Full Dental Coverage

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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Full dental coverage has rapidly become a thing of the past. Gone are the days when most individuals could visit their family doctors, receive cleanings, fillings, crowns, bridge work and expect the bill to be paid in full by an employer who was only too glad to do so in exchange for years and years of dutiful effort. The system that supplanted it is one that often inspires exasperation, anger, and confusion in equal measures.

These days, companies that assume a majority of your incurred dental expenses are considered generous ones. Those who provide their employees with a modicum of choice are considered doubly generous, as lower fees typically function hand in hand with other limitations. In the zero-sum game of dental health insurance, one of the three parties involved (i.e. the patient, the employer, and the insurer) must make concessions in order to keep the system humming along.

Does Full Dental Coverage Exist?

While full dental coverage is still an option, most people would rather spend their money guarding against catastrophic medical needs such as surgery and expensive hospital stays. The strategy thus becomes one of shoring up the greatest vulnerabilities first, then attending to the perceived "lesser" ones. Since it's rare for patients to die of tooth decay, it's more justifiable for them to skimp on their coverage and pay only for the most pressing needs.

If you're resistant to this way of thinking, your best bet is to take the best preventive care of your teeth, gums, and mouth as possible. Since the lion's share of dental work can be avoided by regular cleanings, proper brushing, flossing, and rinsing, it's possible to go an entire lifetime without paying more than a few nominal fees for x-rays and the occasional whitening treatment. Nevertheless, unforeseen emergencies do arise, in which case supplemental insurance or a reimbursement plan can help you close the gaps in your coverage.

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