I get this question all the time at my office WinningSmiles in Fontana, California: Doc, my employer doesn’t offer dental insurance….should I go out and buy a plan?
Should I buy dental insurance?
The short answer is “No”. The long answer is: “HELL NO!”.
Things to consider
An important thing to consider is that dental insurance is not similar to medical insurance at all. The majority of dental insurance plans are designed with the purpose of only covering basic dental care and is not intended to provide comprehensive coverage like that of medical insurance.
Remember, like any other business, dental insurance companies are out to make a profit. Does it make sense for them to pay out more money in benefits than they take in with premiums? They end up collecting much more in premiums than they pay out in benefits. In order to make things work in their favor, dental insurance companies place waiting periods of 3 months to a year on certain procedures. For example, if you need a crown on a given tooth, the plan may make you wait an entire year before paying a benefit. In the meantime, decay may progress to the point where you need a root canal; and the cost of the procedure may double. In addition, insurance companies will put yearly maximums of $1,000 to $1,500 on your dental benefits and limit your choice of dentists and procedures.
My recommendation is to find a dental office that you like and trust and work out financial arrangements with that office directly, thereby eliminating the “middle-man” (dental insurance). Most dental offices offer financing that is affordable and allow patients to make small monthly payments.