Dental Insurance Coverage Explained: 5 Things It Helps You Pay For
While paying for the occasional dental exam out of pocket won’t typically break the bank (they tend to run around $200), more extensive procedures can get expensive fast; root canals alone can cost as much as $2,500! That’s where dental insurance coverage comes in. For monthly fees as little as $30/month, dental plans help pay for the services that keep your chompers pearly white. This makes dental care much more affordable, especially if you ever need unexpected, complicated procedures.
Here are 5 things dental plans help you pay for:
1. Dental Exams
One thing dental insurance coverage includes is preventive care, which are routine services that keep you healthy, 100 percent. That means that with a dental plan, you can get cleanings, exams, and x-rays twice a year—all free as long as you visit an in-network dentist.
A dental sealant is a special gel that uses ultraviolet light to form a protective layer around your teeth. Sealants are easy to apply (it only takes a few minutes) and painless, and are usually used on children once their permanent molars grow in. Sealants can reduce tooth decay by 70 percent, which means fewer cavities and healthier smiles!
Dental insurance often covers sealants, but how they’re covered depends on your specific plan. Some plans may limit how many sealants you get (they’re typically only applied to certain teeth every five to ten years), and because they’re more effective before tooth decay happens, your plan may only cover sealants for children or young adults.
3. Tooth Trauma
Did you know that if one of your teeth get knocked out, it can only survive for 60 minutes? Fortunately, dental insurance helps (literally) fill the gap on tooth trauma care. Your plan will cover treatment for chips, fractures, and knockouts, so you can head to the dentist and take care of your dental disaster ASAP. How much you’ll end up paying depends on the severity of the trauma. If you go in to have pain relief from a chipped tooth, your insurance will likely pay around 80 percent for the visit. Have a more extensive procedure done? They may only cover 50 percent.
By the time they’re 50, Americans have lost an average of twelve teeth! If you’re missing one of your pearly whites, you are a candidate for dental implants: surgically inserted, artificial teeth that fuse with your jawbone via a titanium rod. Implants look like real teeth, and help improve any eating / speaking issues or discomfort from a missing tooth. With a 98 percent success rate, dental implants are considered some of the most successful medical procedures today.
Without dental insurance coverage, implants cost anywhere from $1,500 to $7,500. How much of the procedure insurance covers depends on your plan. As an example, Stride’s custom dental plans will cover 20 percent of your implants’ cost in your first year of coverage, and 50 percent in your second year.
Fluoride treatments are an easy way to strengthen your teeth’s enamel, which prevents decay and cavities. Dental plans will commonly help pay for fluoride treatments for children 16 and under. This is because children are less likely to have much tooth decay. If you get a dental plan for your children, be sure to put it to good work – just one year of fluoride treatments can make them 43 percent less likely to develop tooth decay and cavities!
Inside tip: if your insurance doesn’t fully cover your fluoride treatment, they tend to be very inexpensive (usually less than $50). Consider getting the treatment during your free cleaning!
Interested in Signing Up for Dental Insurance?
Lucky you! Dental insurance doesn’t have an Open Enrollment period, which means you can sign up for a plan anytime. Keep in mind – most plans make you wait 6 to 12 months before you can use them. Fortunately, we offer simple, affordable plans that you can use the very next month at over 300,000 locations nationwide!