Your dental plan may only cover certain dental services, so you need to understand the various categories and what is included. This helps you plan financially for dental procedures you may need, so there won't be any surprise charges on your dental bill. There are three main categories of dental services: preventative, basic, and major dental services.
Preventative Dental Care
Preventative dental care, also known as diagnostic care, includes the procedures every dental patient needs to help maintain good oral health. Most dental plans do cover these services:
- Teeth cleaning
- Oral exams
- Tooth sealing
- Space maintainers
Many insurance plans pay 80 to 100 percent of the costs incurred for these services, and some may pay more, depending on your policy. If only a percentage is covered, you'll have a copay when is due at the end of each dental visit. You should check to see how often these services are covered, which should be twice a year for most dental insurance plans.
Basic Dental Services
Basic dental service are procedures and treatments that do not involve significant laboratory expense for your dentist. If you have deductible on your dental insurance plan, you'll need to meet that before these services are covered, in most cases. You'll have be expected to pay a co-pay for the small percentage of what your plan does not cover.
The following treatments are considered basic dental services:
- Tooth extractions (routine)
- Root canals
- Re-cementing dental crowns
Major Dental Services
Major dental services are complex procedures and treatments that incur a significant amount of laboratory expense for your dentist. Depending on your dental plan, you may be partially covered for these services, but less so than with preventative or basic services.
Major dental services includes the following:
- Dental implants
- Removing impacted wisdom teeth
- Repairing dentures
- Complete dentures
- Oral surgery
- Inlays and onlays
If you dentist recommends one of these procedures or treatments, you can discuss financing options with your dental office if you cannot afford to pay the portion left on your bill after insurance payments.
Whether you need preventative, basic or major dental services, it is important to listen to the recommendations of your dentist, even if you can't afford to pay your portion of the bill. If you feel your family may need more complex treatments, such as braces or dental implants, you should go over your dental plan options carefully. Most of the time you can choose from a variety of plans that allow you to get the coverage you need, but you may pay a higher premium or deductible to get the plan you need. For more information, contact a dentist like Area Dental Associates - Comfortable Family and General Dentistry.