Affordable Dental Care: Tips to Follow When Choosing Dental Insurance
By Mina Levi, DDS, 03/27/2014

Dental insurance can assist you in taking good care of your oral health by covering some, if not all of the financial portion of care.  When choosing a the dental insurance plan that is right for you, you will want to consider quite a few things other than what it will cost you to obtain it. Sometimes, the most affordable dental insurance isn’t the best fit for you. In this article, we discuss a few points that you will want to consider when choosing a dental plan. 
1. The ability to choose your own dentist. Some dental insurance plans will restrict you so that you may only receive care from a dentist that is contracted with that plan or so-called an “in-network dentist”. You are more than welcome to go to an “out-of-network” dentist, but they will not be paying for any of it. If your preferred dentist is not in-network with the most affordable dental care plan, you can either switch dentists or choose a plan that includes your dentist.

2. The ability to schedule appointments. Some dentists that are in-network will limit scheduling times to certain dental insurance participants, so it is important that you make sure that the dental insurance you choose is not limited on your dentist’s schedule.

3. The ability to choose the best treatment. Quite a few dental insurance plans will restrict payment for services to the cheapest treatment for a condition. For example, if your dentist recommends a composite (tooth-colored) filling for a cavity, your insurance may only pay the amount that is allowed for a lower-quality amalgam (metal) filling, so you will pay more out-of-pocket. There may be other treatment choices available that your dental insurance plan will cover a higher percentage of, however, we recommend proceeding with the treatment plan that is most highly recommended by your dentist.

4. The coverage itself. Most high quality dental insurance plans will cover about two professional cleanings and exams per year with no cost to you, which usually includes digital x-rays and fluoride treatment if needed. The cost of other procedures such as fillings orcrowns are usually paid by insurance plans between 50-80% of the total cost up to the annual maximum payout, leaving you with an out-of-pocket expense. The better quality the plan, the more that will be covered. However, if the affordability of the insurance plan is an issue, there are other smaller plans that are good that have slightly lower percentages of coverage.

If you have concerns about what dental insurance plan is right for you, give premier dentist Mina Levi DDS a call at (415) 513-5066.