Dental Insurance Doesn’t Cover Everything

I finally got dental insurance. Why am I still paying so much out of pocket?

It is often frustrating when we have one expectation but something else happens. Your dental insurance coverage, chosen between you and your employer, works well to cover your basic preventative needs and other minimal treatment. However, when you or a family member neglects seeing a dentist for longer than the recommended six months, there is a greater risk of increased problems. Unfortunately, a substantial amount of treatment may then be needed.

Dental insurance began in the 1970’s and the average benefit was $1,000. With inflation, the average benefit today should be close to $7,000. Unfortunately, the average benefit is still $1,000. Any restorative treatment or fillings are usually covered only up to a certain percentage, and the balance is your portion to pay. When it has been multiple years since seeing a dentist, and there is breakdown of the teeth or supporting bone, the average treatment may cost from $2,000 to $4,000.

It is very important to invest in your dental care so the problems do not get worse. Timing the treatment to maximize your insurance can work in some cases, but can be dangerous if there is infection. Phasing the treatment to treat the major problems and bite issues can allow you to get the treatment you need and make it more affordable.

About the author

Stacey Sparkman Hall, D.D.S.

Dr. Stacey Hall brings her unique outlook on dental care and her personable optimism to the Williamsburg Center for Dental Health. With nine years of solid dental expertise as a dentist in Williamsburg, she decided in early 2011 to branch out and open her own local practice. After completing her undergraduate degree from Virginia Tech in 1998, Dr. Hall graduated from VCU’s MCV School of Dentistry in 2002, receiving her D.D.S. She is a member of the Academy of General Dentistry, the American Dental Association, and was awarded member fellowship to the International Congress of Oral Implantology in 2008. She leads the elite Tidewater Dawson Study Club and is a scholar with the interntaionally renowned Dawson Academy. As a Dawson ambassador, Dr. Hall also assists in the training of students in the Dawson Academy. Stacey and her husband Michael have been blessed with three beautiful girls, Lanie, Gracie and Abbie. She is a loyal Virginia Tech Football fan, and enjoys Bible study and missions work.

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