The Added Benefits of Dental Plans

Posted on August 18, 2015 in Dental benefit information

If you have dental benefits, you may already visit your dentist regularly for cleanings and exams. Most dental plans cover these specific preventive services at 100 percent, meaning no out-of-pocket cost for you. But those basic services are just the beginning of how a dental plan can benefit you over the course of your lifetime.

The benefits start at a young age – children should have their first dental visit by age 1, so dentists can identify any issues with baby teeth and educate parents on proper baby dental care. Healthy baby teeth usually lead to healthy permanent teeth, so getting off on the right foot is an important step on the road to good oral health.

Older children and adults can benefit from fluoride and sealants, two treatments that can help prevent cavities before they develop or become more severe – and more costly. In fact, preventive dental treatments are 10 times less expensive than a trip to the emergency room for an unexpected problem.1

Dental benefits can help prevent health issues beyond just your oral health, too. More than 120 diseases – including heart disease and diabetes – have symptoms that can be first seen in the mouth.2 A dentist can help detect many of those diseases during a routine exam, and then refer patients to a physician for additional care.

From making sure first smiles are healthy to helping with early detection of serious diseases, dental benefits are an investment in your oral health and your overall health.

1 Pettinato E, Webb M, Seale NS, A comparison of Medicaid reimbursement for non-definitive pediatric dental treatment in the emergency room versus periodic preventive care, Pediatric Dentistry, 2000: 22(6), pp. 463-468.
2 Steven L. Bricker, Robert P. Langlais, and Craig S. Miller, Oral Diagnosis, Oral Medicine and Treatment Planning (Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger, 1994).