Dental insurance can be frustrating and confusing. Most people associate the word “insurance” with the concept of protection. Insurance is supposed to safeguard us from unexpected large expenses. But, what we call “dental INSURANCE” actually works more like a discount coupon than a form of insurance. That’s because, unlike car accidents, house fires and even medical needs, dental expenses are fairly predictable over time. Seeing the dentist twice yearly is recommended to maintain optimal dental health. The concept is: you take care of your teeth and they will take care of you”. So rather than protecting you from unexpected costs, dental plans are designed to help you with those expenses that are rather easy to anticipate. Because of this relative predictability, most dental insurance companies know what their claims experience will be, and can sell plans based on that premise. Many dental plans will pay for all or most of the twice yearly cleaning and dental exam you receive. That’s because they are relatively inexpensive and save costs in the long run by promoting good dental health. Other benefits vary widely. Many plans will pay half the cost for a crown and exclude more expensive yet highly beneficial services entirely. Many times there is a deductible that you must pay prior to receiving any benefits, and an annual maximum amount that your insurance will pay.
The Bearable Dentistry dentists understand that patients are working within a budget and do their best to help them navigate their policies to a workable solution. Once the dentist makes his diagnosis, our staff will prepare an estimate which outlines, to the best of our ability, your out of pocket expense for each recommended procedure. Remember that our priority is always YOUR dental health and cannot allow an insurance company’s rule to dictate your treatment needs.
Bearable Dentistry employees a full-time insurance coordinator who works with dental insurance companies and patients. Since each plan differs, we depend upon the patient to understand the limitations of their policy. Contact your insurance company directly for full details about your plan. You will find a customer service phone number on the back of your card. And, many companies office comprehensive plan information on their website.
It’s a system that’s far from ideal, but there is one bright spot: all parties — your employers, the insurance company, your dentist, and you — all favor prevention. So if you have a plan that will pay for a twice (or even once) a year exam, use it to help stay healthy and avoid costlier treatments down the road.