Dental Blog / Cost vs. Value | The Ins and Outs of Dental Insurance

Cost vs. Value | The Ins and Outs of Dental Insurance

When it comes to purchasing any type of insurance, you want to look at the cost of the plan in relation to the value that you’re getting out of it. And knowing the ins and outs of dental insurance, in particular, can help you shop smarter for the policy that’s most appropriate for your needs and budget.

Below are a few of the things to keep in mind as you browse the various insurance companies and plans available. By knowing what to look for in dental insurance, you can make the decision that’s right for you and your family.

What’s Usually Covered by a Dental Insurance Plan?

There are a few different categories of dental care, most of which are covered, at least to some degree, by top-quality dental insurance plans.

     • Preventive and diagnostic care typically includes things like standard exams, cleanings, and x-rays.

     • Basic dental procedures might include things like fillings, gum treatments, root canals, and extractions.
     • Major dental procedures might include things like bridges, implants, and dentures. 

Different dental insurance plans will cover different amounts of care. Generally, however, a plan will typically cover:

     • 100% of preventive care

     • Around 80% of basic procedures

     • Around 50% or less of major procedures

Beyond that, some plans will even go so far as to cover the cost of orthodontic care. But sometimes, providers will only cover that type of care for children under 18 years of age.

Also, many plans are willing to cover certain treatments that improve the appearance of your teeth (such as veneers) if they’re deemed restorative, rather than merely cosmetic.
Bottom line: Some plans are more comprehensive, while others are more basic.

Therefore, you have a lot of freedom to choose the plan that suits your needs best while still being affordable. 

How Much Does Dental Care Cost?

Now that you have an idea of how much your insurance can help you with covering the costs of dental care, from preventive care and basic procedures, to major procedures, orthodontics, and restorative care, it’s clear to see why this can be a wise investment that could help you save money in the long run.

But how much money can you really expect to save? Well, dental care costs vary by location and by dental professional. But, generally, you might expect to be charged the following amounts for various preventive and diagnostic treatments:

     • A dental exam might cost you as much as $150

     • X-rays might cost less than $100, or they might be more than $200

     • A cleaning might be as low as $70 or as high as $200

     • On average, you might end up spending nearly $300 just to have your teeth         
        examined, X-rayed, and cleaned

Because it’s wise to see your dentist regularly each year for a checkup and cleaning, these out-of-pocket costs can quickly add up!

And what if you need to undergo a treatment to resolve a tooth or gum problem? Those costs might be even higher:

     • Diagnosed with a dreaded cavity? Costs will depend on the tooth that needs to be
       filled, and the filling material that’s used. An amalgam filling might cost anywhere
       from $50 to $150, while a composite filling might be anywhere from $90 to $250. 

     • Need a root canal? That’s bad enough, but the cost can make this procedure even
       more painful. Once again, the type of tooth being worked on can affect the price of
       the treatment. While a root canal on a front tooth might be anywhere from $300 to
       $1,500, a molar might cost you anywhere from $500 to $2,000. And premolars might
       range from $400 to $1,800. 

Major treatments will be even more costly:

     • Dental crowns can range in price from $500 to $3,000, depending on the material that they’re made of. 

     • Bridges and implants might cost you thousands of dollars. 

     • The cost of extractions will vary greatly, depending on factors like whether a tooth is
       impacted to any degree, and whether or not anesthesia needs to be used. While a
       non-surgical extraction might cost upwards of $300, a surgical extraction could be
       more than double that cost. And if a wisdom tooth needs to be extracted, it could
        cost up to $600 if it’s impacted. 

Make Dental Care Easier on Your Wallet with the Right Insurance!

If you’re the type of person who avoids the dentist in an effort to steer clear of the out-of-pocket costs, the right dental insurance plan can help you see the dentist regularly for checkups, as well as for treatments whenever you develop symptoms. With your insurance helping you pay for your care, you can rest assured that you won’t have to break the bank just to have a beautiful, pain-free smile and clean, strong gums.

Today’s dental insurance plans are surprisingly affordable for the level of coverage that they provide. So, when it comes to cost vs. value, it’s hard to deny the fact that this type of insurance does indeed provide a lot of value for the price.

Feeling overwhelmed by the idea of shopping for a dental insurance plan for yourself or your family? Using the Direct Benefits Marketplace will simplify the process by allowing you to compare various plans that are available in your area. You can see exactly what’s covered, as well as what your out-of-pocket costs will be, so you can calculate just how much you’ll end up saving.