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Don’t Lose Your Dental Benefits This Year

Tuesday - July 2nd, 2019
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Many adults find it easy to take their dental health for granted. Unfortunately, this can backfire not only because it can result in serious health conditions, but it can also negatively impact you financially. Did you know that less than half of insured adults actually use their dental benefits even though about 47% of adults participate in employer-sponsored dental insurance plans according to a 2019 survey by the National Association of Dental Plans? And when they don’t use the benefit (like nearly half of those who are insured), they lose it. Only 4.2% of those insured actually reach their annual maximum. So, instead of leaving money on the table and wasting the money you put into the plan (the average annual cost of dental insurance is about $360 per person per year), here’s some information you need to know about dental insurance and dental benefit plans so you can get the most out of your investment.

What to know about dental insurance.

Health insurance is confusing and expensive. This reality causes many of us to just avoid the details of our plans altogether but doing so only harms us. One of the best ways to be sure you are maximizing your insurance is to gain a better understanding of what it covers and your options. Dental insurance also has nuances that are different than how other insurance works, so it’s good to understand what those are.

Dental benefits versus insurance.

Other insurance types like homeowners and car insurance are set up to cover a loss and the insurer carries the risk. If you lose your home to a natural disaster or fire, your homeowner’s policy will pay you the value of your home. Same goes for your vehicles if they are totaled; full coverage car insurance policies will pay you the value of your car. Dental coverage is set up as a benefit plan and as such will only cover certain charges up to an annual maximum. For example, free preventative care (exams, cleanings, and X-rays), $1,500 to $2,000 annually for restorative procedures (fillings, crowns, etc.) and a $1,500 to $ 2,000-lifetime benefit for orthodontics are typical annual maximums. It’s even possible that some procedures recommended by your dentist won’t be covered at all by your dental benefits plan.

The majority of dental plans operate on a calendar year; what you don’t use by December 31, you lose. Since dental insurance deductibles are often under $100, people don’t act with a similar urgency to fitting in services before the end of the year as they do for higher-deductible healthcare plans.

Dental insurance coverage.

Dental benefits are designed around annual maximum benefits rather than a cost-of-care model. Therefore, while preventative care (two dental exams and two cleanings per year) is often covered, other services aren’t covered at 100%.. When you sign up for dental insurance, be sure to understand what is covered by your benefits and what you will be responsible for. Here are some of insurance terms you might encounter:

Kinds of dental plans.

From acronyms such as PPO to DHMO and fears that you are making the wrong decisions about dental coverage, it can be stressful to pick out a plan. Here are some of the most common types of dental plans.

6 tips to get the most from your plan.

We want you to use your full dental benefits and get the most from your investment. The only way you can do so is to actually take the time to visit the dentist. Here are 6 tips to get the most from your dental plan:


At Castle Dental, we know that rising healthcare costs are no small matter. That’s why we want to help all our patients get the most out of their benefits and why we continually stress the importance of preventative dental care to help avoid oral health conditions that can be both painful and costly. That’s also why we accept most dental plans, accept credit cards for payment, and offer flexible financing terms and our OneSmile Dental Plan for patients without insurance. Our Smile Now, Pay Later program gives our patients flexible payment plans with low interest and extended terms.

There’s a lot to think about when it comes to understanding dental insurance. You can count on us to advise you regarding what we know about your plan or what you should consider when shopping for a dental plan. If you’d like support, please give us a call at 1-800-MONARCH (1-800-666-2724) or contact us online to talk to our staff about our flexible payment plans.