Dental insurance, is it worth it?

For the standard visit to the Dentist, a few x-rays and maybe a cavity once in awhile, the premiums you pay for dental insurance is worth it.

If the rates are within reason, they should only cost you the same price that the basic services would cost without the insurance you would pay for. This way the price is just covering the cost of standard dental checkups; the benefit of having the insurance is more toward the price of the expenses that are more on the high end, much like cavities, x-rays, abscessed teeth, gum care etc.

There are a couple different types of insurance plans that you can choose from.

You could have a plan like the indemnity plans that allow you to choose your dentist; it usually reimburses you or pays directly to the dentist, and usually has some sort of deductible.

You can have a 50 to 100% plan that is considered a coinsurance. With these plans you can choose your own dentist and they have deductibles like the indemnity plans.

There are also other dental insurance plans that work much like the indemnity plans, however they only pay you back for the scheduled benefits amount. There are deductibles for this insurance same as the others.

What ever your insurance and the dentist you choose to go with, there is a limit set for each plan that allows for a certain amount of spending limit per year.

If the cost of the services rendered by the dentist, as well as any services completed by the dental staff, exceed the allowed amount by the dental insurance, and you would be required to pay the difference. However in most circumstances the dentist office will help you plan your expenses around your insurance and help you work through as much of the red tape as possible.

There is also a type of dental insurance that works a little differently that the traditional options. This would be the DMO or Dental Maintenance Organization. This type of coverage works for their group of dentists. There are certain enrollment periods, and the coverage works a little differently. In this situation, the coverage is usually more liberal and the price you will pay is less. However you have to work with their specific dentists because there is price plans already in place.

Here is a chart that is the basic comparison between having dental insurance and not having dental insurance.

Dental cost comparison
Without Dental Insurance With Insurance Coverage
Cost of preventive care $130 Cost per pay period $15
Number of family members 3 Number of periods 26
Out of pocket cost $390 Out of pocket cost $390
Tax savings 0 Tax savings 122
Net cost $390 Net cost $268


When you are calculating the cost of insurance with a dental plan, it is weighed out to be more beneficial when you also consider the tax benefit. There is also a likely chance that you would need more than the standard check up. That is why the insurance is a wise move, especially if you have a family.

Most companies offer a good price for dental insurance through the group rates they get as a business. If however, they do not have insurance, or you work for yourself, there can be some additional cost for insurance. The individual dental plans are somewhat pricey. The premiums are higher than that of a group plan. There is also a waiting period involved that is usually not involved with a larger company group plan.

Whatever option you need to go with for your dental care, remember that your teeth are all you have, and the cost for dentures is much higher than that of standard care. So when you are evaluating the cost of dental insurance, remember it will be more to replace the teeth you have if you don't care for them now.

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