Choosing the right dental insurance is an important step in maintaining a healthy smile. A proper dental plan should offer coverage on preventative healthcare as well as major and minor restorative treatments.
One of the most important aspects to look for in dental insurance is coverage on preventative care. Preventative treatment can lower the number of problems that may develop over time. Many dental problems can be prevented or minimized with early diagnosis and treatment. Proper screening and care of the teeth can also significantly lower the costs of treatment. Preventative coverage to look for includes dental exams, cleanings, and fluoride treatments twice a year. Additional coverage for bite-wing x-rays every year and full mouth x-rays every three years should also be included.
If a dental problem is discovered during preventative maintenance, it is beneficial to have an insurance policy that will cover most of the cost for treatment. Most dental plans will not cover the full expense, so a plan that covers approximately 75 percent will be within reason. Basic services that fall under the restorative dentistry category include fillings, tooth extractions, and minor treatment of the gums.
Some dental problems are severe and require expensive procedures. These services may have less coverage than basic restorative treatments. A good dental plan will provide coverage of 50 percent of the expense. Major repair procedures include root canals, placement of dental crowns or bridges, denture fabrication, and complex surgeries. With a proper dental plan in place, many of these procedures can be avoided through regular care of the teeth and gums.
Some insurance plans will cover cosmetic treatments and pre-existing problems. This type of coverage can be extremely beneficial, however the coverage amount may be minimal. Cosmetic procedures may include braces, teeth whitening, or decorative crowns. Pre-existing conditions may be under certain exclusions, and they may require lengthy waiting periods. Some insurance plans will provide limited coverage for immediate service.