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Why You Should Purchase Dental Benefits?

A few years ago a friend of mine cracked a tooth on a popcorn kernel and had to get her tooth repaired. What she didn’t realize, though, was that the tooth she cracked was already badly decayed and needed to be pulled. It was, as her dentist told her, “beyond repair.” She was mortified, not just because she was losing a tooth, but because the tooth she was losing would create a gap in her teeth that could be seen when she smiled. She became self-conscious.

After discussing all options with her dentist, my friend decided to get a dental implant. She had the procedure and was very pleased with the outcome. What she wasn’t pleased with was the cost. When it was all said and done, my friend owed just over $5,000 in dental expenses—which she had to pay out of her own pocket because she didn’t have dental benefits. In fact, my friend later admitted to me that she hadn’t seen a dentist in years because she had no insurance and dental care was too expensive. (By the way, the $5,000 was just the beginning. The exam and x-rays showed that she needed quite a bit more work.)

Unfortunately, this story is far too common. The NADP 2007 Consumer Survey study shows people without dental benefits are far less likely to visit a dentist on a regular basis – The survey also shows just 34% of people without dental insurance see a dentist regularly. Compare this to the 85% of people with dental insurance who receive regular dental care and you begin to see a big gap in care between the insured and uninsured. More importantly, those with dental benefits who receive regular preventive care are much less likely to have major dental issues or end up in the emergency room with dental pain. My friend who received the dental implant firmly believes she could have avoided the pain, expense and lost work time if she had taken better care of her oral health.

Some may prefer to create a separate savings account specifically for dental expenses, such as a Flexible Spending Account (FSA). That may be a good option when managed properly; however, FSAs are often used for anticipated annual expenses rather than unforeseen dental needs. Several of us may place a higher value on cable TV, cell phones or daily coffee than dental care. That is until we have a dental emergency.

Even though most dental plans wouldn’t have covered all of my friend’s dental expenses, she would have paid far less out of her own pocket for her dental treatment. Maybe she could have avoided the broken tooth in the first place. Be that as it may, my friend would tell you to invest a dollar or two a day taking better care of your oral health by purchasing quality dental benefits that you use on a regular basis. Good oral health can also help improve your overall health, and that’s something everybody can smile about