4 Tips for Purchasing Individual Dental Insurance

Dental insurance is a popular health benefit. Some people have access to dental coverage through their employers. But some part-time employees, contract workers and retirees have to get it on their own. Review four tips for purchasing individual dental insurance.

  1. Yes, it’s worth the investment

    Sometimes, people hesitate to buy dental insurance because they aren’t sure if they need it or if it’s worth the cost. The answer is “yes” to both questions. Dental experts recommend that people schedule dental appointments once or twice a year for a dental checkup and professional cleaning. If you don’t have dental insurance, you’ll need to pay for the costs out of pocket. Depending on your budget, you may not have the resources to cover the expense. So, you’ll either need to pay for the services with your credit card or wait until you’ve saved enough money. But waiting to see the dentist is never a good idea. During the months it takes to accumulate the money for the dental expenses, a minor oral health problem can become much larger and more costly. Bottom line, an individual dental insurance plan is worth the money. Most plans cover the cost of one or two checkups and cleanings a year. This investment could end up saving you a lot of money.

    Learn more about why individual dental insurance is essential.

  1. Make sure to pick the right plan

    There are many different dental plans on the market. So, it’s important to carefully review each plan’s options to find the one that best fits your needs. Assess your oral health by asking a few questions to determine the type of coverage needed. Do you see the dentist once or twice a year for a checkup and cleaning? Are your teeth and gums healthy? Do you have loose or chipped teeth or have fillings and crowns? Answers to these questions will help you determine the dental plan you need. If your teeth and gums are healthy, a basic plan covering annual preventive exams and a few filings a year could be the right option. If you have more extensive dental care needs, consider a plan with more coverage options and a higher annual maximum benefit.

    So, before purchasing a plan, check all of the plan features. Find out the amount you’ll need to pay for copays (the amount paid at each dental visit) and deductibles (the amount paid for dental procedures before insurance kicks in). See if the plan has a dental provider network that offers in-network savings.

  1. Buy from a reputable insurance carrier

    Before purchasing individual dental insurance, check the reputation of the carrier providing the coverage. What do customers say about the coverage and customer services provided? Are claims paid on time? Check with your dentist for feedback about the dental plan you’re considering. Getting dental insurance from a reputable insurance carrier can save you frustration and worries. And these days, who needs more stress?

  1. Use your dental insurance to the fullest

    Once you purchase dental insurance, make sure you use it. For most individual dental plans, you can use the benefits the same day for preventive and basic procedures. There may be a waiting period for major procedures, such as crowns, bridges and root canals.

    Make sure to take advantage of preventive dental checkups and professional cleanings to keep your teeth and gums healthy. During these exams, the dentist will look for signs of oral health problems and medical conditions. If you don’t use your coverage, oral health problems may become more severe, requiring expensive dental treatments.

    In addition to using your dental benefits, gently brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes in the morning and before bed, and floss once daily. When flossing, floss first between teeth, then brush. Review these tips for brushing and flossing your teeth.