Using Your Dental Benefits While Traveling

Man and woman smiling on train platform, not worried about using dental benefits while traveling.

As we begin to plan our summer vacations, it’s important to understand how we can use our dental benefits while traveling. A tooth emergency can happen any time. Thankfully, most Delta Dental plans work anywhere in the United States. Some plans even cover emergency care out of the country.

What is a dental emergency?

There are some dental concerns that can wait to be treated. However, others require immediate attention by a dentist. A dental emergency is when treatment is needed to save a tooth, stop bleeding or lessen severe pain.

Common dental emergencies may include a knocked out or missing permanent tooth, swelling in the mouth, bleeding that won’t stop or a painful toothache. An infection or abscess in the mouth could also need emergency care because they can be life-threatening if left untreated.

What does my plan cover?

Each Delta Dental plan offers a variety of coverage. Some plans cover dental emergencies in the U.S. Other plans will cover you anywhere in the world. The best way to review all your plan’s features is to log in to your online member portal. You can also review your specific plan offerings by reading your benefits booklet. 

While it’s important to know what is covered, it’s also good to know what isn’t. Dental coverage often doesn’t apply to emergency room or urgent care visits. These are usually covered by your medical plan instead. Prescription medicine for dental pain or infections also fall under medical benefits.

How do I find a dentist outside of Arizona?

If a tooth emergency occurs while you’re on vacation in another state, don’t sweat it! Most Delta Dental plans cover dental emergencies anywhere in the U.S. While you can visit any licensed dentist in an emergency, you will save the most money if you see a dentist who is in-network.

Delta Dental of Arizona is a member of Delta Dental Plans Association, which is nationwide! Your Delta Dental network extends across the country. More than 153,000 licensed dentists in the U.S. are part of Delta Dental’s network.* Use the find a dentist tool to search for a network dentist anywhere in the U.S.

If you visit an out-of-network dentist, you may have to pay up-front for services. Keep in mind that out-of-network fees are typically higher, so you may pay more for care than with an in-network dentist. You will also need to send your claim form to Delta Dental of Arizona for reimbursement.

What should I do if I can’t get to the dentist?

Dental disasters can happen any time. If you can’t get in to see the dentist right away, there are some steps you can take to lessen pain and keep the issue from getting worse. Check out these quick fixes for dental emergencies for tips on what to do until you can see the dentist. You can also create an emergency dental kit to keep handy in case of a dental emergency.

Alternatively, many Delta Dental of Arizona plans also include access to Delta Dental Virtual Visits delivered by Delta Dental Virtual Visits are a great solution if you have a dental emergency and do not have a regular dentist; need access to a dentist after hours and cannot get a hold of your dentist; or need to consult with a dentist while traveling.

*National network data from Delta Dental National Provider File (March 2023).

Editors Note: This post was originally published May 2019. The content was revised and updated June 2023.

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