Did you know your dental benefits don’t always roll over to the next calendar year? If you’re not sure how your dental insurance benefits work, you’re not alone. Making your way through all the details can quickly become an all-day chore.
That’s why our dentist is here to help! You’ll learn why it’s important to use your dental benefits in Elkin before 2023 ends. Whether you’re overdue for a cleaning or have a dental emergency, our practice provides the care you need. Our friendly and compassionate staff will also explain how your dental insurance benefits work.
Dr. Nicole Manigault is our esteemed dentist in Elkin and leads our practice. Below, she explains the importance of using your benefits before they expire and what they cover. Let’s get started!
Why It’s Important to Use Your Dental Benefits
No matter what type of insurance you have, it’s not unusual to pay for it and forget it. You know it’s there in the event you need it. You usually don’t have to use your car or home insurance until something dramatic happens. However, dental insurance is a little different.
Dental insurance benefits are there to help you maintain your oral health, including your teeth and gums. There’s a reason most plans cover 100% of your preventative care, such as routine exams and cleanings. It’s often less expensive to prevent tooth decay and the problems that come with it than it is to correct them.
Coordinating your dental benefits with your dentist keeps your preventative care on track. Sticking with your treatment schedule helps your dentist spot emerging problems like the early stages of gum disease. They can catch the warning signs of tooth decay and recommend you step up your oral hygiene.
By recognizing issues early on, your Elkin dentist is also more likely to treat you with a filling than an implant. Getting a filling is usually less expensive for you than scheduling an extraction and implant procedure. That’s because most insurance plans cover 80% of basic treatments, but only 50% of major procedures. If you wait until after your dental benefits expire for the year, you’re missing out on early detection and wasting your premium costs.
Main Types of Dental Insurance Benefits
Providers of dental benefits will typically break down your benefits by type of care. The different types are preventative, restorative, endodontics, and oral surgery. Some plans include additional coverage for orthodontics, prosthodontics, and periodontics. If you’re confused, don’t worry. We’ll break it down for you.
- Preventative: semi-annual routine exams, X-rays, routine cleanings
- Restorative: crowns, dental fillings
- Endodontics: root canals
- Oral surgeries: gum tissue biopsy, extractions
- Orthodontics: braces, retainers, Invisalign
- Prosthodontics: bridges, dentures
- Periodontics: scaling and root planing
Now that you know what types of dental benefits you may have under your plan, you should also know your plan type. Your plan type will determine how you coordinate dental benefits. Your plan type, such as a preferred provider plan versus a dental health maintenance organization, can influence costs.
There may also be different limits on how many treatments your plan will cover during the year and how various procedures are categorized. Some plans consider implants to be major procedures versus basic treatments.
Which Dental Benefits Expire Each Year
Your plan’s policy language will determine when your dental benefits reset. Most dental benefits providers set an annual limit on the amount of care they cover. This limit could be an annual dollar amount, such as $1,500. Your plan may also set limits on how many treatments or procedures you can receive in a year.
For example, most dental insurance benefits include two routine checkups and cleanings each year. If your Elkin dentist recommends you come in more frequently, you may need to pay out of pocket. In addition to treatment limits, your plan may come with a yearly deductible. Your deductible resets each year.
So, if you’ve paid your full deductible in 2023, it won’t be credited toward the care you receive in 2024. You’ll have to start from scratch. If you know you need treatment now, it’s best to coordinate your dental benefits with your dentist. This way, you can get your treatment completed before the year ends and you won’t be stuck paying more out of pocket.
How To Verify Your Benefits
It’s easy to verify your dental insurance benefits and determine when dental benefits reset. You can work with your dentist in Elkin, NC or ask your provider. You can log into your provider’s portal and see if you’ve met your deductible. You can also verify whether your plan will cover teeth whitening and a second set of X-rays.
If you’ve searched for dental insurance in Elkin and haven’t found a good plan, you should know some dental practices offer discounts. Our practice is one of those. We have a membership plan that offers patients discounts on certain procedures, even if they don’t have insurance. Discount plans through your dentist don’t require going through a provider to verify benefits. You can ask the front office staff or benefits coordinator and get an instant answer.
Use Your Dental Benefits in Elkin, NC
The decision to use your dental benefits in Elkin is ultimately up to you. However, there are several advantages if you do. First, you maximize the dollars you spend on insurance premiums. You can also take advantage of any money you or your employer deposits in a health savings plan.
Some of these plans also operate on a use-it-or-lose-it principle. If you don’t use the funds in the calendar year, they don’t roll over to the next. This is like throwing money away. Plus, it could be money you need to cover your out-of-pocket costs for a filling. Letting it go means you’ll potentially deal with more pain and an expensive root canal down the road.
So, don’t delay using your remaining 2023 dental benefits any longer. Book your appointment with our dentist in Elkin, NC today! Our dedicated staff is here to schedule your next treatment and address your oral health needs.