(Family Features) It’s not too late to improve your dental health and overall health without putting a dent in your wallet. If you have dental insurance, you have until Dec. 31 to use your benefits before they expire.
“A lot of people don’t realize just how easy it can be to get back on the path to good dental health, especially if you have dental insurance to help with the costs,” said Dr. Melissa Thompson, an Aspen Dental practice owner. “Routine dental visits can help you manage your oral health needs, and good oral health is strongly connected to your overall health.”
With 2016 coming to a close, here are some quick and easy tips for maximizing your dental benefits before they expire.
Ways to Maximize Your Benefits
While every dental insurance plan is different in terms of what services are covered, these are three ways to consider cashing in before Dec. 31:
- Routine Check-Ups
In 2015, 155 million American adults did not visit the dentist. However, regular preventative cleanings allow dentists to catch problems early on, often resulting in less extensive (and less painful) treatments. Most standard insurance plans cover routine cleanings twice per year, so if you have insurance and haven’t been to the dentist in six months, you should schedule an appointment before the end of the year.
Most dental plans cover all, or the majority of, the costs for fillings, so don’t delay treatment. What may be a minor cavity today could turn into a root canal or extraction later on. Avoiding care could lead to even bigger costs in the future.
- Denture Repairs and Replacements
The American College of Prosthodontists recommends evaluating dentures for replacement after they have been in use for more than five years. Poorly fitted dentures can cause infection, mouth sores and other oral health issues. If you wear dentures, getting repairs or replacements are ways to use your dental benefits, which often can help manage the costs. Also, remember it’s important to replace dentures as you age because your mouth changes shape and can cause dentures to not fit properly.
How to Choose a Dental Insurance Plan
Choosing a dental insurance plan can be overwhelming, but here are a couple key details you should look for as you decide to make the most of your money.
- Deductible Amounts
The majority of dental insurance plans have a deductible amount, which is the amount you will have to pay out of pocket for dental services before your insurance covers the remaining cost. When reviewing insurance plans, ensure that you can afford the deductible amounts before signing on the dotted line.
- Procedures Covered
While some do, not all dental insurance plans cover procedures such as braces, dentures or bridges. If these are things that you or someone in your family may need, make sure to review all plan options for what you can afford.
If you’re not covered and need care, look for dental practices with affordable options. With more than 575 locations across 34 states that offer extended office hours and are accepting new patients, Aspen Dental practices offer several affordable payment options and services for patients without insurance. Find an office near you or sign up for an appointment online at AspenDental.com.