Understanding the Basics & Benefits of Dental Insurance

A great dental plan has many benefits that are worth taking advantage of. 

This can be beneficial for your smile and your wallet. Some dental procedures can cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars, so it’s important to make sure you're getting the most out of your dental plan.


Two Types of Dental Plans


First, identify what kind of dental plan you are looking for.

Delta Dental offers two main types of dental plans. Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) and Dental Maintenance Organization (DMO)

PPO allows you to visit any dentist within the PPO’s network for reduced service fees and provides dental care for a fixed monthly premium. 

DMO allows you to see any dentist within the approved network for no fees or for a reduced cost.


Three Dental Coverage Services


Second, identify what kind of dental services you need. The types of services offered generally fall into three categories: preventive, basic, and major

Basic coverage includes things like office visits, extractions, fillings, gum disease treatment, and root canals. 

Preventive coverage includes things like diagnostic and preventive services like regular oral exams, teeth cleaning, and x-rays. 

Major coverage includes things like crowns, bridges, dentures, and inlays.


Save Money with Regular Visits to an In-Network Dentist


After you’ve identified what type of plan and coverage you want, it’s time to explore the benefits of your individual or family dental plan. Regular visits to your dentist can prevent painful and costly issues down the road as a routine exam can catch any possible problems early and allow the dentist to correct it more easily. Dentists can also detect up to 120 signs of non-dental diseases, like diabetes and cancer, with a simple routine exam. 

Preventive care is key to having great lifelong oral and overall health.


Simplify Your Dental Care With 3 Online Tools


The website and mobile app are great ways to access claims information, view coverage details, find a dentist, schedule appointments, and more. You can access those through the app store for iOS and Android devices

Delta Dental’s LifeSmile Score can identify your risk for dental diseases and your oral health risk assessment. Answer a few simple questions about your teeth, eating habits, and health history to get your results and oral health information specific to your needs sent to your email. 

Our Dental Care Cost Estimator will help you get an idea of how much your next dental treatment will cost. Entering the treatment type and your zip code will provide estimated cost ranges for common dental care needs.


Expand Your Dental Benefits Vocabulary


Understanding terms like deductible, coinsurance, copayment, annual maximum, and lifetime maximum can save you headaches down the road. 

A deductible is a fixed dollar amount you pay out of pocket before your plan begins to cover services. 

Coinsurance is a fixed percentage of a dental treatment cost that you share with your dental plan. 

A copayment is a set dollar amount you pay your dentist for a covered service. 

An annual maximum is the most money your dental plan will pay in a specific 12-month period. 

A lifetime maximum is the most money your dental plan will pay over the course of a lifetime.


Overall, finding which dental plan and coverage are right for you is up to your budget and what you specifically need. Costs depend completely on your plan and your dentist. Make sure to talk to your insurance company and your dentist to get a full understanding of your plan and to check back regularly in case of changes

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