Forty years ago, dental benefit insurance benefits averaged $1000 which is equivalent of around $8000 today. Surprise, surprise most patients still have only a $1000 in benefits a year. Here are some of the facts and fictions of dental insurance.
Fiction: Your medical insurance covers treatment to help you maintain your health,. You would think dental insurance works the same way, it doesn’t
Fact: People with dental insurance really only have limited and restricted benefits that are controlled by an insurance company. A dental benefit is more like a coupon. It is worth only what the insurance company says it is worth and has nothing to do with what your dentist charges.
Fiction: Most people think they get 2 free cleanings and the insurance pays 80% for the rest.
Fact: Insurance companies haven’t even kept up with inflation. They have a fee schedule they base reimbursement on and will share it with the patent in most cases after a lot of requests, so the patient doesn’t really know what coverage they have.
Fact: Today’s dentistry is nothing like it was 40 years ago. If patients had problems then they had a choice of a silver filling, a crown or an extraction. Today’s dentistry serves the patients with some of the most advanced, pain free techniques in medicine. These procedures are not even covered by the dental benefit contract or the procedures cost more than the paltry yearly benefit.
Fiction: The dentist and dental team should understand a person’s dental benefit, what it will cover, what it will pay etc,
Fact: The contract is between the employer, employee and insurance company. The dentist has no role whatsoever; they are simply caught in the middle.
Most important: Never let an impersonal insurance company dictate your dental care. They couldn’t care less about your health, comfort, peace of mind, or appearance. Be happy you have that coupon for some dollars off, but never expect them to rebuild your burned down house.