“Why Doesn’t My Insurance Pay for This?”

It’s time to take advantage of some of that dental insurance provided to you by your work. You finally get that much-needed root canal and feel excited to be free of the throbbing pain and discomfort of an infected tooth. You can bite again- worry free! But then, an unexpected bill shows up in the mail. What happened? Wasn’t this procedure covered? Today, we’ll help to demystify dental insurance and give you some options to help you you get the dental procedures you need while avoiding the unwanted bills.

What Does My Insurance Cover?

Let’s start here. Pretty much every dental insurance is going to cover your cleanings (although there may be a deductible). Many insurances cover things such as x-rays and other exploratory measures. Extractions are also usually covered. But what if you need additional work done?

The first thing to note is that many dental insurance plans have a waiting period for anything other than routine checkups. Some require that you be on the plan for an entire year before they pay for anything else. In this case, it is just a matter of what your employer offers you. In the wake of the Affordable Care Act, many employers are only providing workers with the bare minimum insurance. That means high deductibles, long wait periods, and a lot of things that just are not covered – even if you absolutely need it or your dentist recommends it.

How to Avoid a Turning a Toothache into a Headache

First of all, we encourage you to make dental health a priority. After all, cleanings are usually covered. Avoiding the need for root canals and other extensive work is the best way to keep those big bills from coming in, so brush and floss regularly.

Second, you need to find out exactly what your insurance covers. Then you may find that you need to carry supplemental dental insurance of your own to make up for what the dental insurance your employer offers is lacking. At the very least, call your insurance before scheduling a procedure, so you don’t get caught off guard.

Communicate With Your Dentist

Finally, talk to your dentist. If something is not covered by your insurance, most dentists will work within your means. That may mean an in-house payment plan or some other kind of financing option, but at least it doesn’t come as a shock weeks after the work is already done, and you’re looking at the bill with your mouth hanging open and blood pressure rising.

In the end, we encourage you to take care of dental health issues before they escalate into something big that can affect your overall health. Hopefully, the tips mentioned above can help you to do that without breaking the piggy bank.