Did you know many dental insurance benefits are based on the calendar year? Unused benefits don’t roll over, so once January 1, 2019 comes along, those benefits are lost to you forever.
If your employer is taking money out of your pay for your insurance coverage, not using it is like throwing money down the drain. Even if you don’t have much extra money, there are several treatment categories that shouldn’t cost you much if anything.
Check ups and professional cleanings prevent dental disease from taking hold. Most dental insurances will cover your check ups and cleanings twice a year with no out of pocket expense to you. If you’ve had none or only one in 2018, give us a call to see if your insurance will cover a second one before the end of the year.
Dental x-rays help your dentist see areas of your teeth that aren’t visible in your mouth. One type looks for cavities in between your teeth and is often covered once or twice a year. Another shows an overview of your entire mouth and allows your dentist to check bones, unerupted teeth, and roots of teeth; it is covered every three to five years. Many times these are also considered in the Diagnostic or Preventive category of your insurance, which often means there is no out of pocket expense to you.
Protective tooth coatings called sealants are another procedure that is often covered for children with no out of pocket expense to the parents. Sealants are most often placed on adult molars which come in at ages 6 and 12. The sealant material fills pits and grooves on the tooth’s chewing surfaces, making it hard for food and bacteria to stick and cause cavities. If your child has not had sealants or you’re not sure if he or she has had sealants, give us a call.
If you need other dental care such as restoring structure lost to decay or a fracture, there might be advantages to having it done this year. Deductibles are an amount you have to pay before your insurance kicks in each benefit year. If you’ve already paid your deductible for this year, it only makes sense to try to complete any other dental work that you need before the end of the year so that you don’t have to pay your deductible again.
Here in the United States, we tend to take our dental health for granted. If you have a family member who hasn’t seen the dentist in a while because he or she doesn’t have dental insurance or “can’t afford it”, why not give them the gift of dental health this holiday season. We can hold a payment toward the visit or provide you with a gift certificate for dental care that you can give to them.
*Note: The information in this article is not meant to replace the clinical judgement of your healthcare practitioners.
Dr. Jennifer Robb is a general dentist who sees both adults and children.
1612 Cooper Foster Park Rd.
Lorain, OH 44053