Dental Insurance is intended to help people pay for dental work in the same way health insurance helps cover medical costs. While dental insurance is separate from health insurance, both are typically offered by employers as part of a benefits package, often along with vision insurance. Dental insurance can be a huge help for people who would otherwise not be able to afford regular dentist visits, making dental health much more accessible.

What does dental insurance typically cover, and what factors should be considered when selecting a plan? We answer these questions and more in our dental insurance guide.

What’s Included in Your Coverage with Dental Insurance?

  • Preventive care—This covers routine exams and X-rays as often as needed.
  • Cleanings—The cost is based on your age and whether you visit the dentist every six months or less frequently.
  • Emergency Care—If any problem arises during an appointment or if you’re unable to come in due to an accident, emergency treatments may be provided at no charge.
  • Treatment—If dental problems develop after paying your premium, it’s covered until their total value has been reached.
  • Expense Reimbursement—You can apply these funds towards out-of-pocket medical bills; however, most insurance companies limit coverage to $1500 per year.

Types of dental plans:

  • Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)—PPOs tend to require higher deductibles than indemnity plans, although some do offer lower premiums. PPOs are sometimes called HMOs, but there’s not always a clear distinction between them. They require members to see only sure doctors, usually those who belong to the plan. Pre-authorization requirements typically exist for procedures performed by specialists. Indemnity plans do not place restrictions on visited providers, except for pre-existing conditions.
  • Dental Health Maintenance Organization (DHMO)—DHMOs provide services similar to PPOs but don’t typically require members to go through a referral process before receiving treatment. While membership is usually required for payment, some plans allow members access to all dental offices. These types of plans are generally more affordable than PPOs.
  • Comprehensive Dental Plans (CDPs)—CDPs are designed to give members high levels of coverage. Members can select from various benefits that include preventive care, cleanings, x-rays, checkups, examinations and surgery. Some plans also provide either partial or all reimbursement for medications, hospital visits, and orthodontia.
  • Discount Medical Plans (DMPs)—Many insurance carriers offer these plans, and many employers offer them to their employees. Typically, low rates are available for younger workers who have fewer needs. As the insured person ages, their rate will increase. For older parents or grandparents, discounts are available for children.

Some Other Things to Consider When Choosing a Plan:

  • Don’t forget to look at annual membership fees, coinsurance rates, and any possible waiting periods for preventive and treatment costs.
  • Compare the benefits offered by each carrier and choose what will work best for you and your family.
  • Find someone who understands how the different policies operate.
  • Get quotes from more than three carriers.
  • Check for discounts offered by insurance agents and brokers.
  • Consider joining a group plan where several families share financial responsibility and risk.
  • Look at the deductibles and copays before considering a policy.
  • Be sure to check when claims must be submitted.
  • Review all of the information carefully before deciding on a particular company.

How Do I Choose the Right Policy for Me?

Before choosing one, you should always ask any potential dentist if they accept Health Savings Accounts (HSA). This is a great way to save money because you can put away up to $3,400 per year into an HSA account without incurring any taxes. Additionally, the money within the HSA cannot be touched until age 65, when you retire. Thus, you could use the money to pay for dental services.

Types Of Dentists That Can Accept FSA’s

The most common dentists who accept these plans are general dentists, pediatric dentists, family dentists, orthodontists and cosmetic dentists. Orthodontists tend to charge higher than the other types.

Financial Planners Who Offer Dental Insurance Plans

These companies specialize in helping others get the financial resources they need to maintain their dental health and prevent future problems from developing. They also help clients develop strategies for better managing their finances by offering dental insurance and life insurance products. These are two essential pieces of the jigsaw puzzle that lead to sound financial management and long-term stability.