What Can My Dental Insurance Cover? And Other Dentistry Questions

Root canal dentist

Did you know that only about 50% of people brush their teeth twice a day, even though this is the recommended frequency? Women are more likely than men to brush their teeth each day.

It might feel like an unnecessary step, especially when you’re busy getting ready in the morning, but it’s an important one when it comes to preventing decay and preserving the lifetime health of your teeth and gums. It’s worth noting that about 50% of adults have gingivitis, and by the time people reach the ages of 65-74, about 25% will have lost all their natural teeth.

If you’ve been putting off your annual or bi-annual dentist appointment, now is the time to give them a call and book yourself a date with the examination chair. If it’s been a while since you’ve visited the general dentist, you might have some questions about typical procedures and standard practices. Here are a few facts you might want to know.

What can my dental insurance cover?

Dental insurance plans are typically categorized as PPO or HMO plans. Dental insurance has limits, so don’t treat it like a free credit card for teeth services. Most insurance policies will cover 80-100% of services such as x-rays, cleanings and dental sealants. Major treatments like dentures or crowns might only be 50% covered. Most plans have yearly maximum spending rates, and plans will not usually cover purely cosmetic procedures.

Do I need to be undergoing surgery in order to get sedation?

Nope! As it turns out, an estimated 20% of Americans experience enough anxiety about the dentist that they’ll avoid it as much as possible. For this reason, many offices offer the option of sedation dentistry. Sedatives can help dull sensation without causing you to lose awareness. They will help you stay comfortable during the visit, and minimize your memory of the treatment. There are many family dentists offering this service to adult patients.

If I have infected root canals, how long can I wait before seeing a general dentist?

For people without insurance, it can be tempting to continually leave off treatment. A cavity can, over time, develop into a larger problem that requires root canal treatment, in which the pulp of the tooth is removed. At this point your tooth might be considered a dental abscess, or a serious infection. If treatment is ignored, the infection can spread to other parts of your body and lead to serious illness or even death. An abscess can be misleading because at some point, the pain will go away. This doesn’t mean the infection is gone: it means it’s progressed far enough that your nerve died.

What do you need to see a general dentist for? Let us know in the comments. Links like this.

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