Wednesday, March 25, 2009

All You Need to Know About Dental Insurance

Posted By: Madeleine Brooks

Dental insurance is insurance dedicated to paying portions of one's dental care. It is important that when you are doing research in regards to purchasing dental insurance, you know what your dental insurance company covers and what that company doesn't cover.

There are three different types of dental coverage. The first type of dental coverage is called Preventative dental insurance which is are cleanings and the dentist examining your teeth. X-rays and also sealants can fall into the preventative category depending on your insurance provider. The second type of dental coverage is called "basic or restorative". Cavity fillings, extracting teeth and also root canals are under this type of dental coverage. Root canals are major procedures however most dental insurance companies cover root canals under the basic or restorative category of dental coverage. The last type of dental coverage is called "major". These types of procedures are painful and extremely costly. Some procedures include surgical extractions, dentures, implants, crowns and other painful procedures. Insurance companies don't cover comestic procedures such as teeth whitening.

Most to almost all dental insurance companies use a term called "usual, customary and reasonable" (UCR) fee guide. This allows dental insurance companies to choose prices for all procedures that are covered under their policies. However the dentist may charge a different price for the procedure that they are performing on the patient. For example, you visit your dentist and the visit cost $100 but the dental insurance company will only cover up to $80, you must come up with the difference of the $20. For the most part, dental insurance companies coordinate with the dentist to come up with an agreement for the prices they will allow their patients to pay. Dental insurance providers have a "yearly maximum" which means that in one fiscal year or calendar year, the dental insurance provider will pay up to a thousand dollar maximum that year.

So is dental insurance for you? You need to consult with your dentist and have a discussion about what your financial situation is and what is the best situation for you. As I said before, you should do research on dental insurance providers, know the different types of coverage (preventative, basic and major), know about a yearly maximum and what your insurance provider covers and doesn't.

References:
http://dentistry.about.com/od/generaldentistry/a/dentalinsurance_2.htm
http://dentistry.about.com/od/generaldentistry/a/dentalinsurance.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dental_insurance

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