What to Look for in a Dental Insurance Plan

Everyone knows that proper dental care is essential to good overall health. Unfortunately, the high cost of certain procedures can prevent many people from getting the dental care that they need. One solution is a good dental insurance policy.

Dental insurance can help you manage the cost of dental care for you and your family, but you need to be very careful when selecting a policy. There are a number of factors you should consider that separate a bad policy from a good policy.

Here are five few key points to consider when selecting a dental insurance policy:


Good dental insurance — like good dental care — can yield benefits that last a lifetime. While cost is certainly a factor in choosing the right policy, make sure you that the coverage provided is what you really need. A low-cost policy is low-cost for a reason. Make sure that you read and understand every provision of the policy and what you are paying for. Dental insurance can vary significantly between price points and this will be reflected in the level of coverage. A lower-cost policy will generally not cover certain procedures or will have significant co-pays and deductibles that can cost you plenty in the long run.


Make sure any dental insurance policy you are considering offers coverage that matches your needs. For instance, while nearly all policies cover the basics such as check-ups, cleanings, and x-rays, not all cover certain cosmetic dental procedures or dental implants. Read the fine print and make sure any policy you are considering covers what is important to you.

Get dental insurance before you need dental insurance: The right time to purchase dental insurance is before you need dental insurance. For instance, if you are in reasonably good dental health now, now is the best time to purchase dental insurance.

Waiting periods:

If you delay in purchasing insurance until you need a costly procedure, you may find that it is not covered. Much like medical insurance, most dental insurance policies have waiting periods between when you buy a policy and when major or expensive procedures — such as root canal — will be covered by the policy. Buy coverage as soon as possible to avoid any unpleasant, and expensive, surprises later.

Deductibles and co-pays:

Make sure that the deductibles and co-pays work for your budget. A lower-cost policy will have higher deductibles and co-pays, while a more expensive policy will have lower ones. Make sure you understand the impact of these charges and carefully weigh what better fits your budget — higher monthly insurance bills, or higher out-of-pocket charges when you need covered dental care.

Make sure your dentist is covered:

Many of us have a preferred dentist and would rather not have to switch in order to be covered by dental insurance. If you want to keep your current dentist, make sure they accept the policy you are considering. Double-check with both your dentist and the insurer’s list of in-network or covered providers and make sure your dentist is on the list. Most insurers offer a current list of covered providers on their website.

At Southwest Smiles, we offer comprehensive dental care for your entire family.

We are in-network with most PPO providers and will file all claims for you. We pride ourselves on being an insurance-friendly office and will go that extra mile to make sure your family receives the compassionate care they need. In addition, if you decide to not get dental insurance but still want to lower your dental costs, you can finance your treatment with CareCredit. While CareCredit doesn’t lower the cost of procedures, it does allow you to make payment plans so you can pay for your treatments over the months rather than all up front. For more information about our financial options, call our friendly team today!

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