Dental Insurance. Not A Thrilling Topic But Important Nonetheless.

By George Lincoln | Jul 14, 2014

Dental insurance is the most popular voluntary insurance benefit offered by employers. In other words,when spending their own money, more employees choose to purchase dental insurance over all other voluntary insurance options.

Why Dental Insurance?

There are several reasons to consider dental insurance, but one critically important reason is often overlooked, which is the fact that it is a motivator. Most of us know that we should see the dentist on a regular basis to maintain good oral health. Having said that, going to the dentist is not exactly a fun experience for most and downright frightening for many. There is also the busy factor. Many of us lead very busy lives and it is easy to intend to see the dentist but simply forget or fail to prioritize setting an appointment.

When I say that dental insurance is a motivator, I mean that people tend to follow a recommended dental maintenance schedule when they have insurance. It makes sense, if you are paying for insurance; you are more likely to ensure you are getting the benefits that are available to you. This is important because good oral health is a contributing factor to overall good health, and likewise, poor oral health can lead to other general health issues.

Is Dental Insurance a Good Value?

This is a harder question to answer. For example, I am someone who generally requires little dental care beyond scheduled cleanings. Could I save money by paying for my cleanings rather than purchasing dental insurance? The answer is probably yes in most years. Would I stay on a recommended maintenance schedule without insurance? I’m not sure.

Let’s assume that you generally have your two cleanings a year and every few years incur other expenses like repairing cavities, root canals, crowns, etc. Dental insurance can be a helpful way to even your costs out and make budgeting your dental costs easier. It also can encourage you to address problems early rather than delaying potentially expensive services that could ultimately lead to more problems and ultimately higher cost.

Should I Purchase Dental Insurance?

This is a question only you can answer. I think in many cases the answer is yes. You may not save on your dental costs over the long term by having dental insurance, but you may find that having insurance makes paying for your dental costs easier and more predictable. You will also often find that having dental insurance encourages you to stay on a regular schedule of checkups with your dentist. Both of these benefits can go a long way toward a healthy mouth and body.

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