Don’t Let Your Dental Insurance Benefits Expire

Mesa, AZ families: are paying a monthly premium for dental insurance coverage that you’re not using?  Did you know that if you don’t utilize your yearly benefits they’ll expire on December 31st? Don’t let this happen to you 一 take full advantage of what your dental insurance plan has to offer before your included benefits go unused.

Benefits Reset January 1st

Every dental insurance plan has what they call a “benefit period”, which is the 12-month timeframe in which your policy will pay a specific amount of money toward your dental needs. This time span typically runs from January 1st thru December 31st.

The average cost that a plan will cover is about $1,500 and it works by paying a percentage of the total cost of your treatment.  The exact percentage that your plan will pay depends on the type of procedure you need.  For example, a filling or crown might be covered at 50%, while an extraction or root canal might qualify for 80% coverage. 

Take Advantage of Your Included Checkup and Cleaning

The first thing you can do to take advantage of your dental insurance benefits is to schedule regular cleaning and checkup (which will typically include dental x-rays and an examination with our Mesa dentist.)  These benefits are usually covered at 100% by most insurance plans. Meaning you won’t even have a co-pay to worry about.

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Periodic x-rays are important because these images show problems occurring in your mouth that aren’t visible to the naked eye.  For example, cavities between your teeth are hard to detect sometimes, as are abscessed teeth that may not be hurting at the time.

Make Sure You Repair Small Cavities ASAP

If you happen to find a cavity during your exam, then you should strongly consider getting it treated right away. Not only are small cavities easy to fix, but they are also cheaper too. Your insurance will pay for more of it, the smaller it is to repair.

Tooth Doesn’t Hurt? Don’t Delay Either

Many people feel that if their tooth doesn’t hurt, then it doesn’t need to be treated immediately.  Truth is that teeth don’t have to cause pain to have something wrong with them.  In fact, it’s best to go ahead and complete the recommended treatment. Waiting allows the situation to worsen, which then results in a change to the treatment plan, often requiring something more invasive (and costly.)

For example, if you’re told that you have a cavity that can be fixed with a filling or a crown but you wait to have the treatment until the tooth hurts, then you’ve likely waited too long.  A painful tooth usually signifies an infection in the tooth’s nerve tissue, which means you’ll need root canal treatment in order to repair your tooth. Tooth infections can be very serious, cause a significant amount of pain, and can even spread to the bloodstream.

Splitting Treatment Between Two Years

Do you have a multi-step treatment like a dental implant that needs to be completed?  This particular procedure often takes several months to complete and can be split into two separate benefit periods to help you save money. Since getting implants may quickly use up one year’s worth of insurance benefits, splitting treatment up could be the best way to afford them.

For example, when getting an implant, you may first need the tooth removed and a bone graft placed. Then there’s a healing period before you can have the implant inserted.  Once the implant is in, the bone needs to heal until you can attach a “tooth” to it. Our dentist can work with you to strategize how to take full advantage of your insurance coverage by splitting the timeframe of your treatment into two different benefits periods.

Understanding Your Dental Insurance Benefits

Confused by all of the specifics of your insurance policy? Don’t worry, the insurance specialist at Eastport Dental is here to help you understand all of your benefits and guide you toward taking full advantage of what your plan already includes. 

Limited Appointments Still Available

It’s the time of year when many of our patients are trying to get in to take full advantage of their dental benefits. Eastport Dental still has some appointments available but they’re filling up fast.  Don’t wait until the last minute 一 start by coming in right away for a cleaning and checkup with Dr. Vinh Huynh, DMD. If we determine that you need other treatment done, then there will still be time to get you back in before your dental insurance benefits expire at the end of the year.  Give us a call today.  We look forward to seeing you.

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