“I only want to do what my dental insurance covers”. That is a phrase we hear often from patients who don’t want to have any out-of-pocket cost at their dental visit. Unfortunately, many don’t understand that this may prevent them from taking the best care of their teeth.
In reality, most dental insurance companies have not increased their benefits to their patients since the 1970’s. So the $1,000 annual maximum that they may pay for you today is the same as it was back in the 1970’s. The cost for dental services have increased, however, so you are getting less dental care paid for by your insurance today than you did 40+ years ago.
Similarly, their willingness to accept and pay for new technology also lags severely behind. For example, technological advances in laser treatment can make a substantial difference in improving your periodontal (gum) health and reducing bacteria in your mouth. Unfortunately, the insurance companies don’t yet recognize these benefits and refuse to pay for them. Even fluoride, which most insurance companies will allow for children, most likely won’t be covered as an adult. They know it can help improve your oral health so why decide you no longer need it after age 14? As a result, the patient that doesn’t want to pay any extra out-of-pocket cost at their visit is allowing their insurance company to dictate their oral health. Again, this is the same company that refuses to acknowledge that dental costs have increased and technologies have improved over the past 40+ years.
We do our best to help educate our patients about how dental insurance works. Our office prides itself on offering comprehensive dental care for all of our patients and this includes informing you of all treatment that needs to be done. Just as you would expect your primary care doctor to tell you everything that may be going on with your body, it is our responsibility to tell you everything that is going on with your oral health. This also includes everything you can do to help prevent further issues from occurring, such as laser assisted perio therapy, regular fluoride treatments or laser bacterial reduction which most likely are not covered by your insurance.
We believe strongly in our technology and will always recommend treatment that can help improve your oral health. We encourage you to ask us questions about how it works, why it is important, and how it can make an impact on your life.