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What Is Included With Dental Insurance Coverage?

May 23, 2008
Dental insurance plans can help individuals and families save a lot of money with respect to dental care and treatment. There are different types of such plans and some plans are more expensive than others. But the difference in the diverse plans offered by different insurance providers mostly lies in the coverage of dental procedures what is reimbursed and what is not. It is therefore important to consider what is covered in a plan very carefully before signing up for one.

Full coverage normally refers to all dental procedures that can be expected to be carried out with the goal of keeping teeth healthy and restoring them. However, there exist some misunderstanding as to full coverage, whereby people often believe that it implies that all dental procedures are covered by the dental insurance plan. If this was the case, then one would have to look at price alone in order to determine which one of the plans is the best one to adopt. Needless to say, it would be the cheapest one.

Therefore when examining the different plans, it is vital to understand what each one of them covers and what they do not cover. Some plans may cover basic dental procedures, such as checkups and cleanings, but not more complex ones, such as implants or dentures. Some will cover major dental procedures, and not the basic ones. These types of coverages are not to the benefit of the clients. People most often than not go to the dentist for basic dental care and treatments which, if catered to carefully and regularly, will diminish the risk of having recourse to major dental procedures. On the other hand, it is also important to have coverage for major, expensive dental procedures, as they may still be necessary, though on a less frequent basis.

Minor treatments, along with basic dental care, are usually included in full coverage dental plans. They include tooth extraction, fillings, treatment of roots, gums, cavities, among others. They are not considered as overly costly procedures, unlike major dental procedures. However, they usually involve co-payments and deductibles on the part of the client.

Major dental procedures such as prosthodontics (dentures, implants, bridges) are really very expensive, and therefore dental plans which cover these are quite worthwhile. Insurance providers know that these types of procedures arise less frequently, and are the result of not getting appropriate basic dental care. These procedures may be more subject to exclusions such as waiting periods. It may happen that people sign up for dental insurance plans which offer full coverage as to major dental treatments; being fully aware that they will be going through them.

Orthodontics (straightening of teeth, treatment including braces, retainers) usually forms part of cosmetic dental procedures, which does not find a great place, when it finds one, in dental plans. Indeed, these are barely, if not at all covered with dental insurance plans. The argument for this fact is that dental insurance plans, like medical insurance plans, work towards the sole aim of keeping people healthy or restoring their health. Cosmetic surgery, on the other hand, aims at improving appearance of people, and is therefore not covered by most dental insurance plans.

Before signing up for a dental insurance plan, people should therefore examine very carefully what the full coverage refers to. They should know exactly what their needs are and choose their dental plan accordingly. They should avoid making assumptions as to what is covered, so that they will not end up paying for dental procedures that they believed to be included in the coverage of their dental insurance plan.
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