A Guide to Dental Insurance

The dental landscape has changed in recent years. With a growing demand to provide a wider array of services to a growing number of people, the NHS is under increasing pressure. As a result it has struggled to maintain some aspects of its services and private companies have moved in to fill the gap in the market.

The emergence of private dental companies has meant additional costs for dental treatment. Whereas in the past, the vast majority of people in the UK could be treated by an NHS dentist, now there is a shortage of NHS provision. Many more people are therefore either having to stump up extra for their dental treatment – or they are having to miss appointments due to the cost.

Obviously, missing dental appointments is something to be advised against. Not only is it detrimental to the health of your teeth, it is also self-defeating. The longer you go without visiting your dentist, the more likely you are to suffer dental problems. Without preventative care and attention, these problems are more likely to go unnoticed and become more serious. The more serious they become, the more expensive they become. So the money saved on skipping that initial appointment often proves costly in the long run.

Increasingly, therefore, dental patients are caught in a Catch-22 situation. The cost of care is becoming less affordable. Yet this care is something that they cannot afford to do without.

The solution for these people could be a dental insurance plan. Dental insurance gives you and your family peace of mind against future dental costs. Depending on the type of plan you take out, it can cover you for everything from routine check-ups to major orthodontic work.

So if you are interested in a dental insurance plan, what should you be looking for? Well, it is important firstly to consider all your options and think about exactly what you want to be covered for. Now, there are lots of different types of organisations that provide dental insurance. You can buy insurance from a supermarket, for example – it’s a simple, no-frills plan that covers you for the basics. Alternatively, you could choose something more complex and with a higher premium – but maybe that brings added peace of mind.

One thing to watch out for is the small print – with insurance policies, it is always the small print, isn’t it? So when you take out a dental insurance policy, always make sure that you know exactly what you are covered for before you sign on the dotted line. The last thing you want to do is be in urgent need of dental treatment and find out that you have to foot most of the cost yourself.

In the majority of dental insurance schemes, you will only be covered for a percentage of the treatment. For example, some schemes may cover you for 60% of the cost of treatment. So if your treatment costs £100 then you will have to pay £40 of that yourself. The contributions vary depending on the scheme, so make sure you know what proportion of treatment is covered so that you can identify the best deal.

Some types of policies will also place restrictions on which dentists you can receive treatment from. If you require certain types of treatment, these policies will require you to receive that treatment from a certain pool of dentists who are pre-approved by the insurer. This can help to keep the costs of the policy competitive. It may prove inconvenient however if you ever actually require treatment, so it is worth checking in advance how many approved dentists are on the list and where they are located.

Finally, many people see insurance plans as protection against something that they hope will never happen. A dental insurance plan should not be like that; simply a safety net in case the worst-case scenario hits you. With the right dental plan, you can receive financial support in every aspect of you and your family’s everyday dental needs, at an affordable cost. Therefore, once you have chosen your insurance plan, make the most of the benefits it brings. It should encourage you to get the level of treatment and care that you may not otherwise be able to afford.