dentist appointment

Can I still buy Dental Insurance? Annual Open Enrollment Is Closed!

Yes, you can still buy Dental Insurance!

That is one of the insurance policies you are allowed to purchase anytime during the year, whereas health insurance can only be bought during open enrollment.

Usually, if the dental plan bought by the 15th of the month, if will take effect the 1st day of the following month.  Having a dental insurance plan for adults is very important to avoid the high costs that many complications with teeth can cause.

Many people underestimate the significance of dental health and this is why they don’t consider dental coverage as a priority when buying regular health insurance plans.

Why You Should Buy Dental Insurance-

In-Network Dentist And Oral Specialists

With a dental insurance coverage, you get the chance to see a board certified general dentist for your annual check-up as well as oral specialists in case you have a more complicated problem.

All these services are available in your local area.  Many plans do offer a network that allows you to access dentists nationally in case you decide to travel out of town and you require emergency dental services.


With dental insurance, you get to access a wide variety of dental procedures at a contracted price or reduced cost. The prices have been negotiated by each insurance company to give their policyholders a better price.

Generally, the prices that dentist charge are not regulated, so each dentist can charge whatever they want.  If you have ever shopped a tooth problem around town, you will have seen the fluctuations in the prices for the same procedure.

By having dental insurance, the dentist can no longer just charge whatever they want.  The rates have been negotiated by the insurance company at a fixed price. So you may think paying cash gets you a better deal, well not necessarily so.

Services Offered.

The insurance coverage includes Preventative Services for the cleaning, x-rays, and oral exams. Then the Basic dental services include amalgam restoration, intraoral and emergency services.

There is also an option for Major services that include extraction, root canals, the placing of crowns, complete dentures, and other major dental procedures.

All these services are available to you at reduced prices once you have a dental insurance plan.

Waiting Period.

The waiting period before accessing the dental services will vary by insurance company. The waiting period for major services is usually 6 months for adults, but not for children under 19 years old.

For the  basic 6 month cleaning and checkup there is no waiting period, so you can start getting your teeth cleaned, bitewing x-rays, and physician’s exam done right away. However, there is a waiting period of six months for other services like the basics (e.g. a filling)  as well as the major dental services.

Deductibles/Annual Limit.

There is no deductible applicable if you want to get your teeth cleaning done. However, there is a deductible of $50 on most plans, if you are planning to access basic and major dental services.

The annual limit that the insurance company pays out is usually $1,000 of the already reduced contract prices.  The portion that the patient pays is not counted towards the $1,000 in services.

Which is a pretty large amount to cover all the dental needs that you may have within a calendar year. Then the next year the $1000 starts over again.

Free dental cleaning.

tooth brush and floss

With dental insurance, you have access to free teeth cleanings every 6 months. You pay nothing for both cleanings, so when you add up your monthly premium the 2 free teeth cleanings savings will cover that cost. Then you save on all the contracted rates on top of that, plus an extra $10,00.


Claims and referrals.

You no longer have to complete claim forms in case you are choosing a participating “in-network” dentist. Filling out claim forms is a hassle that many people want to avoid if possible.

Another good thing about dental insurance is you no longer have to get referrals or authorizations in case you need to visit a specialist.

All the “in-network” dentists are available and this means that you don’t have to get referrals and authorization to consult a specific specialist, however, your dentist is allowed to refer you or make a recommendation.  Sometimes it is a good decision to request a pre-authorization to see what the actual costs will be.

There are many individual dental plans on the market.   To make your best choice, don’t just look at the monthly premium, but start by searching a dental companies’ network, to see how many dentists and specialists are actually available to you.

For instance, if there are only 2 dentists listed in your hometown, then you have very little choice.  You may want more options.

Compare these benefits & prices and find the one that best fits you.

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