Looking for ways to keep your family healthy? Eating good food, exercising regularly and scheduling annual exams with the doctor are a good way to start. Buying dental insurance and using your dental benefits is another.
Twice annual dental visits keep both your teeth and body healthy. Studies tell us that people with dental benefits are more likely to go to the dentist, take their children to the dentist, receive restorative care and experience greater overall health. Why is this?
Dental insurance is important because:
- Preventive care is often covered, which saves you money: By seeing your dentist regularly, you can catch dental problems before they get too serious and require more extensive and expensive procedures.
- If you do need treatment, it will cost you less: When you receive a covered treatment from a network dentist, part (or all) of the cost is paid by the dental insurance carrier and any remaining cost is paid by the patient. Dentists who belong to dental carrier networks have agreed to discounted prices, so your out-of-pocket cost is less than if you didn’t have dental insurance.
In addition, when you use your dental benefits:
- You save time: The Surgeon General reports that 51 million school hours are missed each year because of dental-related illnesses. Among adults, more than 164 million work hours are lost each year because of dental problems. Treating problems before they become too painful or out of control will save hours of lost work and school time.
- Your overall health improves: Researchers continue to identify links between oral and overall health. The signs and symptoms of more than 120 medical conditions can first be detected by an oral exam of the mouth, throat and neck. Dental infections can lead to or complicate existing illnesses or conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and pregnancy.
If you’ve been skipping your biannual dental exams and have any of the following problems, call your dentist and make an appointment right away:
- You have tooth pain or you’re sensitive to hot and cold.
- Your gums are red, puffy and bleed when you brush your teeth.
- You have a bad taste in your mouth and your breath is consistently bad.
- Chewing and swallowing are difficult.
- You have sores or spots in your mouth that won’t go away.
- You have a chronic medical condition such as diabetes, HIV or cardiovascular disease.
For more information on the importance of dental benefits, check out this great article from Forbes Magazine: “Do You Need Dental Coverage?”