What You Need to Know About Dental Insurance

April 4, 2024

When thinking about healthcare coverage, don’t forget your teeth!

Did you know there’s a connection between the health of your teeth and the health of the rest of your body?

It’s true! Issues in your mouth can affect your overall health.

Good oral hygiene and regular professional dental care will keep your mouth in good shape, which is great news for the rest of your body.

Much like other specialized insurance policies, you have options.

There are a lot of different choices so you’ll need to do some research to find the one that’s best for you and your family.

How dental plans work

Dental plans are like other insurance policies. They cover basic care, as well as preventive measures.

Basic care encompasses procedures such as fillings, periodontal work, and root canals.

Preventive measures include annual or twice-annual cleanings.

Of course, different plans will offer various benefits.

Different types of coverage

There are several factors to take into consideration when choosing a dental plan. Think about the number of people in your family, their ages, and if anyone could possibly require orthodontia.

Let’s take a look at some of the options for dental coverage that are available.

Keep in mind that these are a generalization of what companies normally offer and you will need to delve into the fine print of a particular policy to find out what it entails.

Here are some things you should know:

  • Full coverage. This one-term can mean different things depending on the policy. Some full coverage policies include checkups, yearly or twice-yearly cleanings, and X-rays. Other full coverage policies may reduce the amount of any dental procedure.
  • Preferred provider organization (PPO). A plan like this allows you to choose any dentist you prefer, though you may pay a higher percentage of the costs if the dentist is not in-network.
  • Discount dental plans. Keep in mind that this is not an insurance plan. You will pay the dentist directly, but your cost will be lower. There are no premiums or deductibles to pay, which makes it a nice option for a family or individual who doesn’t want an insurance plan but still wants lower-cost care. An additional benefit is the lack of paperwork and claims forms.
  • Supplemental. This is a separate plan that is an addition to your current coverage. Sometimes supplemental policies are used for procedures that aren’t covered by the primary dental plan.

What factors should you consider?

The importance that is placed on each of these factors will vary from person to person. Decide what’s most important for you!

Consider these factors:

  • Monthly premium. Figure out the monthly amount you can afford for the premium.
  • Covered treatments. The benefits can vary wildly between policies. Make sure that the essentials, like cleaning and X-rays, are covered and then decide what else is most important.
  • Maximum annual limit. This is the most the insurance company will pay out in a year’s time. A common cap is $1,500 but, again, there are many variances. Choose an amount you’re comfortable with.
  • Deductible. Be sure to include this in the cost as you figure out your dental care budget.
  • Waiting period. Dental plans typically have a longer waiting period before covering pre-existing conditions or major work. Know ahead of time what that period will be for the policy you’re interested in.
  • Choice of a dentist. You’ll want to be able to choose a dentist that your family is comfortable with. Make sure this is an option or that your dentist is in the network.
  • Family members covered. Obviously, if you have a family, you’ll want a family plan! If you have children you may want to make sure possible orthodontic work is covered.
  • Amount of paperwork. Some claim procedures are more time and paperwork intensive than others. Choose what you’re comfortable with.

UROne Benefits™ can help you find the dental plan that’s right for you! Speak with One of Our Advisors.

This post was originally published in April 2017; updated April 2024.