Just How Does Dental Insurance Work?

Many dental insurance plans can be confusing and often disappointing. However, understanding a few key terms can help you understand how dental insurance works and whether a specific plan is best for your needs. Continue reading to learn more about dental insurance and a possible alternative provided by Trident Dental.

To learn more about our Low Country Smile Plan, contact us at Trident Dental. 

Preventive Care

One of the first important considerations is how a dental plan defines preventive care. The possible procedures an insurance provider may include are:

  • Dental x-rays.

  • Routine oral exams.

  • Professional teeth cleanings.

  • Fluoride treatments.

  • Sealants.

In addition to knowing the procedures covered, you should learn what percentage of the treatment cost is covered by the provider and how often. For example, many plans include covering one hundred percent at least once and often twice per year.

Waiting Period

You probably must wait a predetermined length of time after acquiring dental insurance before your plan covers the cost of treatment. This discourages people from waiting until they know they need treatment before applying for a policy. The waiting period can vary from a few months to two years.

Deductibles and Copayments

Besides possible preventive treatments, your plan likely requires that you pay a percentage of the treatment cost out of pocket. Additionally, your plan may include a deductible for each individual included in the plan or a single deductible for the entire family. Some plans also require that you pay upfront for the services and submit requests for partial reimbursement.

A copay is an amount your insurance provider requires you to make each time you visit your dentist. This amount is not reimbursable. 

Yearly Maximums

To avoid an unexpected payable dental bill late in the year, check your policy for a yearly maximum. An important consideration is whether each family member may have an annual maximum. Plans also vary in how unused portions of your maximum may be used, such as rolling the amount into the following year’s maximum.

Network Coverage

This can be a make-or-break aspect of an insurance plan, especially if you have established a relationship with a dentist. Some plans insist you use a dentist within their network for their coverage benefits or agree to lower coverage when treated by out-of-network dentists.

Procedures Not Covered

Just as important as learning what a plan covers is that which is not covered. Since most cosmetic procedures are not considered medically necessary, they are not covered. This could include teeth bleaching, veneers, and some orthodontic treatments. 

Dental Membership Plans

The last several years have seen a rise in the use of alternative payment plans for dental care, known as dental membership plans. These plans typically include a nominal annual fee and a discounted fee for common treatments, such as fillings, crowns, dental veneers, and teeth whitening. Trident Dental’s Lowcountry Smile Plan offers exams and x-rays at no charge, thirty percent discount off their dental services, and participating specialty discounts. The Lowcountry Smile Plan also eliminates many of dental insurance’s negative features such, as annual maximums.

Schedule Appointment

Contact us at Trident Dental to learn how we can help you with any questions you may have about dental insurance or alternative ways to pay for dental care.

Schedule Appointment

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