If you’re paying for dental benefits but not going to the dentist, both your wallet and your smile feel the consequences. Avoiding the dentist can lead to costly restorative procedures to repair tooth decay or even loss. Cost, inconvenience, fear of pain and other factors contribute to Americans avoiding their routine dental visits. But what many don’t know is that there’s a strong connection between our oral health and our overall health and wellness.
Going to the dentist at least once a year allows your dental care team to ensure your mouth is healthy. They screen for cavities, tooth decay and signs of oral cancer. Any plaque or tartar developing on the teeth is removed during a preventive cleaning, reducing the risk for a cavity to develop.
Coverage on preventive
Dental benefits are one of your biggest tools when it comes to maintaining preventive care. Regular visits to the dentist for cleanings and checkups are typically covered at 100 percent.
Preventive care appointments with your dentist prevent bigger problems from forming in your mouth. These problems, like periodontal disease, cause longer appointments, require treatment plans, can be more uncomfortable, and also cost more than preventive care.
Coverage on basic restorative procedures
Restorative dental care extends beyond preventive care. These procedures repair decay and gum disease with cavity fillings, root canals and other more intense treatments. They cost more than preventive care and are covered at a lower rate – usually no more than 80 percent. You’ll pay more out of pocket to have oral health issues reversed than it costs to maintain preventive checkups.
Coverage on major procedures
The big stuff, like crowns, bridges and dentures, are classified as major procedures. They are expensive and covered at the lowest percentage rate in dental plans – generally at 50 percent. Don’t lose out on making the most of your dental benefits by skipping the dentist. The cost on your health and your wallet are so much more if you wait until you need a major procedure. Save time, money and discomfort by sticking with regularly scheduled preventive dental visits.
The more you ‘practice’ going to the dentist regularly, the more comfortable you will be going. And the less painful cleanings become as your oral health improves and gum sensitivity decreases. There are even steps you can take to make the visit more pleasant.
Good oral health habits will reduce the amount of work needed and cost less out of your pocket. Those are great reasons to smile!
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