At some point all of us probably asked ourselves a question on whether we should sign up for dental insurance.
Be it because the dentist spotted something during your last checkup or because a friend incurred significant expenses for having their teeth fixed and did not have insurance coverage. No matter the reason, the question stays the same – shall I or shall I not sign up for dental insurance?
To help you answer this question, we collected several things to consider before you sign up for dental insurance.
According to statistics, only 9% of the adult population in the US has poor dental health condition with 70% having good to very good dental health. This means that those who have their teeth in prime condition will very likely not need extensive dental care beyond regular cleaning twice a year and/or an occasional root canal. The average cost of cleaning is around $80, depending on the state, and the average monthly insurance premium is $300 (could range up till $600 depending on the state). So, in many cases it might not be worth it to get a supplementary dental insurance.
Interesting fact: if you are 50 years old or older you might consider getting an additional dental insurance, which would theoretically make sense as people tend to have more issues with their health when they age. Although, according to statistics over 72% of adults aged 50 to 64 years have good to very good dental health, meaning it’s still very likely not advantageous to get an additional insurance.
If, however, you still decide to get an additional dental insurance, here are a few things to remember:
- If you’re paying for it, use it. Insurances usually work either on fiscal year basis or on calendar year basis. No matter the model, the payout budget allocated for each member usually cannot be transferred from one year to another. Even if you don’t need any dental intervention, use the allocated budget to have your regular cleanings to help prevent and detect any early signs of gum disease, cavities, oral cancer, and other dental health problems.
- Remember about the yearly maximums. The yearly maximum is the maximum amount your insurance is willing to spend within a year per person. Most insurances set it at around $1000 but it differs per insurance company. This means that if your dental treatment goes over that amount, you will need to pay the difference. If you consider that an average cost for a root canal is $900 and your regular cleaning is $80, you might need to pay for the bigger part of your second cleaning within the same year as it will go over your $1000 yearly minimum. And all this while paying around $300 monthly for the insurance.