Is Dental Insurance Right for You?
Let’s face it, healthcare costs can add up—and fast. Whether you’re fresh out of college or you have a large family, figuring out how you can get the best healthcare, including dental coverage, without breaking the bank, can be tricky.
When choosing which healthcare coverage you need, there’s a lot to consider, especially when it comes to dental insurance. Your oral care is an integral part of your overall health, so it’s an area that bears attention. If you’re one of the 74 million Americans without a dental plan, sharpen your pencils and read on.
By the numbers
The first step in figuring out whether a dental plan makes sense is to crunch some numbers. So that we compare apples to apples, we’re going to use the typical dental plan, which usually falls under the 100-80-50 rule of thumb:
- 100% coverage of preventive care, such as an annual exam, two cleanings, and X-rays
- 80% coverage of basic procedures, such as fillings
- 50% coverage of major procedures, such as crowns or bridges
Most individual dental plans cost, on average, $14-$30 per month and have a $1,000-$1,500 cap on anything beyond basic procedures. The average person shells out $500-$700 in dental expenses every year, which means that a dental plan may make some sense on an individual level.
A family affair?
Although it’s easy to compare out-of-pocket expenses versus dental insurance costs for an individual plan, if you’re looking for dental coverage for your whole family, the numbers are harder to pin down. On average, family dental plans cost $27-$57 per month, which is a wide range, but so, too, are family sizes.
Another major difference when considering a family dental plan is that you need to account for almost every eventuality. As you shop around, be sure to find out exactly what the dental plan covers, paying close attention to the exclusions. For example, find out:
- What exactly is covered under the 100-80-50 guidelines
- What the cap is on any procedure outside of the basics
- Whether there’s a deductible
- If there’s a waiting period between getting the insurance and having dental work done
- Whether orthodonture is covered
- Whether emergency dentistry is covered
- Whether a specialist is covered
It pays to fully consider both predictable and unpredictable dental expenses, especially when it comes to families. For example, you may be fairly confident that one or more of your children will need braces within a year, which means you should weigh those expenses against what the plan will cover. As well, some dental plans require a waiting period before they greenlight certain procedures, such as orthodontics.
Consider, too, that accidents can and do happen. If your child falls from the swing, breaking his front teeth and requiring emergency dental care, will your insurance cover it?
Talk to us
As part of your decision-making, feel free to call us here at Tria Dental Tysons to get an idea about what insurance we accept and what services we provide that are covered under most insurance plans. Since we’re a full-service dental practice, odds are we can handle most of your dental needs. Note, though, that our cosmetic dentistry is usually not covered by insurance.
As well, ask us about paying up front in order to receive a discount, which can help bring down your dental costs.
Use your insurance
If you decide to go ahead with dental insurance, consider that 100-80-50 rule again in another light. If you take full advantage of the things that are 100% covered, like dental cleanings and checkups, as well as those that are 80% covered, like periodontal care, you may avoid those items that require more out-of-pocket spending.
If you need more guidance on whether a dental insurance plan is a good idea, call us at Tria Dental Tysons, or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment with one of our office personnel.
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