A dental insurance plan is ideal in case of emergencies, but as the end of the year approaches, many dental plans will end on December 31st and reset in the new year. If you’ve barely used your insurance, then you will want to take advantage of your available benefits. Learn about the reasons and how you can help your smile and wallet at the same time.
1. Wasted Money
A dental insurance plan will typically include an annual maximum of benefits. The maximum covers the amount of money allocated on your dental services. When you do not take advantage of the benefits, you are essentially wasting money, especially as you pay into your dental plan on a monthly basis.
When the whole amount resets into the new year, any appointments or treatments you make in January or February will go against your new total. When you make an appointment for December, you can ensure you don’t waste any money and get treatment for your mouth.
You never know what dental emergencies will come up in the future, and do not want to pay out of pocket money if you use up all of your benefits early within the new year. You may also have dental insurance changes in the new year if you plan on getting a new job or you want to change dental plans.
When you use your annual maximum, your health premiums will not rise, so there is nothing going against you for using the benefits you are entitled to. Some plans may include specific details for the number of appointments you can attend. Check out the details of the plan to see if you have any available appointments left.
2. Preventive Care
One of the main ways to use your benefits is through preventive care. You can help prevent major problems in the future with a routine dental appointment. One part of preventive care you should consider are dental x-rays. Through x-rays, dentists will see the early formation of cavities, tooth decay, or changes to your mouth like the presence of wisdom teeth.
When a dentist analyzes your x-rays, you can make a follow-up appointment for treatment and try to get your services completed before the new year. For example, if a small cavity forms, a dentist can schedule a filling before the cavity gets worse, causes pain in the future, and requires an emergency appointment after the new year.
3. Extra Cleaning
Along with preventive care, you can take advantage of an extra dental cleaning towards the end of the year. Many dental plans allow two cleanings a year or one cleaning every six months. If you’ve only had one cleaning throughout the calendar year, then December is an ideal time for another cleaning.
Not only will many dental insurance plans cover the cleaning, but the time of year is ideal for cleaning your mouth. The holiday season is known for a lot of treats like candy canes, pies, and baked goods. A dental cleaning will help remove any plaque or tartar build-up that has occurred. You can head into the new year with your teeth feeling clean and healthy.
4. Restorative Care
If you have nagging mouth issues, then the end of the year is an ideal time to take care of problems. Use your dental benefits for restorative care treatments. The treatments may include simple options like tooth extractions or more advanced treatments like bridges.
You could even consider restorative care like an upgrade to your smile. For example, if you have an older metal filling in your mouth, the fillings could become loose or painful over time. A dentist can replace the filling and make your teeth more secure. A dentist could apply sealants to your back molars to help prevent food and acid from decaying the teeth.
5. Dental Referrals
Along with the treatment within the office, you may seek out a dental appointment for referral needs. For example, if your teeth have shifted, you may get a referral to an orthodontist. So within the same appointment, you can have a cleaning and set up another appointment that your insurance may cover.
If your insurance covers an orthodontist, then you can squeeze in an extra appointment to have your teeth examined or get fitted for mouth corrections options like braces or retainers. You may also seek referrals for dental specialists. For example, if you have inflamed gums, you may see a periodontal specialist for a deep cleaning of your teeth.
Knowing about an upcoming lapse in insurance benefits, a dentist may help you fast track the referral and try to get an appointment before the end of the year. This is why an appointment in early December is the ideal option so you can have three weeks to plan any follow-up appointments while still under your current year coverage.
Make an appointment with our dentists at Valley Oak Dental Group. We will help you use your insurance benefits and give you a healthy smile that can last long into the new year.