, even though it’s your money, it goes directly back to the insurance company’s bottom line. Most people aren’t even aware this happens, but we see it all the time. And what’s worse is that many people who lose their annual allotment have unresolved dental issues. My message to them and you: You’re paying for it, so use it if you need it. There is no use waiting around while your dental problem gets worse and your bank account things out. If you have dental benefits remaining, use those benefits toward improving your oral health. Don’t simply assume you have to wait until your next examine or cleaning. This could save you hundreds, maybe even thousands of dollars down the road.

Don’t Risk Your Oral Health Waiting

If you have dental insurance and don’t use it, you’re shooting yourself in the foot in a number of ways.

1. You can’t guarantee you will not need a dental work. No one, not even we dentists can predict when a tooth might need a root canal or develop a painful cavity. We can help prevent those things, but we also need you to not risk it. If you have dental issues and remaining dental benefits, knock out the problem before it becomes something more serious.

2. Your dental insurance can change. Most people with dental insurance have it through their work. Obviously jobs can change and dental insurance premiums can go up. It’s not uncommon for employees to hunt for dental providers. I have patients who work for companies that switch dental insurance providers once every year.

3. The good news is that many dental insurance providers give cardholders two free dental cleanings a year. So, if you have used your dental insurance this year, it’s possible you could still have one free cleaning.

If you need to schedule another cleaning or dental visit, call our office today 732-352-3903.