Posted by Dr. William Yoo
As important as it is to maintain your oral health and provide your teeth with regular cleanings or dental procedures as required, the costs of these services can surely add up. In most cases, your dental insurance can help shoulder some or all of the expenses associated with a wide variety of dental services. Each insurance plan is unique and offers varying amounts, percentages covered, deductibles, and types of procedures covered. Many dental plans work on an annual basis, meaning your dental benefits are forfeited at the close of the year.
As fall and winter roll around, it’s crucial to take advantage of any remaining dental benefits if you haven’t done so already before the year comes to a close. Why allow your perfectly available dental benefits to go to waste when they could be put towards improving the health of your teeth and gums instead? If you’ve lost benefits in the past and don’t want to make the same mistake again or are new to dental and health insurance, we’ll provide you with some tips and tricks to help maximize your dental benefits to maintain your beautiful smile from one year to the next.
Every dental plan is different and can differ from one provider to the next. The amount of money available to use, the percentage of the cost covered by your plan, and the types of dental services covered can vary and should be understood before you visit the dentist. Many dental plans have what is referred to as an annual cap, which provides a limit to your coverage for specific treatment types. Once you’ve used all the available funds provided by your dental insurance for a given year, you will be expected to pay for the remaining balances out-of-pocket. In most cases, any unused dental coverage cannot be carried forward and used in the following year, and usually expires and resets on the first of January.
Your dental coverage can vary depending on whether the treatment you are receiving is preventative, restorative, or elective; knowing what your plan covers will help you work with the dentist to determine what the right steps are for you. Most plans provide complete coverage for most preventative treatments such as x-rays or fluoride treatments, meaning you will receive these services at no cost to you. It’s unfortunate to see unused benefits expire at the end of the year, which is why the first step to maximizing your dental benefits is understanding what is available to you and scheduling appointments strategically to use everything that you have.
If you know how close you are to your annual cap, you will know how much you have left to spend before the year comes to a close. You can determine your dental coverage and the remaining balance by calling your insurance provider or logging into your account on their website. This will help you track your dental expenses as they occur. If you have utilized the majority of your benefits, it may be wise to complete any treatments that aren’t immediately necessary in the following year once your benefits reset. If you have a sufficient amount of funds available, you can schedule your regular dental check-ups or any other treatments you require over the remaining year to maintain that bright smile.
Another useful trick to help you avoid paying out-of-pocket is staggering your dental treatments. Some dental treatments, including cosmetic or other non-preventative treatments, require more than one visit to complete. If your dental benefits are limited, it can be a helpful idea to speak to your dentist about completing a part of the treatment during the end of the year and completing the remaining portion of the treatment in January of the following year. This way, you will be able to maximize the use of your benefits from the current year and use the benefits from the following year to cover the remaining cost. This will minimize the amount required for you to pay out-of-pocket. This strategy may not always be possible for all treatment types, however, and treatments that can be spread out over a few weeks can be scheduled accordingly.
It’s never an easy task to save with all the expenses you are bombarded with, so why not put your mind at ease when it comes to your oral health and let your insurance cover your costs. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice your money or the health of your teeth and gums.
Your teeth are important and scheduling regular check-ups and cleanings will help maintain the health of your teeth and gums. Visiting your dentist on a regular basis can also help detect any problems with your oral health before they worsen and require more invasive methods of treatment. Whatever dental benefits your insurance provider offers can be used strategically to help maximize the number of treatments you can receive. Some dental plans also provide coverage for your spouse and dependents, so make sure everyone under your plan is using their maximum coverage.
Dental insurance is usually designed to help finance not only yours but the whole family’s oral health. Help your children develop positive habits when it comes to maintaining their oral health and have them visit the dentist regularly.
Here at Roots on Whyte Dental, our team of professionals can help keep your teeth and gums healthy and strong. We understand that dental procedures can be costly, which is why we provide the best quality services at affordable rates to guarantee the satisfaction of each of our patients. Let us know what kind of dental insurance you have, and we can help you schedule your required treatments and check-ups, so none of your benefits are wasted. We’re here to help save your smile and your money.
Call Roots on Whyte Dental today at (780) 438-6863 to book your appointment and utilize your dental insurance to benefit your oral health, or visit our website here to learn more about our services.