Finding The Best Dentist For You
If you want to stay healthy, you must regularly visit your dentist. Find out about the top dental insurance plans and tips to find a new dentist.
Many adults struggle with regularly visiting the dentist. For some, it is difficult to schedule the time for an appointment. More commonly, insurance plans offer limited dental coverage, with many individuals waiting until there is an emergency to finally schedule an appointment. Even if your teeth feel fine, it is important to regularly visit your dentist at least once a year.
Dentists help treat many issues, such as tooth decay and periodontal diseases. Dental treatments also strengthen your teeth, making you less likely to develop dental issues later in life. Many dental issues cost thousands of dollars to resolve if left untreated, making preventative care even more important. There are also practical reasons to see the dentist, including keeping your teeth from becoming stained and preventing bad breath. Listed below are some of the best dental insurance programs, as well as tips for finding the right dentist.
Cigna is one of the largest providers of dental insurance. Cigna appeals to many customers because it has a huge network of nearly 100,000 dentists throughout the United States. The plans are straightforward and cover all the basic preventative care without any deductibles or copays. They also have multiple insurance plans for both individuals and families. The price varies per plan, but is fairly customizable. On average, you can expect to pay $20 to $40 each month, per individual on your plan.
UnitedHealthOne is a common dental program because it is provided through many employers, though you can also purchase individual plans. There are six primary plans to choose from, with most of the plans offering the same level of coverage. The main difference between the plans is how much you must pay out of pocket. Each of the plans begins at $50 per individual on the plan. All but the elite and premier choice have a $1,000 annual maximum per individual on the plan.
As of writing, Delta Dental has the largest dental network of any insurance provider, with over 150,000 dentists included in their network. Both individual and group insurance plans are available. Delta Dental also has excellent financial assistance options for low-income families. If you are overwhelmed with the number of plans available from other dental insurance agencies, Delta simplifies your selection by presenting two plans. The first, DeltaCare, is a prepaid plan with no deductibles or annual dollar maximums. It provides coverage for over 300 procedures, including regular cleanings and the majority of diagnostic services. There are also no exclusions based on preexisting conditions.
The second plan, Delta Dental PPO, is a preferred provider program. With this plan, you choose from a network of dentists, who provide discounted fees. What services are covered varies based on the dentist. Under this plan, your insurance covers a set percentage of the costs, while you are responsible for paying the remaining percentage.
Choosing a Dentist
Whenever you are selecting a medical professional, you must take the time to do the research. Even if you only visit your dentist once or twice a year, you want a dentist you feel safe and comfortable with. For many patients, the biggest concern is whether their dentist has the necessary training. One of the most effective ways to find an experienced dentist is to choose a dentist affiliated with the American Dental Association (ADA). The ADA website even features a helpful tool to locate accredited dentists. The government also has an online search tool to look up medical professionals in your area.
Once you have a list of qualified dentists in mind, you want to look up how easy it is to schedule an appointment. What hours does the dentist normally operate? Are they normally booked far in advance, or can you reliably call for an appointment and get seen within the same week?
Another important consideration is whether the dentist is in your insurance network. If they are, make sure all their services are covered, as some insurance plans only provide coverage for select dental services. Prioritize dentists who discuss treatment plans and provide up front costs before a procedure.
If you want to be as thorough as possible, do not be afraid to schedule a meet and greet with your potential dentist. This gives you the opportunity to ask questions directly and get a feel for whether you and the dentist are compatible. Some questions to potentially ask include how the staff handles emergency situations and whether dental health instruction is provided. If you have any pre existing dental conditions, you can also ask your dentist how he or she intends to treat them.
Preparing for a Dental Visit
There are several steps you can take before visiting your dentist to make the appointment easier. If you are transferring to a new dentist, make sure the new office has your dental records. Many dental offices will handle the transfer on your behalf, but you may need to contact your previous dentists to grant permission to move the files.
Before you go to the dentist, make sure you properly brush and floss. This is especially important if you are visiting the dentist after eating either breakfast or lunch. It is recommended to arrive a little early, especially if you are a new patient. This gives you a chance to complete all the necessary paperwork and meet the staff.