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Use Your Dental Benefits Before They Expire on December 31

Regular dental checkups are an important part of preventative healthcare, and the end of the year is a good time to schedule a dentist appointment. Many insurance plans will reset on January 1, meaning that your unused benefits expire at that time. November and December aren’t too late to visit your dental provider and maximize your benefits, whether you already have met your deductibles or not.

How Do Deductibles Work?

Deductibles are the amount of money you need to pay by yourself before your insurance plan kicks in and takes care of medical expenses. Meeting your deductibles early is a good practice, but if you haven’t done so until later in the year, it is still doable and can help you make the most out of your dental coverage before it expires on December 31.

This expiration generally applies to Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) as well. FSAs are accounts that your employer sets up to deposit a specific amount from each paycheck (pre-tax). You can use your FSA for co-pays and other medical procedures, including dental ones.

Reviewing your explanation of benefits (EOB) or directly contacting your dental insurance provider are the most efficient ways to know what your deductibles are and/or what your dental plan covers.

Routine Checkups

Most dental insurance plans cover two regular visits and cleanings per year, although an out-of-pocket may be required. These are the basis of your professional dental care and are a good way to work towards meeting your deductible.

A routine dental checkup involves the following:

  • X-rays
  • A thorough examination of your teeth and gums
  • Standard teeth cleaning

This helps your dentist look for any sign of decay or infection and prescribe further dental work if necessary. They can also provide tips for good oral hygiene at home, which helps to maintain your dental health between appointments.

Other Dental Procedures

Regular examinations are great opportunities for your dentist to diagnose anything that needs addressing to improve and maintain your oral health. If more appointments are necessary for one or more procedures, getting as much dental work done as possible before your benefits expire at the end of the year is very useful. This helps to restore your health promptly and limit your expenses both in the short term (because you’ve met your deductibles for the year) and the long term (getting required dental procedures now reduces the risk of future complications and extra cost).

Dental insurance plans can cover a variety of procedures, such as:

  • Cavity fillings
  • Tooth extractions
  • Crowns
  • Dental implants
  • Root canals
  • Emergency dental procedures

It is common for your insurance company to cover certain procedures but only for specific types (like for fillings) or require higher out-of-pocket costs from you.

Dental insurance plans may not cover:

  • Orthodontic treatments
  • Dental care associated with a pre-existing medical condition
  • Cosmetic procedures

Talking with both your dentist and your insurance provider is the most effective way to know what the most appropriate course of action is for your situation in terms of dental health and finances.

Get on top of your dental care with Access Dental! Call us today at (973) 358-6266 or reach us via our contact form to schedule an appointment.

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