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Understanding Dental Insurance

When we commonly think of insurance, most people consider it as a safeguard to protect against unforeseen accidents and large expenses. For example, insurance can help us if we suffer a car crash, broken leg, or house fire.

Dental insurance, on the other hand, operates a little differently. Dental insurance functions more like a discount coupon than a financial safeguard. In fact, it's simply a way for employers to help their employees offset some of the cost of dental care. It is not designed to pool risk or to protect anyone from unforeseen expenses, which is traditionally what insurance is designed to do.

Dental insurance is considered a little differently because, unlike the unforeseen accidents mentioned above, dental problems are fairly predictable. It’s like your mother always said, “Take care of your teeth and your teeth will take care of you.” To maintain optimal oral health, visit the dentist at least twice a year. Spend a moment researching the best brushes, paste, floss, and mouthwash to maximize your care.

Most dental plans have networks of providers, or preferred dentists and oral specialists. Many dental benefit plans pay all or most of the cost for routine dental checkups, including cleanings and examinations, to promote preventive care. But the real benefit is being covered for bigger-ticket procedures, such as fillings, root canals, and crowns. You’re spared from having to dig into your own pocket when faced with the type of dental emergency that can really chomp into your savings.