While not every American has dental insurance, most do, and it’s grown into a 77 billion dollar industry in the U.S. This increase in dental insurance within recent years is due in part to greater education about the importance of dental care, combined with an overall increase in people’s awareness of the importance of dental care in general. Discover which major procedures are covered by dental insurance and how much assistance they’ll provide.
Dental Insurance – To Buy or Not To Buy?
At the end of 2016, there was 219 million Americans, or about 77%, who had been covered by some sort of dental insurance benefits. Most Americans get these benefits from their place of employment, but others must make the decision to invest in dental insurance out of pocket or skip it altogether. Since it covers many of the crucial dental procedures that the average person needs, it’s strongly recommended to invest in some form of dental insurance.
What Exactly is Covered By Dental Insurance?
While exact types of coverage will vary, the typical dental insurance plan covers fundamentals such as basic cleanings, exams, and oral cancer screenings. These standard procedures are required twice a year in order to prevent oncoming dental problems and to maintain the health of your teeth. Specialty procedures may or may not be covered by insurance.
Dental Coverage for Major Procedures
If you’ve really been wanting to whiten your teeth or to replace them with dental implants, it makes sense to wonder how much of this portion will be covered by dental insurance. Individual companies may vary, but this guide will explain whether a service is generally covered by insurance and if so, by what amount.
Dental Implant Treatment
Dental implant surgery has gained immense popularity in recent years as the gold standard in replacing missing teeth. The fact that the titanium implant integrates perfectly with the jaw means that dental implants are stronger and more durable than any other restorative treatment. This procedure is highly coveted among those with missing teeth, but the cost is an undeniable barrier that keeps many patients from getting the procedure.
Where to go for Dental Implants
It’s important to know that not every dentist can undertake dental implant surgery. In fact, only around 10% of dentists are qualified to provide the procedure. One example is Dr. Jon Flint from North Meridian, MS, who provides a wide range of treatments, including dental implants. When checking to see if your local dentist is qualified to provide dental implant surgery, it’s important to find out where they went to school and what their credentials are.
Does Insurance Cover Dental Implants?
While the traditional answer has consistently been a resounding “no”, some insurance companies are starting to see dental implants as the safest restorative treatment and are providing coverage. For the most part, insurance companies are glad to cover a procedure like dentures for those with missing teeth, but the advantages of dentures pale in comparison to those of dental implants.
For insurance companies that do cover dental implants, they often provide extra coverage for it at an inflated premium. Still, other insurance companies may provide the service with a caveat, like requiring you to pay for a certain period of time before moving forward with the surgery. When looking for an insurance company to cover a procedure like dental implants, it’s absolutely vital to check every detail and weigh out your options.
Another extremely popular service that is rarely covered by insurance is Invisalign, invisible braces. Invisalign revolutionized the dental industry when it came out by offering a discreet way for patients to straighten their smiles without the use of metal brackets or wires. The clear aligners of Invisalign are a major hit with patients, and even teens can take advantage of this service with Invisalign Teen.
Where Can You Go For Invisalign?
While many dentists also provide certain cosmetic services, the only way to find out if Invisalign is among them is to check their website or practice. However, some dentists really choose to feature Invisalign as one of their main services. For example, Dr. Stephen Grussmark of Miami, FL specializes in invisible braces and can provide Invisalign for you or your teen while answering any questions you may have.
Does Insurance Cover Invisalign?
To find out whether a particular type of insurance covers the Invisalign treatment, you’ll have to look over the orthodontic part of your plan. If you have orthodontic coverage included with your dental insurance, that portion will typically cover your choice of Invisalign or traditional braces. While it is fairly easy to find insurance that will cover Invisalign for crooked teeth, it’s also crucial to read the fine print and details surrounding that coverage.
Sleep Apnea Treatment
Many people don’t realize it, but your dentist is the most likely professional to diagnose your sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a disorder that affects over 18 million Americans and many of them don’t even pursue treatment. While it begins by causing sleepless nights and fatigue, sleep apnea can actually lead to life-threatening conditions such as heart disease and stroke if left untreated.
Where to go for Sleep Apnea Treatment
It’s important to note that not every dentist provides sleep apnea treatment. By simply asking or searching for that type of dentist, you’ll very likely find one who specializes in sleep disorders in your area. For those in Brooklyn, NY, Dr. Jacques Doueck provides all of the treatments that a sleep apnea sufferer may use to alleviate their symptoms and make a recovery.
Does Insurance Cover Sleep Apnea Treatment?
Yes. Since sleep apnea is a disorder that can be seriously damaging to the sufferer’s health, insurance companies and Medicare do typically cover sleep therapy. This will generally include covering the price of the CPAP device, an oral appliance, or a comparable treatment. Note that even for sleep apnea coverage, it’s vital to observe the details and caveats to your plan.
Dental Insurance Can Help You Afford the Treatment You Need
While dental insurance is best known for only covering the bare basics of dental care, that’s rapidly changing. As of 2018, you can get insurance that will cover your sleep apnea treatment, Invisalign, and even your dental implants. If you’re considering one of these procedures, it’s worth it to shop around and find the optimal coverage that specifically caters to the treatments you need today.