Dental insurance is an excellent investment since it helps cover the cost of routine and restorative dental services. But are you maximizing the benefits that are available for your family? One of the best places to start is with twice-a-year cleanings.
Insurance companies view routine cleanings as preventive maintenance. These regular checkups catch potential issues in the earliest stages, helping to reduce the need for more extensive dental treatments in the future. Check your plan, and it’s likely that you have twice a year cleanings included in your available benefits.
Other Recommendations to Maximize Dental Benefits
In addition to twice-a-year cleanings, what are other strategies you can use to maximize available dental insurance benefits? Here are a few tips to help:
- Choose an In-Network Dentist: Co-pays are usually cheaper when working with a dentist within your insurance network. Find out if your dentist accepts your insurance coverage. Also, make sure that your dentist is listed as an in-network provider with your insurance plan.
- Understand Available Coverage: It’s essential to understand that dental insurance works differently from regular health insurance. Insurance providers cover 100% of preventive care in most cases, such as oral exams, teeth cleanings, annual x-rays, and more. Basic care, such as fillings and root canals, usually has 80% coverage, which means you need to pay 20% out of pocket. Major care coverage is usually 50% for services such as dentures, bridges, and crowns.
- Check Your Deductible and Maximum Benefit: It’s common for dental insurance providers to have an annual deductible. For example, you might need to pay between $25 and $250 out of pocket before the insurance starts paying for services. Additionally, it’s common for dental insurance providers to have a limit – between $1,000 to $2,000. Any costs above this amount will need to be paid out-of-pocket. Depending on the timing of your dental services, you might plan around these deductibles and maximum benefits to increase the overall amount of available insurance coverage.
If you aren’t insured, make sure you know your options before deciding on your dental treatment plan. Different payment and financing options make dental treatments accessible for everyone. Talk to our office staff for information about these possibilities so you can access the essential treatments that you need.
Are Twice a Year Cleanings Necessary?
Do you really need to visit the dentist this often? Twice-a-year cleanings are essential – they are the foundation of maintaining a healthy smile. Even if you are proactive about caring for your teeth and gums, it’s still wise to keep a consistent exam and cleaning schedule.
Plaque and tartar are pretty standard, even for patients who brush twice daily, floss, and use mouthwash. Routine dental cleanings remove the buildup to keep your teeth healthy and minimize the risk of gum disease.
Skipping cleanings twice a year means that small amounts of plaque and tartar can accumulate. There are spots in the mouth that are difficult to reach with your toothbrush and floss, such as in the back of the mouth and between the teeth. These small areas can cause infections, which lead to more significant dental complications in the future.
Regular dental cleanings are essential to remove plaque. Protecting your teeth in this way is a critical step to maintaining overall health. When gum disease and cavities are present, it’s possible for bacteria to move from the mouth into the bloodstream – which increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.
What Is Included in Twice a Year Cleanings?
When you schedule a dental exam and cleaning, you will receive full-service treatment from an experienced dental team. Here’s what you can expect during the appointment:
A dental hygienist starts with a visual examination of your teeth, gums, lips, and all other areas of the mouth. During this examination, the hygienist is looking for signs of gum inflammation, cancer, and other possible concerns. If anything looks unusual, then the hygienist consults with the dentist before proceeding with the different parts of the exam and cleaning.
Certain parts of the mouth are difficult to see, which is why it’s vital to use digital imaging for early detection. In addition, digital x-rays show potential areas of infection and decay, helping with earlier treatments.
Plaque and Tartar Removal
Now it’s time to remove the plaque and tartar. The hygienist uses a small mirror to guide the work and specialized tools to reach the areas between the teeth. You might hear and feel the scraping, but it’s a normal part of the cleaning process. Then, the teeth are brushed and flossed, finishing with a good rinse. Your teeth will feel smooth and clean after the appointment is over!
You have the option to end the cleaning with a fluoride treatment. This treatment is an important step to protect your teeth, helping to fight against cavities in the coming months. Find out about fluoride treatment coverage through your insurance plan.
Some insurance companies don’t include fluoride as part of the twice-a-year cleanings. Still, many patients like to pay for the out-of-pocket costs because of the protective benefits available from fluoride. A small payment right now can save you the discomfort and expense of bigger dental bills for cavities and fillings in the future.
Depending on what the hygienist and dentist find during the examination, extra steps might be necessary during your visit. For example, cosmetic and reconstructive dentistry are possible needs. You will receive personalized recommendations for this appointment and future services.
Schedule a Dental Cleaning
Is it time for you to visit a dentist for a routine cleaning and examination? Reach out to our team to book an appointment with a reputable dental office. We are here to help with general dentistry, as well as a variety of other services for cosmetic treatments and more. Contact Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Las Colinas today by calling our office to learn more about available treatments. We are here to help!