Health Insurance: Is Dental Insurance Absolutely Necessary?

How Much Risk Are You Comfortable With Taking?

Female dentist with male patient
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Dental insurance is one aspect of overall insurance coverage. While some people have a lot of dental work done, others rarely need a dental visit at all. A common question from those individuals who do not frequent the dentist's office, and have not had major dental issues, is if dental insurance is absolutely necessary.

Question: I have never even had a cavity, let alone any type of major dental work.

Do I still need dental insurance?

When looking to cut costs, dental insurance may be an area that you consider nixing from your overall budget, or never even opting for in the first place, especially if you have no history of needing major dental work. However, the pros and cons of having dental coverage is something you may want to strongly consider before making any sort of quick decision. Dental insurance may prove worthwhile down the road.

Answer:

The answer to whether or not you need dental insurance really depends on how much risk you are comfortable with taking.

Whether you purchase your own insurance, or you sign up for insurance through your employer during open enrollment, cost is more than likely on your mind.

Though you may have not incurred many dental expenses in the past, those who have never had a cavity before may not realize how much dental care costs if the unexpected happens.

For example, a crown can cost anywhere from $500 to $3,000 per tooth, depending on what materials are used and how complex your particular case may be.

Even if you are diligent about oral hygiene, you never know when an accident might happen. For example, I once damaged a tooth during a high school gym class and needed a root canal and apical surgery to fix it.

This had nothing to do with my oral hygiene habits, and everything to do with the lacrosse ball that hit me in the face. Accidents happen, and we can't prevent all of them. As the old saying goes: Better safe than sorry.

Most dental insurance plans provide coverage for routine check-ups, as well as more extensive work, such as fillings and crowns. In many cases, this coverage is available at a reasonable premium for those who sign up through their employer. Similar dental insurance policies are also available for individual purchase if your job does not offer such health coverage.

Before rejecting dental coverage, I recommend that you consider whether you would be comfortable paying hundreds or even potentially thousands of dollars on dental care should you finally get a cavity, or have an unfortunate accident that damages your teeth. Dental insurance could help provide you with the peace of mind you need to feel financially secure.

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