Most people make choices they wish they could change, especially when it involves their health. They spend an hour (or two) playing games on their digital devices, and later think they should have spent the time exercising. Or they eat too many fried foods and forget to add salad, fruit or vegetables.
It’s the same for dental care. Many people spend a few minutes brushing but don’t use floss to clean between and around their teeth first. They assume their oral health is good and decide not to get dental insurance until something happens. Review six times when people wish they had dental insurance benefits.
1. You experience an unexpected dental problem
Life is full of uncertainties, and so is your oral health. For example, when biting on ice, you may crack a tooth. Or when chewing on hard or sticky candy, you may dislodge a filling. And if you don’t floss once and brush twice each day, you can develop tooth decay.
People with dental insurance tend to schedule annual dental appointments for an exam and professional cleaning. During these visits, the dentist will check for oral health concerns that need to be fixed, or could lead to problems in the future. The dentist also will look for signs of medical conditions that could turn into serious health problems.
2. A medical treatment or prescription adversely impacts your oral health
Treatments for medical conditions, such as those requiring chemotherapy, can affect oral health. Some prescription or over-the-counter medications can reduce saliva, causing dry mouth (and bad breath), which increases the risk for tooth decay. With dental insurance, members can schedule yearly appointments to have their oral health checked by a professional to ensure they don’t develop problems with their teeth or gums.
3. Your kids need dental care
Kids’ teeth develop in different stages. Their teeth may come in crooked, causing smile and bite problems. Or, kids may have a small mouth, so there isn’t enough room for all their teeth.
These needs could be covered if you had a family dental plan with child orthodontia benefits through your employer. Or you could have an individual or family dental plan that you purchased online. With dental benefits, you can schedule regular exams and cleanings for your kids. These appointments help the dentist monitor the development of your kids’ teeth and repair tooth decay before it gets bad. If kids need braces to fix crooked teeth or bite problems, these often can be corrected in the teenage years with orthodontia benefits.
4. You opted out of employer-sponsored dental benefits
If your smile looks great and your teeth don’t hurt, it’s easy to think you don’t need dental insurance. After all, why go to the dentist when you don’t have a reason for the visit? So you decide not to sign up for employer-sponsored dental insurance Or if you didn’t qualify for these benefits, you didn’t ask your employer for a recommendation in purchasing individual dental coverage online from a reputable carrier.
As you can imagine, oral health issues can lead to costly dental repairs. The monthly cost for a dental plan is minimal compared to what it costs for major dental procedures such as root canals and crowns. Consider it an investment in your overall health. Dental insurance also can save you money. Most plans cover preventive dental exams at 100%. Seeing the dentist regularly means oral health problems can be caught early before expensive treatments are needed.
5. You are self-employed or semi-retired and put off getting dental benefits
Many people today work as self-employed contractors or gig workers. Or they may be semi-retired. If this describes your situation, you may decide to get only medical insurance, thinking you’ll cover any dental expenses out of pocket. However, medical coverage isn’t enough. Medical plans do not cover the cost of dental services such as preventive exams each year, fillings, crowns or root canals. But an individual dental plan can keep your teeth and gums healthy, reducing the likelihood of costly dental care.
6. You’re no longer on your parents’ plan and didn’t get dental coverage
If you’re on your parents’ dental plan, you’ll need to get your own coverage when you turn 26. However, due to budget concerns, you may decide not to get dental insurance either through your employer or online.
Under your parents’ coverage, you probably scheduled regular dental exams and professional cleanings to keep your teeth and gums healthy. So, don’t stop now. The monthly cost for dental insurance is worth it. You just need to find a plan that meets your needs. Investing in dental insurance will help you maintain your oral health throughout life. And you’ll avoid expensive dental care in the future.
Choose from dental and vision insurance plans with provider network savings and day-one benefits on most plans.
Not sure how much dental coverage you need? Find out the average cost of a dental procedure in your area with our dental cost estimator.