If you’re very lucky, the dental plan that comes with your corporate insurance benefits actually covers most of your dental needs, but what if it doesn’t. You need supplemental dental insurance, and that’s what this week’s video discusses.
We don’t spend a lot of time talking about Dental Insurance here, and we probably should, because new studies have linked bad oral hygiene to everything from the potential for blood clots to early warnings of osteoporosis. If you have a health insurance plan through work, check to see if you also have dental insurance, and if you do – USE IT. If you don’t have dental coverage, you can usually get a cleaning and basic exam extremely inexpensively at a local dental school.
Either way, our video this week is all about oral hygiene.
Whether or not health insurance reform is ever actually passed, the reality is that there are some kinds of coverage that often fall through the cracks. Smaller businesses may offer health insurance, but not vision or dental coverage, and some communities don’t have a low cost dental insurance option. What do you do, then, if you have a dental emergency, or are trying to avoid one?
According to an article that ran in the New York Times last autumn, one solution may be to visit your local community college, college, or university – any one that has a dental school – because almost every dental school in the country offers affordable care provided by students, and supervised by experienced, qualified teachers. The quality of care is excellent, and the cost may be as little as a third of what your actual dentist would charge.
As an example, a young mother in Portland, Maine, took two children to a pediatric dentist for checkups. After receiving a bill for $375, she realized there had to be another choice. She ended up going to the University of New England’s dental college clinic, where the bill for her children’s next round of checkups totaled only $100.
Low prices aside, there are some downsides to going to a dental clinic.
- Time. A procedure that takes 45 minutes in a normal dentist’s office could take up to three hours at a college clinic.
- Scope of Care. Because the practioners are students, some states don’t allow them to actually diagnose problems, or treat anything that requires anesthetic. Instead, they’ll provide you with a report listing any “suspicious areas.”
Knowing that, are dental college clinics still worth it? If you typically have clean checkups, and merely want to be sure nothings wrong, or if you just want a cleaning, college clinics are an excellent option.