Should I Purchase Dental Insurance?

Dental insurance can help cover the cost of dental care, and can save you money in the long run.  However, be careful, as having dental insurance does not mean that you can expect to have every dental service covered.  Optional procedures such as the latest tooth whitening treatment are not likely to be covered by dental insurance.  In fact, dental plans have limits on how many visits to the dentist, x-rays and treatments they will cover, and may also not cover some services at all.

However, if your employer offers a low-cost dental plan, it is worth the small premium to get coverage for your routine teeth cleaning appointments and any fillings or other necessary dental procedures that you may need.

It is always a good idea to check your policy or ask your dentist if a procedure is covered before agreeing to it.


Types of Dental Insurance Plans:

Indemnity Plan – Allows you to choose your own dentist.  There is a flat fee for a dental visit, and an annual coverage limit for dental costs, and often specific coverage limits for certain procedures.

Self-Insurance Plan – Similar to an indemnity plan, but you may not be able to choose your own dentist

Closed Panel Plan – You must use only approved facilities and dentists

Capitation Plan – these plans assign specific dentists for certain treatment periods.  For the term of the dentist’s contract, the insurance company pays them a fee regardless of whether or not dental services were required

Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) – You may choose a dentist from a pre-approved list who can provide dental care at a low cost

Direct Reimbursement Plan – Employers reimburse employees directly for necessary dental procedures

Dental Care Service Plan – a group of dentists form a non-profit organization and provides dental procedures at a set cost