Full Dental Coverage: What Is It? How Can I Get It?
Published Oct 20 2009
As the numbers of uninsured people rise nationwide, many are left searching for their own dental plans. Although there are many different options available to those looking for dental health care plans, many are holding out for that allusive “ Full Dental Coverage. ” Although the term is used as an be-all-end-all of insurance, the term can actually mean a number of different things:
1.) Full Dental Coverage can refer to insurance which will pay 100% of all of all routine maintenance procedures such as checkups, cleanings, and x-rays. This kind of coverage is common for indemnity insurance plans. Traditional companies have to pay more money in claims if the client does not have regular cleanings and checkups. Conversely, they pay less in claims if their clients’ teeth are regularly maintained. Therefore, it is in the best interest of the insurance company to offer clients free cleanings and examinations. This type of Full Dental Coverage is easy to find, but may not have strong savings on more major procedures such as root canals, crowns, and dentures.
2.) It can also refer to a dental plan which will reduce the cost of any and all procedures performed. Using this type of terminology, a patient is not necessarily looking for the procedures to be 100% covered; but the patient is looking for substantial savings on most procedures performed. Many companies do offer a type of this coverage, but the monthly premiums become more expensive as the level of coverage increases.
When it comes to major procedures, most policies will have clauses such as a “missing tooth clause” or limitations on “preexisting conditions.” These clauses simply state that if you already have a problem with your teeth before signing your policy, then the insurance is not responsible for that work. That means that if a person has a tooth ache right now, the company will not help with getting that problem fixed. Coupled with waiting periods of up to a year, this type of Full Dental Coverage can be helpful for the future, but it is not useful for any current problems a patient might be facing.
3.) The final meaning of the term Full Dental Coverage refers to a plan that will cover 100% of the cost of every procedure performed at the dental office. This type of full coverage is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow: It sounds wonderful and many people think they can find it, but in the end it really doesn’t exist. For major work performed, a single dental office visit can run over $20,000. If an insurance company were charging even $500 per month (a very expensive policy) but paying out $20,000 for a single visit to the dental office, the company would be losing $14,000 over the year, and that assumes the patient doesn't go back to the dentist for even more work before the year is out.
For this reason, offering Full Dental Coverage where a company pays 100% of the dental bill is simply not practical for a company. If they regularly pay out more money than they take in, companies will soon go out of business. If the insurance company runs itself out of business, then what would the patient be left with? 100% of the bill!
Get more information about a dental plan from 1dental.com.