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Make the Most of Your Dental Plan

According to the Delta Dental of Illinois Oral Health and Well-Being Survey, Illinois adults with dental coverage are 31 percent more likely to visit the dentist at least once a year. In addition, Illinois adults who visit the dentist at least once a year are nearly twice as likely to report above average oral health. And, Illinois adults who report their oral health is above average are more than twice as likely to report their overall well-being as excellent or very good.1 

Delta Dental of Illinois provides plans to both groups as well as Illinois residents without access to a group-based dental insurance plan.  Our plans focus on preventive care and offer comprehensive coverage options, the freedom for members to select the dentist of their choice (the most out-of-pocket savings will be realized by using a Delta Dental PPOSM dentist) and affordable rates.

Whether you receive dental coverage through your employer, or a group, or purchased a plan on your own, here are a few things to help you save money and get the most out of your dental benefits.

Use a Network Dentist

With your dental benefit program, you are free to go to any licensed dentist. However, you will save the most money by visiting a dentist in the Delta Dental PPO network. Here’s why. 

Delta Dental PPO network dentists agree to accept Delta Dental’s established fees as payment in full, which means they can’t bill you for the difference between what they would usually charge and the Delta Dental PPO established fee. On average, the Delta Dental PPO established fees are 30 percent less than a dentist’s usual fee. You will also save more money with a Delta Dental Premier® network dentist compared to a non-network dentist. See why you should use a network dentist and where to find one.

Get a Pre-Estimate for Services Over $200

If your dentist recommends a procedure that will cost more than $200, ask him or her to submit a pre-treatment estimate, also called a pre-determination or pre-authorization, to Delta Dental of Illinois. Although not required, a pre-treatment estimate can give you an idea of how much will be covered under your benefit program and how much you will be required to pay for the service.

Pre-treatment estimates can help you budget for dental procedures. They can also help you and your dentist decide how to proceed with a treatment. Your dentist may be able to suggest alternate treatments and procedures based on what your plan will and won’t cover. Pre-treatment estimates are especially useful for more costly procedures such as crowns, wisdom tooth extractions, bridges, dentures and oral surgery. Download our flyer for more information on pre-estimate or pre-determination.

Use our Cost Estimator to Help You Plan

Our Dental Care Cost Estimator helps you prepare for costs associated with a particular dental procedure. Dental care cost estimates depend on location and if the dentist participates in our network. The Dental Care Cost Estimator is available on our mobile app.

Seek Regular Preventive Care

Most dental plans cover all or most of the cost for preventive care, including cleanings and exams.At a routine dental checkup, your dentist can diagnose and treat dental disease early on, saving you from more costly dental procedures down the road. In addition, this care can help prevent poor oral health that can affect the way you eat, smile and talk.

By regularly using your dental benefits you can improve both your oral and overall health. Preventive checkups not only help your dentist identify and intervene early to prevent serious dental issues, but more than 120 diseases have symptoms that can also be detected early during a routine exam, such as diabetes, heart disease and oral cancer.

Assess Your Risk

Delta Dental of Illinois offers an online risk assessment tool that gives you an easy to understand oral health score report that you can share with your dentist.

Take just a few minutes to answer some simple questions online and you will receive a report that estimates your risk of tooth decay, gum disease and oral cancer. After completing your assessment, print out your report to bring to your next dental appointment. Share your results with your dentist and, if needed, he or she can help you create a treatment plan focused on improving your oral health and upping your score.

Assess your risk and discover your oral health score today.

Read Your Policy/Certificate of Coverage/Dental Benefit Booklet

Reading and understanding your policy can help with planning. Plans can differ by employer, and different policies cover different procedures. Make sure you know:

  • Which procedures are covered
  • What your plan will help pay for
  • What your copayment and deductible amounts are
  • Whether there are waiting periods on particular services
  • Which preventive treatments are covered at no additional cost to you

The more informed you are about your policy and what it covers and what your portion may be, the better you’ll be able to plan.

1 Delta Dental of Illinois, “Oral Health and Well-Being Survey,” 2017