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- A dental savings account may be a better alternative than dental insurance for immediate care
- Most major dental plans have waiting periods for major dental procedures
- Dental insurance that covers major dental procedures immediately may be expensive and offer a limited network
You’ve probably heard the saying “good things come to those who wait.” Well, that doesn’t apply to those shopping for dental insurance. Most available plans require a waiting period for the policy to go into full effect.
During the waiting period, you may not have any insurance coverage even though you’re paying premiums for dental insurance. Depending on your policy, you may have coverage for preventative care immediately but not for basic or major procedures.
Some health insurance plans include dental benefits in their policies; enter your zip code to compare free quotes and find the plan that’s right for you!
What’s preventative dental care?
Preventative screenings, including cleaning and x-rays, are usually covered right away, but restorative or procedures to correct oral health problems can be limited by a waiting period of six months to a year.
However, if you choose the right dental plan, you may not have to wait at all for basic or major dental procedures.
Understanding the Difference between Basic and Major Dental Procedures
Basic and major dental insurance coverage vary based on the level of care needed to fix or prevent damage to your teeth and gums. Examples of basic dental procedures include:
- Simple extractions
- Some deep cleanings
If waiting periods are imposed on your treatment, you will have to pay for these services out-of-pocket. The other type of dental services that often have a waiting period imposed on them include major dental procedures such as:
- Root canals
- Oral surgery
Understanding Limits and Plan Restrictions
In addition to dictating when your dental insurance goes into effect, it also limits and restricts certain procedures. For example, a dental plan may limit denture replacement to once every five years or won’t cover a filling replacement if it’s been in place for less than six years and you aren’t having any issues with it.
Additionally, dental insurance may not cover existing dental work that was already in progress when you became eligible for services
. For example, if you already began procedures needed to get fitted for a bridge, your insurance may not pay for the remaining services because the work began before your current plan went into effect.
As another example, if you’ve had missing teeth for years, your dental insurance may not cover replacing the teeth as it was a pre-existing condition before you became eligible for coverage.
How to Find the Right Dental Plan for Your Budget and Health Needs
Despite what you may think, there are dental insurance plans that can be used right away with no waiting period imposed. But, how do you find those plans, and how do you understand the fine print in contracts?
The best way to get what you need and want in dental insurance is to shop around. When comparing insurance plans, you want to make sure you understand the monthly premiums, what your yearly maximum coverage is, and what services are and aren’t covered by the plan.
Failure to understand and ask questions about any of the above may cause you to pay out of pocket for insurance premiums and the dental care you need.
Don’t Delay Buying Dental Insurance
If you’ve put off dental treatments such as cleanings for quite a long-time chances are you’re going to need a dentist sooner than later. If you’re already experiencing dental pain, you’ll probably need expensive treatments to alleviate your pain and repair any damage that’s been done.
If you’re shopping for insurance plans and have already visited a dentist, or planning to go soon, it’s important to get a treatment plan complete with ADA dental codes. Next, use that information to call your proposed insurance plan and review coverage.
When you know what’s covered before you go to the dentist, you can prevent any unpleasant financial surprises. Don’t let your tooth health get out of control. Instead, get the affordable coverage you can use right away when you know what you need and expect from your insurance company.
Lastly, if you find out you can’t afford dental insurance or can’t wait for it to go into full effect – you can always check into a dental savings account.
How to Use a Dental Savings Account for Major Dental Procedures
A dental savings account is the best affordable alternative to traditional major dental insurance. With this type of coverage, there are no waiting periods, deductibles, maximum coverage amounts, or exclusions for pre-existing conditions. Instead, all monies placed in this account can be used right away for any preventative or corrective dental care.
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