West Hollywood Dentist

One of the Most Trusted Holistic Dentists in Los Angeles, CA

7865 Santa Monica Blvd West Hollywood, CA 90046
(323) 654-2840

With A quarter century experience in dentistry, West Hollywood Holistic and Cosmetic Dentistry offers most dental treatments in one office. Call us today to schedule your free dental consultation.

Why You Should Take Advantage of Your Dental Insurance Before the End of the Year

happy girl at dentist

Why You Should Take Advantage of Your Dental Insurance Before the End of the Year

If you have dental insurance and have not scheduled an appointment with your dentist for a routine dental exam and teeth cleaning, you should consider doing so before the end of the year. And there are several reasons why doing so is a good idea. First and foremost, the $1,000 to $2,000 in annual dental benefits that most providers offer to their members will not roll over to the following year when they go unused, meaning you would have been making monthly premium payments for nothing. Second, forgoing the opportunity to use your insurance to stay on top of your oral health could result in severe and costly dental problems. Allowing any of this to happen would constitute a considerable lapse in judgment, especially when you consider how many Americans need dental coverage but, unfortunately, do not have access to it. According to a study published in Sage Journals, due to unemployment and other reasons, nearly 25 percent of Americans went without dental coverage in 2019.

How Many People in America Have Dental Insurance and Never Use It?

If you’re gainfully employed and have dental coverage but haven’t been using it to look after your oral health, you are not alone. And this is evidenced in a study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to the study data, between 2014 and 2017, about 22 percent of American adults with dental coverage said they went 12 or more months without ever seeing a dentist. In short, they made a conscious decision to forgo the $1,000 to $2,000 in annual dental benefits made available to them courtesy of their dental policy. Bringing things closer to home, many California dentists, including Dr. Bruce Vafa, a West Hollywood dentist, have seen a similar reluctance in patients with insurance not bothering to schedule appointments to stay on top of their oral health. For this reason, many practitioners will often send out reminders to patients who they have not seen in 6 to 12 months to schedule an appointment for a dental exam and teeth cleaning.

What Do You Have to Lose?

Along with losing your annual dental benefits, not using your dental insurance means you will eventually lose access to valuable preventative care. For reference, this type of care refers to the routine dental exams that enable dentists to detect dental problems early and correct them before they become worse. One example would be performing a dental filling to resolve a cavity before it leads to tooth decay is a prime example. While we are on the topic, it is worth noting that your dental coverage can absorb some of the cost associated with major dental restoration procedures, such as root canals and crowns. According to Humana, a leading dental and health insurance provider, on average, a root canal can cost $500 to $1,500 without insurance. And a crown to cover the tooth that has received a root canal can be anywhere from $500 to $2,000. Individuals who use their insurance to help pay for these procedures could pay much less if they use their insurance before the coverage period ends. Most dental policies cover at least 50 percent of the cost for crowns and root canals.

When Does Dental Coverage Officially End?

While there are exceptions, most dental policies, much like health insurance policies, run from January 1st to December 31st for the year in which the policy was written. Essentially, you lose any benefits not used when the month of December comes to an end, meaning you are on your own should you need to see a dentist.

Bottom Line

All in all, if you have dental coverage that you pay for each month and you do not use it, you are essentially throwing money away and neglecting your oral health.  That said, if you haven’t done so already, consider scheduling a consultation with West Hollywood Dentist Dr. Bruce Vafa so that you can take full advantage of your dental coverage before year’s end.

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