It’s safe to say that people who don’t have some type of dental insurance are less likely to seek out preventive dental care and more likely to incur expensive dental treatment costs out-of-pocket. Things like emergency room treatment, dentrues and extractions can get pricey, and fast.
However, even thouse that have dental insurance find that treatments are still expensive, especially for more advanced treatment such as implants or crowns.
Here are six answers to questions you’ve always wanted to know, but were afaid to ask about dental insurance in Oklahoma.
Does Dental Insurance Differ from Medical Insurance?
The short answers: yes. Dental insurance is in place in order for the patients to seek preventative treatment. This is why most dental plans will pay 100 percent of the cost of preventative treatments. Preventative treatments include cleanings, check-ups and X-rays.
When it comes to the more restorative services such as periodontal cleanings and fillings, you’ll find that most plans will cover up to 80 percent of the costs. 50 percent reimbursements for implants and crowns are common with many plans.
Are Braces Covered?
You are going to find is that most dental plans do not cover orthodontics. There are some work-based policies that may offer certain lifetime maximum payments towards the cost of braces.
It’s important to note that the Affordable Health Care Act has provisions to provide dental insurance for children until the age of 19, but braces are usually covered only in certain cases that meet established criteria.
Should You Consider an HMO?
Most dental insurance plans are PPOs, which provide access to a greater number of dentists. However, if you think you’ll require a lot of dental care, you may want to consider an HMO. The overall costs can be much lower, but you’ll be limited to only seeing the dentists in the network, and you’ll find that the office environment is different, with a less “personal” feel.
The premimums for HMOs are less than PPOs. A co-pay is generally required with an HMO, and there are generally no annual maximum amounts on coverage.
Are Discount Plans Available?
There are discount plans and they can generally reduce the cost of dental care, and help reduce the cost of common charges by as much as 60 percent. However, these insurance plans are not generally regulated by the state’s department of insurance, which offers additional protection.
How do I Compare Prices?
You can ask for a pre-treatment estimate before you commit to having certain services performed. From there you can do some comparison shopping before you commit to the procedure. There are also websites out there that allow you to input your zip code to confirm you’re getting a fair price for the treatment.
What About Dental Schools?
Some dental schools provide treatment and low or no costs to you. This is work generally done by a student but is at all times supervised by licensed dental professionals. If you can’t afford any type of denal insurance, perhaps this is an option for you.
The bottom line is dental insurance is out there and there are many options available for everyone, you just have to choose the one that is right for you.