Most dental plans cover basic examinations and cleanings, but some plans may not cover things you might assume to be routine. Most misunderstandings occur when patients believe their insurance will or should pay for more than it will.
Most dental insurance companies classify dental procedures in three categories:
- Preventative – This typically includes routine cleanings and examinations as preventative dental care, however, X-rays, sealants and fluoride can be deemed as preventative or basic, depending upon the specific insurance carrier.
- Basic or Restorative – This usually consists of fillings and simple extractions. Root canals can be considered basic or major depending on the plan (the majority of dental plans list root canals as basic).
- Major – Usually includes crowns, bridges, dentures, partials, surgical extractions and dental implants. But not always.
When it comes to dental insurance, most people want it and are glad to have it. When it’s time to actually use the insurance on something other than a routine cleaning–like an unexpected filling, a chipped tooth there or worse, a root canal or crown—it’s a little too late. Doing a little research into your insurance benefit before you really need it is a wise move and can help minimize out-of-pocket costs from unexpected dental treatments.