Dental Coverage – Protect Your Pearly Whites

dental coverage protect your pearly whites

Welcome to Ben’s Chronicles

Hello! I’m Ben from EINSURANCE. Trust me, I know there are plenty of things we’d both probably rather be doing than discussing insurance. But although insurance gets a bad rap, it does have its benefits; especially when you find the right coverage and carrier.

Unfortunately, throughout my life I have had a knack for being at the wrong place, at the right time. Given my gravitational pull toward bad luck, I wanted to share a few of my life experiences with you in hopes that my bad luck could benefit you. So, bear with me over the upcoming weeks, because I’ll be sharing little nuggets I’ve learned through navigating the insurance world. If my mishaps and theories don’t directly help answer any of your insurance related questions, I promise they’ll make you laugh, albeit at my expense…

If you would like me to discuss a specific topic, feel free to email me at [email protected].

Today our topic is:

Dental Coverage – Protect Your Pearly Whites

As a child, you’re told to brush your teeth and floss at least twice a day. If you were anything like me, this somehow translated to brushing once a day, and flossing right before heading to the dentist. Although absolutely necessary, especially given my knack for sweets as child, visits to the dentist was widely considered a dreadful experience. This insidious sentiment regarding the dentist became a permanent fixture in my subconscious as I grew older. So even as I learned how and why the dentist was so important, I still housed an inherent negative bias against making the required visits. As a result, for much of my young adult life I perhaps visited the dentist once a year, possibly once every other year.

The Annual Visit to the Dental Office

Like most stages in life, this anti-dentist phase eventually subsided. By happenstance, this devolving of my sentiment towards dentists coincided with the growth of me considering to start a family. Similar to most fears, the dreaded thoughts of visits to the dentist slowly began to diminish with each teeth cleaning and routine visit. I now find myself visiting the dentist up to four times a year, simply to ensure everything is healthy and in good standing. Of course, the complete modernization of the dentist office has helped. As a child we’d be lucky to hear elevator music while at the dentist office. Now a days, you can choose which movie you would like to watch, song to listen or stylish eye protection you would like to wear while the dentist hacks at your pearly whites.

Deciphering Dental Coverage

The distant cousin to health insurance, dental coverage is typically packaged in a health policy. The health coverage I opted for at work treated dental coverage in such a way. Its also typical for your basic dental coverage to include two preventative/maintenance cleaning dental visits per year. I learned this the hard way. As my inhibitions regarding the dentist subsided, I began to schedule more and more visits, thinking the health of one’s teeth has to be positively correlated to the number of dental visits that person makes per year. The drawback to this strategy is that you slowly begin to cover those dental visits at 100% cost. Thus, depending on your dental coverage, once you reach your annual allotted visits per year for a certain service, you begin to pay out of pocket. So if I decide to visit the dentist more than twice a year, I now know I’ll be fitting the bill.

This isn’t the only tricky aspect of dental coverage. Coverage also differs by procedure. For example, there are different degrees of cleanings. A typical policy may cover 100% of the cost for basic cleanings. However, if the dentist suggest that you should receive a more ‘intense’ cleaning, that percentage could drop. In my case, I receive what the dentist refers to as deep cleanings, thus, I always pay out of pocket. This past year I was lucky enough to require a root canal. Little did I know that a root canal is effectively a two-part procedure; a cleaning then a filling. You also pay accordingly – twice (two separate bills), and depending on your coverage, be prepared to fork out quite a bit of cash.

Learning the importance of the dentist is a lifelong lesson for most. In my case, it took a few decades for me to truly appreciate the wizardry and importance of these professionals. I can only hope it doesn’t take you as long as it did for me to come to this realization. When you do, make sure you check with your coverage provider prior to EVERY visit to get an idea of what is covered, and if it is, at what percentage. This will certainly help you budget accordingly, and indrectly may even prevent you from snacking on sweets!

About Dale Williams

Dale Q. Williams, MBA, is a well-respected financial executive whose experience spans from insurance to investment banking. Dale has first hand underwriting experience through working for one of the largest U.S. based insurance carriers, and advisory experience from working for several bulge-bracket and middle-market investment banks. Dale also received his MBA from University of Chicago Booth School of Business, with concentrations in finance and accounting.