Healthy teeth and gums are crucial, but dental work is expensive and often excluded from company medical plans. Find out which option for dental care is best for you.
Step 1: Go through your employer Go through your employer to get coverage. If your job doesn't offer coverage, you'll have to pay for it yourself, but it will be much cheaper through your company.
Step 2: Shop for basic individual and family plans Shop for basic individual or family plans, which you'll pay for out of pocket. More affordable basic plans offer preventive care, like cleanings, fillings, x-rays, and exams.
Step 3: Consider comprehensive coverage Consider more comprehensive coverage, which will help pay for root canals, braces, and other costly procedures, if you think you may need it and can afford higher premiums.
Step 4: Study the terms Study all the terms of a plan before you purchase it. Consider the deductible and the maximum amount of coverage allowed per year versus the premium rate.
TIP: If you have a family dentist who's not in the plan's network, you may want to opt for a PPO, which offers minimal coverage for out-of-network dentists over a DHMO, which offers none at all.
Step 5: Know types of plans Know that an indemnity plan pays for covered services only after it receives a bill, which means that you may have to pay up front and then obtain reimbursement from your insurance carrier. Managed-care plans, such as DHMO or PPO, have a network of dentists who will submit the claim to the dental insurance company for you.
Step 6: Consider a discount card Consider buying a dental discount membership card if dental insurance is out of your reach or to supplement basic coverage. You'll have to pay for services on the spot but you'll receive a significant network discount.
FACT: Boar bristles were used in toothbrushes until 1938, when nylon bristles were introduced.