Dental Insurance

chisueNovember 17, 2011

The dental coverage offered by DH's former employer isn't expensive, but it also has VERY limited benefits. I have awful teeth, so this is a cost I'm interested in covering.

Does anyone here have a policy they would recommend? (Not Cigna; that was ever worse than the other company offering! I wouldn't feel safe parking my car in the areas where the Cigna network dentists worked.)

Someone has mentioned Delta to me. ???

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That's hard to answer, companies can have different policies for different states. Most I've looked into (WA state) have limited coverage compared to a group policy, and won't pay as much the first year covered as they do the second, then pay full benefits the third year you have been paying premiums. Clearly they don't want someone with a mouthful of work to be done to sign up for just a year or 18 months....

Too often, they pay what they feel is a fair allowed cost for a procedure, lower than what my dentist charges.

Small business owners now, no group plan available to us, we have Security Life Dental and it's $53/mo each for the two of us. It works out to about the same as paying out of pocket instead for 2 exams and 2 cleanings a year for us both. If either of us need anything done, I can count on it paying around half - for filling, crown it helps a little but isn't ideal by any means.

If you don't find what you are looking for and your husband has coverage of some kind through his work, does he also have a health care savings plan? If you put estimated money aside in that type account you are at least claiming that much less earned income for the year.

My only advice would be to go to an insurance broker in your area, it doesn't cost to ask - and they can lay out what is available in your area for you to compare benefits and cost.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2011 at 11:26AM
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My sister has had two daughters who have lived with her at different times. Both were in bad need of dental work, serious dental work. She found a place that did the work almost free. It was probably cheaper than insurance. I don't know what organization helped them, but do some checking in your city or the nearest large city. Call a family member's dentist and ask about it. There surely is a dental organization like there is for doctors. That might the first place to check.

I lost my upper teeth in my twenty's due to an accident and they didn't do caps back then. I had upper dentures by the time I was 25 and they have never been a problem for me. But the lowers are another matter, they can be pure hell. If you have to go that route, leave 3 or 4 of your best teeth to anchor lowers. They act like implants. There are still dentists who make good inexpensive dentures unlike the ones who charge thousands of dollars, they are what I think of as dentists for the stars.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2011 at 5:36PM
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To update: We have continued with the same 2011 dental coverage for 2012. It pays a pittance for each procedure, but paid out over $1000 for DH and me -- mostly me -- this year. (Premium is about $400 for both of us.) There is a $9000 pp lifetime payout.

I investigated the Delta Dental plans and it all sounded OK until I got down to the line about maximum payout. It's $1000 per person per year. Um...nevermind.

I have 'dental' on my mind today since I had an extraction + temporary bridge yesterday -- not too bad, but my neck hurts like heck from being in a dental chair for three hours. I'll have the temporary bridge until March, when permanent one will go in.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2011 at 12:09PM
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I read an article that said people who had taken care of their teeth did not need dental insurance. If you haven't taken care of them, you need insurance. Pay the $400, get your teeth in tip top shape then cancel it.

Cleaning cost me $100 a year. We had dental insurance with my husbands company, but it would not pay for dentures or implants, so what good is it, if your teeth are in good shape.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 11:23AM
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Sorry about the three hours in the chair! I am an RDH so here are my thoughts: Call the dental office where you are having your procedures done and ask the billing person which of your dental plans offers the best coverage. They deal with these plans all the time and may just know which will cover more of what you need. For example, if your treatment plan doesn't call for implants then it doesn't matter if they are covered. So right now that might not be a large factor in your choice. Also, the $$ limit. What eats up that limit? Some plans pay for cleanings and don't count them toward the $$ limit.

What do the plans offer for accident coverage? Sometimes this is a component of plans as well. Your teeth may be health and fine, but people hurt their mouths all the time, breaking teeth etc.

If your teeth are "bad" (meaning causing you pain or lack of function ie. chewing ability vs. cosmetically unsightly) you will also need x-rays taken. The x-rays will eat away at the $$ amount of your policy. You can save money by contacting a local dental hygiene school. The students need to learn to take films and are often looking for patients. The savings can be significant. You might only pay $10 for a set of 4 bitewings vs. $60 (or more) at an office. Make sure the gives you a set to "hand carry" to your dentist or sends it to your dentist for you. If they are working with digital, they can easily forward your films via the internet. It's worth calling a school and asking if they can schedule you for some radiographs (x-rays), if you need them. This will limit the # of films the dentist needs to take in the office.

Lastly, find a conservative dentist, not one who is going to try to sell you whitening kits and a bunch of cosmetic stuff. Get your mouth healthy and pain free first, then move on to cosmetic things. The dentist I work with does sort of a triage with people who need a lot of work. We figure out what is an 'emergency' must do, what can wait a bit, and what materials work best finanancially for the patient.

Good luck with it all!


    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 2:00PM
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My DH has had dental problems all his life. So did his parents. His teeth were discolored and parts of them kept cracking off.

He didn't want false teeth, bridges or implants, so we did much research and stumbled on a cosmetic dentists site who uses and teaches Cerec technology.

DH had his entire mouth redone. Every single tooth. The surface of his teeth looked like hell, but the base/roots were in good shape.

It wasn't cheap, but now his teeth look great. Not a single filling, bridge, root canal, etc.

Its a pleasure watching him enjoy smiling and being able to take a bite of hard food knowing a tooth won't crack off while he's eating.

A link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 3:46PM
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