Working With Your Dental Provider - Ask These 4 Insurance Questions

Posted on: 19 June 2015

If you are going to the dentist, you may be wondering what your final bill will be and how that will affect the work done on your teeth. Take a look at these important questions that dentist offices can help answer when you are in the chair getting dental work done.

Maximum Caps

An annual or lifetime cap in dental insurance specifies the maximum amount that the insurance company will pay. After that, you're on your own.

It's important to understand whether a plan includes annual caps, because after the plan's cap is paid out, you're going to get hit with extremely high bills for care. Some maximums can be as low as $1500 per person or less, so take a look at your insurance policy before deciding on what dental services you're going to get done.


This is another one a lot of dental patients may not understand. The deductible has to be paid before the insurance company starts paying toward care. So if you're going to get a cleaning or a single cavity filled, and the price is a couple hundred dollars, if your deductible is $200, your insurance isn't going to pay anything. This can cause a lot of agitating questions about why insured patients are paying high rates for minor care, but a quick look at policy documents will help sort this out.

Silver Versus White

For tooth fillings, you have a choice of silver amalgam versus white porcelain. However, silver fillings are unsightly, and there are questions about whether some of that material is really good for you if it ends up getting swallowed. So a lot of dental providers have moved to only using white porcelain. The issue is that depending on the plan, the insurers may not cover white porcelain. Figure out whether you are insurance company covers the types of fillings that you'll need.

Expensive Care

Another big aspect of dental bills involves whether an insurance company will cover the cost of root canals and crowns, bridges, or other major care. Many policies cover fillings but they don't cover the crowns that patients need on a root canal. This is another thing that has to be carefully looked at prior to selecting dental care options.

Presentation of Insurance Coverage

Every dental practice works differently. Some will make a big show of offering you insurance information and cost information before you get work done. Others will not. Some dental providers still print out receipts on an adding machine. Take time to get knowledgeable about your insurance coverage before you visit the dentist. For more information on dentists in your area, contact a professional like Kenneth G Edwards.


About Marcel and the Dentist

Hi, my name is Marcel. Welcome to my site! I started it to help others learn about children's dentistry. Most of us don't remember dentist trips from our early childhood. Maybe we didn't even really care about our teeth until we started losing baby teeth. In my case, I became interested in children's dentistry as a young father. When my kids were young, I was a student, and our insurance did not cover visits to the dentist. Although my wife and I tried to teach our kids good hygiene on our own, it was difficult. When we we finally able to take them to the dentist, my little girls were scared and didn't know what was going on. Luckily, they appreciate the dentist now that they are older, but their first experiences helped teach me more about the importance of children's dentistry. Hopefully you can learn from my experiences!