It's important to visit your dentist for regular check-ups and deep-cleaning treatments in order to keep your teeth healthy and looking great. However, even routine dental treatment can be expensive, and that's where dental insurance can help.
Here's a look at what's available and how signing up could help you significantly reduce the cost of your family's dental care.
Discount dental plans
Discount dental plan providers have a list of dentists who are members of their schemes. Provided you use one of these dentists, you will be entitled to treatment at a much lower rate than standard charges. You can either pay a one-off annual membership premium, or spread the cost over a 12 month period.
In return for your membership fee, you'll be issued with a card to present at reception when you visit the dentist. For six monthly routine treatments like check-ups and deep-cleans, you'll pay nothing. Other treatments such as fillings, crowns, extractions etc you will have to pay for, but you will be charged at a significantly reduced rate.
You simply attend the dental clinic for your treatment, present your card and either pay nothing for routine work, or a small amount towards other treatments. There's no annual limit to the number of treatments you can have and no insurance excess to pay should you make a claim.
What about standard dental health insurance policies?
Discount dental plans should not be confused with dental health insurance policies. These are usually a much more expensive option. Although you can use a dentist of your own choice, there are disadvantages to these policies compared to discount dental plans.
With a dental health insurance policy, you'll have to pay an insurance excess amount if you make a claim. Insurance excess is a pre-determined sum that you must pay that is then deducted from the amount you can claim. This means that the claim settlement figure you'll receive will be much less than the actual cost of the actual treatment. There are also limitations on what kinds of treatments you can claim for, and some may be excluded altogether. These do vary from provider to provider, so it's worth shopping around before you sign up. If you have to make a claim for major dental work, you could find that your premiums will increase dramatically when you come to renew your policy.
You'll have to pay the dentist directly for any treatment that you have at the time of your consultation. You'll then need to fill in a claim form which your dentist has to authorise and complete. The claim form is then sent to the insurance company who will decide whether or not to pay out. Unlike discount dental health plans, dental insurance policies have an annual claim limit. Once you've reached this, you'll have to pay for any further treatment yourself. The whole claims process can be lengthy and you'll be out of pocket while you wait for the claim to be processed.
You can significantly ease the cost of dental treatment by taking out a discount dental health plan. Ask at your dental clinic such as Now Dental to find out if your current dentist is a member of such a scheme and for further information about dental insurance policies.