Since even one emergency trip to the dentist can capsize the average individual’s budget, it is very prudent to invest in a discount dental plan with basic benefits. But when comparing a variety of discount dental plans, just what should an individual expect in the way of basic benefits to be covered?
The most important benefits for basic coverage are routine cleanings and regular maintenance check-ups to keep teeth healthy. Some providers also consider filling cavities, extracting teeth, treating teeth with fluoride and correcting chipped teeth among the basic benefits of discount dental plans. Any treatment that is considered preventative dental care to avoid losing teeth or to prevent the erosion of gum-lines is often considered basic dental treatment.
Just as important as knowing what benefits are covered when purchasing a discount dental plan is knowing what procedures are considered outside the scope of this type of plan. Any kind of dental procedures that are considered to be cosmetic in nature, such as veneers to help provide a uniform look to teeth and teeth whitening to remove stains and dullness, are never covered by any sort of discount dental plan. More complex procedures that replace lost or damaged teeth such as bridges and dentures are usually also not included in the benefits of a discount dental plan. Some procedures such as root canals may be partially covered by a discount dental plan. This is why it is essential that an individual carefully read and understand the fine print of any discount dental plan in order to know the limitations and parameters of exactly which dental procedures or visits will be either totally or partially covered by the plan. Be aware as well that pre-existing dental conditions are never covered either by discount or regular dental plans.
The ultimate determination of whether or not a discount dental plan offers enough benefits to cover the annual cost is comparing the a la carte price of a cleaning or office visit with the amount paid for the policy, which usually covers an annual period.