Dental Blog / Beyond the Buzzwords: How to Pick the Best Dental Insurance for Your Needs

Beyond the Buzzwords: How to Pick the Best Dental Insurance for Your Needs

Dental insurance companies want you to buy their plans rather than a competitor's-Not so surprising, is it? But, as you shop for a dental policy, it's important to look beyond buzzwords and focus on the fine print. That way, you'll be able to see what a plan really has to offer, and you can be confident that you're making the right choice after comparing your options.
How can you be sure you’re picking the best dental insurance for your needs? We’ve compiled some tips to help you get started. 

Think About Your Current and Future Needs

While you can’t predict every dental treatment you’ll need (think: accidentally chipping a tooth) or the costs associated with high-quality care, it is possible to get a general idea of what you and your family will need, both now and in the future. 

• Regular checkups are necessary to keep an eye on your oral health. Your dentist can look for early signs of gum disease and cavities, and then you can get less invasive, more affordable treatment.   

• Cleanings, too, are a key component to maintaining your oral health for years to come. Brushing and flossing at home every day is great, but it won’t get rid of all the plaque and tartar on your teeth. A dental hygienist knows exactly what to do to clean your teeth to help keep problems at bay. 

• Another component of oral health maintenance: getting X-rays. These will allow your doctor to see inside your teeth and determine if there’s any decay or infection.  

Beyond routine care, there are many other possibilities to think about, as these will also play a role in determining the type of insurance policy you’ll need. Some examples:

• Do you have kids? They might end up needing orthodontics to correct a bite or to straighten their teeth for a perfect smile. 

• Are you and your spouse getting older? Did you know that, as you age, your risk of various oral health problems increases? Having a comprehensive dental plan that covers extras like dentures can help put your mind at ease, especially when it comes to affording care while following a strict budget. 

• Have you always had problems with your teeth, despite your efforts to brush and floss at home? You might end up needing more fillings, or you might need expensive root canals and crowns at some point in the future. 

• If you ever lose one or more teeth due to any reason, replacing missing teeth with bridges and implants is a great way to get your smile back, but these options can be costly without the right insurance. 

Evaluate Plans Based on What They Cover

Now that you’ve thought about some of your current dental care needs, as well as your potential future needs, you have a clearer idea of what you require from your insurance. 
For example, if you don’t have kids or you aren’t planning on having any children, you might decide that you don’t want to spend money on a plan that includes coverage for orthodontics. 

Or, if you want to stick with a basic plan to cover routine care because your teeth and gums have always been healthy and strong, you might opt to look for affordable plans that don’t have a lot of extras.  

On the other hand, if you’re the type of person who wants the peace of mind that comes with a more complete package that includes even the most expensive treatments (because you never really know what will happen), you’ll know to look for plans that cover it all. 

Pro Tip:
Not all dentists work with every insurance company or plan. If you have a dentist that you really like, and you don’t want to be forced to switch, ask their office what insurance plans they accept so you can select one that includes your dentist in their network. 

Comparing Plans Doesn’t Have to Be Challenging

Now that you know how to evaluate your needs to determine what type of dental insurance would be right for you and your family, it’s time to shop! 

Remember, when comparing policies, look for information regarding the level of coverage for preventive care (like checkups, cleanings, and X-rays), basic care (like fillings), major care (like bridges, crowns, and implants), and emergency care.

Orthodontic care would also be listed as a separate category to look for if you need it. 
To begin your search, check out the Direct Benefits Marketplace. You can view dental plans available in your area, and you can narrow down your options to those that are designed for single individuals, kids, and families with or without kids. 

On the Direct Benefits Marketplace, you also get to compare several plans side-by-side to see what your out-of-pocket costs will be, and what percentage of coverage you’ll receive in every dental care category. This makes shopping for your specific needs super easy! Get started whenever you’re ready, and before you know it, you’ll have the coverage that can help keep your teeth and gums in tip-top shape.