Even though your teeth and mouth are part of the body, dental insurance is typically provided separately from general medical insurance. In fact, the two types of insurance operate in surprisingly different ways. Do you want to maximize your insurance benefits to save money and stay healthy? Keep reading below to learn more about the important differences between dental insurance and medical insurance.
Dental Insurance: Focus on Preventive Care
Dental insurance focuses on preventing oral health problems from happening in the first place. That is why most dental insurance plans cover 100% of the cost of routine checkups, cleanings and X-rays. In contrast, dental insurance usually covers basic services like fillings at 80% and major restorative services like crowns or bridges at 50%.
To make the most of your dental insurance benefits, be sure to visit your dentist every six months for a dental exam and cleaning. Regular trips to the dentist are key to maintaining a healthy smile and avoiding serious oral health problems that could require costly treatment in the future. Best of all, if you have dental insurance, you likely won’t have to pay a penny out of pocket for these preventive checkups!
Medical Insurance: Helping You Heal
While dental insurance focuses on preventive care, medical insurance is meant to help you if you fall gravely ill or suffer from a serious injury. In other words, medical insurance is more reactivethan proactive. Medical care can often be quite costly, which is why medical insurance is designed to help protect you from the burden of large expenses. Injuries and illnesses can often strike when you least expect them, which is why having health insurance is so important.
When Your Dentist May Accept Medical Insurance
While you should always bring your dental insurance card along with you to the dentist’s office, there are a few occasions when you should also carry proof of medical insurance.
For example, certain qualified dental professionals use oral appliance therapy to treat sleep apnea, a common disorder that affects over 18 million American adults. Custom-made oral appliances provided by a dentist can dramatically improve a person’s quality of sleep and reduce sleep apnea symptoms when worn consistently as night.
Oral appliances are usually classified by insurance companies as Durable Medical Equipment (DME) – the same category as wheelchairs and walkers. For this reason, sleep apnea treatment is often covered under medical insurance instead of dental insurance.
Now that you know a little more about the difference between dental insurance and medical insurance, you can take steps to maximize your benefits and boost your oral and overall health!
About the Author
Dr. Dustin Lively has over 20 years of experience helping Magnum residents overcome sleep disorders with oral appliance therapy. The proud University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry alumnus accepts most medical insurance plans as well as Medicare. Returning and new patients can learn more about insurance coverage and sleep apnea treatment by visiting the EZ Sleep Solutions website or by calling 580-782-2027.