Did you know that hospital emergency rooms treat more than 2 million dental emergencies each year? Sadly, the majority of these visits are from people who don’t have dental insurance and aren’t getting regular checkups. So, if you’re someone who has insurance, count yourself lucky! Your benefits will certainly help you get the care you need to prevent painful emergencies, but the only catch is that you have to use them in time. Keep reading to learn how seeing a dentist serving Monroe and West Monroe before your insurance expires can help you steer clear of 4 avoidable problems.
1. Losing Your Yearly Maximum Because It Doesn’t Roll Over
Each insurance plan sets aside a certain amount of money each year called an annual maximum, which is the total amount they’ll spend on your dental work. It’s generally between $700 and $1,500 per person. Unfortunately, one of the most common mistakes people make is thinking that their unused yearly maximum rolls over to the following year. However, the truth is that it’s a “use it or lose it” situation, so all the money that could be used to improve your dental health is simply gone.
In fact, the American Dental Association found that the average annual maximum is $1,250 per person, but that most people only get around $300 of dental work. That’s a loss of over $900 per person! The best way to avoid this is to schedule your checkups early in the year. If you need any major dental work, you’ll have time to get it done before your benefits expire.
2. Paying a Deductible Twice Instead of Just Once
Imagine this scenario: You develop a toothache in mid-December and discover that you need multiple dental procedures (such as a root canal and crown). Your insurance plan requires you to pay a deductible before your coverage kicks in. Since you’re in pain, you pay the deductible and get the root canal to address your toothache. But you decide to hold off on the dental crown for several weeks because of your busy holiday schedule.
Unfortunately, that will be the start of a new plan year and you’ll have to pay your deductible all over again. By scheduling sooner rather than later, you’ll have plenty of time to use your paid deductible to your advantage and get all the work you need, with less out of pocket costs. Not to mention that a dentist will be able to find existing problems early on before they turn into a toothache.
3. Being Faced With Higher Deductibles and Premiums
Insurance companies often increase the out of pocket costs you’re responsible for each year such as deductibles and monthly premiums. By making it a point to schedule your dental care this year instead of next, you’ll save by paying this year’s lower fees.
4. Needing Major Dental Work
Many plans cover checkups and cleanings at 100% (usually 1 or 2 per year). These visits are not only “free,” but they also allow you minimize major dental work and emergencies. For example, small cavities don’t always cause pain but can be easily found with routine X-rays (and treated with simple, inexpensive fillings.) If you wait until you’re in pain, however, you may need a dental crown, root canal, or both. Keep in mind, dental insurance is geared towards prevention, which ultimately saves you a lot of time and money down the road.
By being proactive and seeing a dentist before your benefits expire, you’ll save yourself the hassle and expense that comes with these 4 problems. It’s a simple way to have a healthier smile and more money in your pocket, which is definitely a win-win!
About the Author
Dr. L. King Scott has been a dentist serving Monroe and West Monroe for many years and is tirelessly dedicated to providing his community with outstanding dentistry. He encourages everyone to use their insurance benefits to the fullest to help them achieve great oral health, affordably. If you have any questions about dental insurance, you can reach Dr. Scott via his website.