It is surprising how many people in the general public have total misconceptions regarding dental insurance and dental care in general. Some of these misconceptions include:

  • I am self-employed and have no dental insurance; therefore I don’t go to the dentist unless I have a problem.
  • I can only do what my insurance plan covers. If it is not covered, I must not need it      
  • I would never spend a lot of money on my teeth. I’ll just get them all pulled so I’ll quit having dental problems.
  • My husband’s /wife’s company just changed insurance plans. I must find a new dentist because Dr. X is not on the plan’s list of providers.

Hopefully, the questions and answers below will help to clear up the above listed misconceptions.

Pertinent Answers Regarding Dental Insurance

Q: Our Company just changed benefit plans. I really like my dentist. Does this mean I must change to one of the dentists on the provider lists?

A: In most cases, the patients have choices of WHO provides their care. The only thing that changes for these patients is the way in which their accounts are paid. The practices most often still file the claim forms as a courtesy. Using electronic claims gives a faster turnaround of the funds directly to the patients or the office. The patient is then only responsible for the portion their insurance company does not pay. In some treatments, there is a difference in co-payments paid by the patients. This amount varies by policy. In our office, we will gladly contact the insurance company for the patient and relay the benefit details so that each patient can make an informed decision.

Q: I’m self-employed and do not have dental insurance; therefore I don’t go to the dentist unless I have a problem. Isn’t this the norm for most people who don’t have dental insurance?
A: This misconception by patients is one of the biggest problems dental practices face. Dental insurance is an appeasement benefit, which in most cases is minimal. The annual maximum allowable benefit has not changed on most plans in over 30 years. Fees then were a third of what they are today. Oftentimes, the premiums paid by the patient or their employer cost more annually than their total benefit. If we didn’t have food insurance would we still eat? The answer to that is simple. Good dental health is as important as fueling one’s body, yet many people use being nondental-insured as their excuse to neglect their teeth. Preventive dentistry is not expensive, neglect is!

Q: I cannot/should not have anything done to my teeth that is not covered by my insurance plan, right?

A: Many patients use dental insurance as their crutch. They have the misconception that if it is not covered on their plan, it must not be a necessary treatment, or it is out of reach financially. Following the advice of a benefit plan company that is in business to save money by restricting care is an unwise decision. Listening to your dentist and dental health care team who are in business to save your natural teeth for a lifetime is a much wiser choice.

Q: Why doesn’t my insurance cover this?

A: Dental insurance is meant to be a partial reimbursement for basic preventive and basic restorative care.

Ninety-five percent of all adults need more than basic dentistry. Taking care of small dental problems before they develop into major dental emergencies is a goal every patient should have. Having a dentist who performs a comprehensive oral health examination and one who presents a complete treatment plan that will restore the mouth to an optimal level is key, regardless of who pays for the service. Unfortunately, the same people who complain about the fees involved in total dental care are often the same people who think nothing of buying big screen TVs, eating out several times per week, getting a new car or truck every other year and taking expensive vacations. Smart consumers know that you get what you pay for, and having your priorities in the right order includes making the choice to have a clean, healthy and attractive smile. Your health depends on it.

Your dentist is your partner in your oral health. If you have any questions or concerns, please give our office a call and we will be glad to help.

Your friends at

Brunner Family Dental



Source: adapted from an article by Linda L. Miles