Dental insurance, like medical insurance, can be tricky to understand, as each policy and each company is different. Ideally, dental insurance may save you money at each appointment, but at what cost over the long run? There are several downsides of dental insurance that people don’t consider. Here are some of those downsides.
It’s About Money, Not Optimal Care
Let’s be clear, the focus of dental insurance companies is to make money. It is not to provide you with the best dental care available, and help you preserve an optimal oral health for a lifetime. When you go to a dentist chosen by your insurance plan, you may be treated in a way that puts more focus on finances rather than what’s truly best for you and your oral health. Instead of thinking about the limitations provided by your insurance, your dentist should be assessing your overall oral health, function and esthetics, and creating a treatment plan that improves and maintains the health and appearance of your teeth for a lifetime. Rather than helping, dental insurance coverage can actually get in the way of getting optimal dental care.
Dental Insurance Companies Make Decisions About Your Health
Has your dental insurance company ever looked inside your mouth? Of course not. Yet they are in control of determining whether a procedure was necessary or not, and therefore covered or not. This is not the best way to go about dental care. You and your dentist should be working together to determine what’s best for your dental health, not the insurance company. Unfortunately, the reality is that many people who think they’re covered by their dental insurance may discover they’re not covered after the procedure and have to pay out of pocket, or they may skip needed treatment altogether because they don’t want to spend the money.
Overbooked and Overworked Dentists
The way that many dental insurance plans work is by partnering with dentists who agree to provide services to patients for less than their normal fees – sometimes 30-70% less, a significant cut. While this means a steady stream of patients, it also means these dentists might have to keep their books filled and cut on time and quality to make up the difference in lost revenue. It can be hard for patients to even book an appointment in the first place, and when they do, they will likely find that they don’t get the personalized attention and time they need to fully address their dental health.
Policy Waiting Periods
Sometimes people sign up for a dental insurance plan because they know they need work done only to discover that there’s a waiting period of several months or even a year. This means they either must delay their care or pay out of pocket, neither of which is an attractive option.
Dental Care at Our Practice
At Durán & Martínez, we do accept some types of insurance and also offer financing options so our patients can get the treatment they need in a way that fits their budget. We never want money to be a reason someone doesn’t address their oral health issues, and we’re happy to work with people to make sure that doesn’t happen. Our number one goal is to provide the best patient experience possible while also providing the best care for a healthy smile that lasts a lifetime. If you’re in the San Juan area, we hope you’ll come see us.