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How Can You Get the Most Out of Your Dental Insurance?

Posted on 11/23/2015 by Jonathan Woodyard
A dental insurance claim form with a stethoscope on top of it.Dental insurance is an extremely valuable benefit, allowing you to get the dental treatment that you need at the lowest possible cost. Monthly premiums are generally quite affordable, and investing in a plan can save you a ton of money in the long run. If you have dental insurance and are concerned that you aren't getting the most out of your benefits, consider a few helpful tips and contact your dentist or plan for more guidance.

Understand Your Plan and Coverage

Dental insurance helps you to maintain good dental health by helping with the costs. It is essential that you understand the limitations and provisions of your dental plan, and while it can be time consuming and boring to read through all of your plan information, you should definitely do so to stay informed on the benefits. By better understanding how your plan works, you'll be less likely to end up with denied claims or surprise dental bills.

Give Your Insurance Company a Call
Before you go into the office your dental appointment, it may be wise to give the customer service number on the back of your dental insurance card a call. You can find out exactly how much of a benefit that you have left, if you are in a deductible period, and how much you'll be responsible for paying for basic, preventative, or major dental work.

Stay in Your Plan's Network
Most dental insurance plans are Preferred Provider Organizations, or PPOs. This means that you will pay reduced fees when you visit a provider within your network. These participating providers have agreed to a fee schedule for the total price of your treatment prior to any payments from the insurance plan. Even if a service isn't covered, you may still get a cost reduction in the total price by visiting a network oral surgeon or dentist.

:Request a Benefit Predetermination
Fortunately, most dental work won't be a dire emergency, so you'll have time to check with your insurance company to see exactly what you'll be expected to pay out of your own pocket. There is typically time between when your dentist recommends a treatment option and the appointment to actually perform the procedure.

By asking your dentist to send a benefit pre-determination to your insurance company before they go ahead with treatment, your insurance company will have time to process the estimate in the same way that they would examine a claim for actual services. Rather than sending a payment, your insurance company can send a statement showing what they would have paid for an actual claim. This is a great way to understand your costs before you pursue an extensive treatment.

Consider a Discount Plan if You Don't Have Insurance

If you don't have a dental insurance policy, consider buying a discounted dental plan. These plans aren't insurance, but they'll give you access to a dentist that have agreed to perform certain procedures at discounted prices. In some cases, these discounts can amount to up to 30%. If you are interested in checking out one of these plans, contact the National Association of Dental Plans or check out their website to search for options.

Additionally, if you have questions about maximizing your dental insurance benefit, you should also contact our office. We can schedule your treatment in order to prevent you from going over your available benefit, and, if a pre-determination letter is needed before your insurance will pay for treatment, we can help you to complete that requirement. Additionally, we'll be able to explain the benefits and costs of any potential treatment options, so contact our office today.


Woodyard Dental Care, PSC

Dr. Jonathan Woodyard, DMD

3235 Olivet Church Road
Paducah, KY 42001



Phone: (270) 408-1321

Fax: (270) 408-1323


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