It's Time to Use Your Dental Benefits Before the End of the Year!
As we move closer toward the end of the year, it’s a good idea to pay attention to what benefits you have, which you have used, and how you can utilize your remaining benefits before the year closes out. If you don’t use the benefits available to you by the end of the year, they will not roll over into next year. Be sure to check with your insurance company to see what your options are and how to optimize your benefits before January.
Insurance Companies WANT You to Use Their Benefits
Dental insurance companies are organized to help them save money long term. This means that preventative care is often paid for almost in its entirety by the insurance company. This setup helps prevent the insurance company from having to make bigger payouts later to fix preventable issues.
Preventative Procedures are Often 100% Covered by Insurance
- Sealants - Getting sealants on your child’s teeth can help prevent cavities down the road. Sealants consist of a thin coating brushed onto your child’s teeth. It is painless, takes only minutes, and can save you hours of dental work in the future.
- XRays - Your insurance company probably pays for a certain number of X-rays per year. You will be offered an X-ray at your regular cleaning appointment, and it can additionally locate any hidden problem areas concerning your dental structure. This helps our office detect fillings that are between teeth or potential deformities. They also allow us to assess other issues such as wisdom teeth growth and placement, as well as overall oral health.
In addition to utilizing preventative services, you should also make sure to get fillings before they turn into bigger issues—and before the year runs out and you lose the benefits you’ve paid for.
Because crowns and root canals are naturally more expensive than fillings, when the insurance company offers to pay a percentage of the procedure, you will pay more money out of pocket for the more extensive procedures. It benefits your health, your pocketbook, AND the insurance company to schedule an appointment for any fillings you may need before the end of the year.
Avoid Unnecessary Deductibles
If you find out that you or a family member needs two fillings and a crown, it is always best to schedule these procedures in the same calendar year. It can be tempting to split up the work, but it makes better financial sense to complete these procedures before the next year rolls around.
This time of year can be especially challenging, because as things get busy, it’s tempting to procrastinate until after the first of the year. However, if you have already paid your deductible this year, you will not have to pay it again if you have these procedures completed in the same calendar year. However, if you put them off, you will need to pay the deductible again—and it’s not likely that you’ll need to have this type of dental work done two years in a row.
Don’t Neglect Regular Checkups
One of the best things you can do for preventative care is to make sure you are seeing the dentist every six months. Most insurance companies (virtually all) cover this type of care, saving you money and headache if done regularly. There are a few reasons regular checkups are so important:
- Gum Health -Gum disease is easily prevented by regular cleanings.
- Decay Prevention - When small amounts of decay are caught early, it is easily treatable and covered by most insurance companies. Visiting the dentist regularly helps you solve small problems before they become big ones.
- Plaque Removal - When plaque builds up, it calcifies into tartar, making it hard to remove. We can eliminate plaque buildup in our office and help you prevent gum disease and other issues caused by tartar.
Do You Have a Flexible Spending Account? (FSA)
Some of our patients have a Flexible Spending Account, or FSA, in addition to their regular dental coverage. This allows your employer to set money aside (tax free) to use later in the year for dental issues that may arise. Similar to benefits, the money in this account often expires at the end of the calendar year.
Oftentimes, you can also use the money in this account for prescriptions. So if you are prescribed any kind of pain medication to be taken after dental work, you can use these funds.
Be sure to check with your insurance carrier and/or your employer to see if you have an FSA and what your options are regarding its use.
Why Dental Health Matters
It wasn’t too long ago that dental health was deemed as “extra.” The significance of our oral health wasn’t researched or made known to the public until more recent years. What studies continue to show, again and again, is that your oral health directly affects your overall health and quality of life. There is a direct connection between tooth loss, decay, and gum disease linked to other ailments such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer.
In addition to these facts, it is also true that a healthy mouth in and of itself, without its connection to our overall bodily health, affects how we feel both emotionally and physically. Anyone who has experienced tooth pain will tell you it is no joke—and anyone who has had their teeth professionally cleaned will tell you how refreshingly clean and healthy their mouth will feel.
Employers have realized these truths, and most of them now provide dental insurance coverage for their employees. Make sure you are taking full advantage of these benefits by checking into the services covered by your carrier and paying attention to how you can capitalize on these before you lose them at the end of the year.
At Grove City Dental, we work with our patients to secure the most effective means of insurance coverage. We understand the difficulties many individuals face when either selecting an insurance provider or utilizing the benefits of their existing coverage. Contact us today with any questions or concerns you may have to start getting the dental care you deserve.