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How to Find the Right Dental Insurance for Your Needs

Having good dental health is an important part of having good health overall. In order to maintain your dental health, it’s imperative to have a dental insurance policy that meets your unique needs. But where do you start? Insurance can be confusing, and if you don’t know what to look for in a dental policy, they all begin to look the same.

There’s no shame in not understanding how insurance works. Many people don’t. Here are a few handy tips from Albuquerque dentists Davis Gribble Hollowwa to help you figure out which dental plan is best for you. The first step is to assess your needs based on the two basic types of care that dentists provide: preventative care and restorative care.

Preventative Care

If you practice good oral hygiene and have visited the dentist on a regular basis throughout your life, it’s likely that your teeth are in pretty good shape, and a plan that focuses on coverage of preventative care will probably be best for you. Examples of preventative care including cleanings, exams, sealants, and fluoride. These are referred to as “preventative” because they aim to prevent problems rather than simply respond to them. With frequent exams, your dentist will be able to spot an issue before it becomes something more painful and costly.

Restorative Care

If you’ve gone a while without dental coverage, or haven’t visited a dentist in a long time, a plan that provides coverage for restorative care is probably your best bet. You might be in need of some more extensive dental care, like fillings, root canals, crowns, tooth extraction, deep cleaning, or dentures.

Many employers offer dental benefits to their employees, but the plans might not always be ideal for each individual. It’s important to take some time to review what’s being offered to you and make a decision based on your own needs. If the plan being offered doesn’t work for you, it’s always possible to opt out and choose your own plan from the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Coverage Options

When considering dental plans — whether through your employer or the Marketplace — take a look at the percentages of various procedures covered. If you’re looking for a plan that focuses mainly on maintenance and preventative care, you’ll find that there are plans offering up to 100 percent coverage on exams and cleaning. If you’re in need of a plan that involves restorative care, it’s especially important to note what’s covered and in what capacity.

For example, if you end up needing a root canal and your existing plan says it covers root canals, you don’t want to be unpleasantly surprised to learn afterward that actually only 10 percent of the cost of the procedure is covered by your insurance. In that case, the remainder of the cost comes out of your pocket!

It’s also important to keep in mind that insurance is meant to help ease the burden of the cost of dental care, not eliminate it. The amount you pay for the care you receive depends on many factors, but you will have to pay something, regardless of what plan you end up going with.

It may seem like an inconvenience among all of the other expenses that life throws at us, but having healthy teeth is definitely worth crunching the numbers for. It’ll improve your life, help you avoid health troubles in the future, and keep your smile looking bright.

Author Info

Dr. Connor Hollowwa

Dr. Connor Hollowwa is an Albuquerque native. He graduated from the Albuquerque Academy and went on to receive a BA from Rice University. His Doctorate of Dental Surgery is from Creighton University School of Dentistry. Before joining private practice he practiced at the state-of-the-art Isleta Health Center’s Dental Clinic, providing modern dental care for the members of the Pueblo of Isleta. In his free time he enjoys playing the piano, fly-fishing, golfing, and skiing.