Hints to decrease dental costs

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January 15th, 2018

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Multiple studies have shown that the one of the biggest reasons people choose to avoid the dentist is because of cost concerns. If you have dental insurance, cost shouldn’t be a reason to keep you away from your dentist. In fact, we’ve put together three quick tips to help you get the most bang for your buck out of your dental insurance – and to keep your costs down.

Stay ahead of preventive care

Your oral health is crucial to the health of the rest of your body. More than 120 conditions can be detected through the mouth during a routine dental exam. Staying on top of your preventive care will often help prevent problems before they become big and expensive (and potentially painful). Often, preventive care is covered at 100% as part of your dental plan.

Preventive care visits include:

  • Oral exam
  • X-rays
  • Cleaning
  • Fluoride treatment

Review your coverage and benefit levels

Understanding what your plan covers, at what level and with what type of dentist, is your best path to understanding what costs you should expect. Your benefit summary and our online member portal are great places to look for details of your plan.

Key phrases to look for:

Plan pays: This entry defines what percentage your dental plan pays for that particular service. If it says, “Plan pays 100%,” then that means your out-of-pocket cost will be nothing (only if you see a dentist within your plan’s network).

Waiting period: This is the period of time you must wait before you are eligible to receive benefits for all or certain dental treatments.

Deductible: This is the set dollar amount you are responsible for paying toward services before your dental plan begins to pay for covered services.

Seek care from an in-network dentist

This is perhaps the most important way you can be sure you are using your dental benefits to their maximum potential. Dentists within our networks have agreed to accept our discounted, pre-negotiated fees. This means they will not bill more than our allowable charge for any service. Using an in-network dentist helps ensure your out-of-pocket costs are as low as they can be.

If you visit a dentist outside of your network, you may be responsible for higher fees.

Make sure your dentist is in network, or find a new in-network dentist near you, with our easy-to-use Find a Dentist tool.