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By Jill Hamilton on January 7, 2016 in Insurance

Dentist communicating

The holidays have come and gone and it is the start of a brand new year. Do you remember what plan you selected or changes in the plans your employer offers? It’s easy to forget about those changes to your dental plan when you made those decisions before the holiday. Thankfully, we’ve prepared a list of things to keep in mind while using your dental insurance to maximize your coverage this year!

Remember, getting a head start, organizing, and planning out how you will use your dental coverage will save you headaches (and potentially money) down the road.

Use this guide to plan how you’ll put your dental benefits and insurance to work in the new year.

Assess Your Oral Health Care

Let’s get back to basics. When was your last visit to the dentist? If it was more than a year ago, you’re overdue, so make sure to schedule an appointment with a dentist in your area. Dentists who participate in Delta Dental’s networks agree to charge discounted rates for their services – which saves you money. While you can choose to visit out-of-network dentists, they have not agreed to the Delta Dental discounts. You are only assured of receiving those from dentists in your plan’s network.

When you visit a dentist that has agree to be in-network with Delta Dental, you can save hundreds mo

Study Your Dental Coverage

Understanding the specifics of your dental plan is important because dental coverage can vary greatly from one plan to another. First, brush up on common dental insurance terms as well as the basics of how dental insurance works.  Not all dental plans will have a deductible, which is the total amount of money a member agrees to spend before the insurance provider begins to pay. But if yours does, you’ll want to know what it is. Additionally, your plan could have an annual maximum when using your dental insurance. If you meet your annual maximum in, say, August, you will have to pay for dental procedures until your plan year starts over. Review your benefits contract, a.k.a. your dental plan specifics, so you know what's covered. Click here to log into your account.

Make a Checklist of Needs

Make a list of preventive services you know you will need. You should visit the dentist two times a year for a cleaning and checkup, according to the American Dental Association. When you visit the dentist, they do so much more than clean your teeth. They assess for oral and overall health conditions including oral cancer and hypertension. Once you’ve identified a dentist you like, review any additional dental work like fillings or crowns, and pencil those in, too. 

Construct a Timeline.

After consulting your dentist, work with your dental team to develop a treatment schedule. If you are unsure if a procedure or treatment will be covered, your dentist can always pre-submit a claim for an estimation of benefit coverage. Delta Dental also provides a cost estimator tool that will help you know what something will cost before you even set foot in the dentist’s office! We’re here to help you maintain your healthy smile, so contact us if you have questions about using your dental insurance.

Keep Track of Dental Expenses. 

A lot can happen in a year! Keep track of any insurance use throughout the year by using your Delta Dental member connection account. This will keep your mind fresh when selecting the best plan for you come next open enrollment. Click here to log into your account.

Here's to a happy, healthy new year!

Looking for great dental coverage at an affordable price? Shop Delta Dental plans now to protect your smile.

*Updated 2020