Is Dental Insurance Worth its Money?

Dental insurance is a field which has sparked quite some controversies in the past few years. Is it worth it to pay for ultra expensive dental insurance policies? Or is it better to stay without it, and whenever you have a dental health issue, simply pay out of pocket for the services?

Among the most common oral health complications, there are the tooth decays and the gum disease complications. Both of these conditions can actually be prevented very effectively if the person respects a proper dental care regimen.

The role of the dental health insurance policies is actually to supplement a good basic self care regimen, and not to offer coverage for ultra expensive interventions like surgeries or dental implants. The majority of the dental health policies offer quite low benefits, they cover for dental cleaning for example, but they will never offer coverage for cosmetic dentistry services.

Lately, the cost of a dental insurance policy has increased considerably, but the maximum benefit is the same as it has been several years ago. Therefore, many experts do not actually recommend dental health insurance, because you are going to pay extremely expensive premiums and receive relatively few benefits.

For example, a typical dental policy will offer an annual maximum benefit of $1,350, it will offer 100% coverage for preventative care & diagnosis, 80% for maintenance and cleanings, 50% for basic restorative care (like fillings), 50% for oral surgery (like extractions) and root canal treatments, and 0% for cosmetic dentistry procedures. For such a policy you might have to pay around $50 per month (in rare cases a few bucks less!), and sometimes you might have to wait even up to one year until coverage “activates” for certain procedures.

Therefore, it is advisable that you first try to lower the costs of dental care through other methods, rather than pay an extremely expensive premium and getting few benefits. For instance, you can get treatments abroad at 1/3 of the price; there are many dental tourism packages available that are extremely advantageous.

Then, a very good idea is to check out the dental discount plans that are available. With these, you will pay an annual membership fee, ranging between $80 and up to $150, and you will have access to discounts of 30%- 50% offered by dentists on several procedures.

  • l lipman

    I have found that I do not receive the same care with insurance as when I pay out of pocket or the better dentists tend not to accept insurance or insurance will not cover the healthier alternatives to metal filling. All in all I have been unhappy with dental insurance. It has been good for really necessary/expensive procedures like caps, etc.