5 Ways to Use Your Dental Benefits Before the End of the Year

Gentle Dental

Now that fall is here, it’s important to take advantage of your remaining dental benefits before they expire. Here’s why you should talk to your dentist about maximizing your dental coverage.

Make the Most of Your Dental Plan

Many dental insurance plans include yearly caps that limit your dental benefits. Once you reach this cap, you are responsible for any additional charges for dental visits. On the other hand, if you still have benefits remaining, it is a great idea to be looking for ways to use your coverage before the plan resets (usually on January 1st each year) as most plans won’t let you roll over any unused coverage to the next year. 

How to Maximize Your Dental Benefits

Your dental office can help you determine the amount remaining of your annual maximum and then work with you to schedule any remaining treatment and/or preventative services to be completed before the end of your benefit year. 

If your treatment plan exceeds the remaining amount of your annual maximum, your dental team can work with you to complete the treatment in phases and possibly delay some until the following benefit year, if appropriate.

Ways to fully maximize your dental benefits: 

  1. Visit your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings.
  2. Schedule any recommended treatment before your annual cap resets.
  3. Ask your dentist if you could benefit from any preventative treatments covered by your insurance.
  4. Split up expensive treatments that are typically completed over more than one visit (e.g. root canals followed by crowns, implants) to leverage insurance benefits from two calendar years.

How Splitting up Dental Treatment Visits Can Maximize Your Benefits

As the year comes to an end, you might be able to maximize your coverage by splitting up certain treatments. For non-preventative treatments, patients often incur higher out-of-pocket costs. Because some of these treatments require multiple appointments, however, you may be able to tap your benefits for two separate calendar years. You can do this by scheduling the first part of the treatment in December and the second part in January. Obviously, this will only work if you can wait a couple of weeks between treatments without risking complications.

This could also work for patients that have an extensive treatment plan, where part of the treatment can be completed in the remainder of the current year, with the rest of the treatment completed in January of the next year.

Talk to your dentist about the possibility of splitting up a dental treatment so you can leverage your annual benefits after they reset on January 1. While this may not be possible with every treatment plan; if your dentist approves, it could save you a substantial amount of money.

Since insurance coverage can vary based on whether a treatment is elective, restorative or preventative, always call your insurance provider and ask questions to better understand your dental insurance plan. You can then take this information to your dentist and discuss the best ways to maximize your insurance coverage to preserve your dental health.

At Gentle Dental, we are here to take care of your dental health while also trying to help you maximize your benefits. Please call us to schedule an appointment or with any questions.