Is dental insurance worth the expense?

Dental insurance is worth it, because it's there when you need restorative dental work in Gainesville.

Dental work can be expensive, sometimes prohibitively so — and it’s times like these when it can be beneficial to possess a dental insurance plan. Whether offered by your employer or purchased privately it’s important to choose a plan that works for your own specific dental wellness needs.

In order to do so:

First you’ll need a basic understanding of how dental insurance works.

The process is simpler when employer-offered Group Dental Insurance plans are available; opt in, or opt out. But when this isn’t the case and you’re trying to decide if private dental insurance is right for you, your choice to purchase a plan, or not is dependent upon one of a few conditions:

  • There’s a dentist you like (ahem, Gainesville Dental Associates), and this dentist you like participates within the insurance company’s network — that makes it easy; you’ll simply choose a straightforward plan and continue with your treatment plan as needed.
  • You aren’t yet committed to a dentist — great! Gainesville Dental Associates is in-network, and again that makes it easy; choose a plan, and proceed with dental care.
  • The third condition is this, and here it gets more complicated. Your existing dentist is out of network. Sure, you could purchase an insurance plan and keep seeing your dentist, but you’ll probably end up paying more. (Or you could revert to condition 2 and choose a new general dentist in Gainesville.)

And then there’s the consideration of premiums. Depending on the plan’s offerings and the provider’s rates, dental insurance premiums can cost as much as $50 a month, or $600 a year.

Is the cost of dental insurance really worth it?

The cost of a regular year of the same ol cleanings and checkups is relatively low, and so it seems like spending $600 a year on insurance you don’t really have a use for seems unnecessary. And maybe that’s true most years. But then what happens when a particular run of bad luck? All of a sudden you need a root canal, and an extraction, and a bone graft too.

“Well I can just buy dental insurance when I need it then.” Right? Well, no. There’s usually a waiting or probationary period before your policy will become active, and you’ll receive no benefit until after. Like car insurance, dental insurance is a plan to purchase that you hope hope hope you’ll never have to use; dental insurance makes the high cost of major dental work a little easier to swallow by being there when you need it.