The benefits of having dental insurance have been proven to reduce ER visits, emergency extractions, and dentures. The American Dental Association (ADA) has linked 125 medical conditions that are influenced by dental care. Oral hygiene affects disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, and heart disease.
Preventative care is the primary purpose of dental insurance. Preventative treatments include teeth cleaning, a checkup, and X-rays. Teeth cleaning and a checkup twice yearly can prevent tooth loss and stop gum disease early. Insurances cover the entire cost of these types of dental visits, and it will pay for portions of fillings, crowns, and implants.
Orthodontic visits and braces may not be covered. Some providers will help cover a percentage of braces, while some companies might cover them it the patient meets their need assessment criteria. The orthodontic office can apply for prior authorization.
The insurance company may approve a portion of some forms of cosmetic dentistry, such as a front crown. Cosmetic dentistry treatments such as whitening and veneers are not a covered benefit.
There are PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) dental plans available. A PPO has care providers who agree to accept a specific payment for certain procedures. If the patient chooses a provider out of the organization, the patient’s portion will be higher.
An HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) also has dentists that have agreed to accept their payment, but the HMO will not cover any treatment outside of the organization or network.
Routine dental cleaning and treatment can be affordable with all types of programs, and regular visits to a dentist help ensure more than just a healthy smile.