Americans tend to avoid the dentist. More than 40% of Americans said they don’t see a dentist as often as they would like, according to a 2018 survey by the American Dental Association.
People have many reasons not to go, including fear, inconvenience, and difficulty finding a dentist who takes their insurance.
But the main reason Americans give for avoiding the dentist is cost, with nearly 60% of Americans saying cost was the main reason they haven’t seen the dentist in the past 12 months. Cost remained the main reason, regardless of age, income level or type of insurance.
Dental insurance can be confusing as it is viewed as a separate service from medical insurance, meaning it has different policies and procedures that many patients are unaware of.
From the lack of transparency about benefits to rules such as annual maximums – meaning that plans stop paying for treatment after reaching a certain amount for the year – some patients wonder if dental insurance is really worth the cost. worth investing.
“There’s this misnomer that you need dental insurance to go to the dentist, you really don’t,” said Dr. Mark Vitale, general dentist and owner of Edison Dental Arts at Edison, New Jersey. “Dental insurance is not the panacea most people think it is.”
But the industry landscape is changing as more traditional health insurance companies supplement their medical plans with dental benefits.
“Dental insurance is extremely cost effective for insurance companies, which is why many of the major carriers offer dental insurance,” Vitale said.
Watch the video above to learn what it actually costs to go to the dentist, if dental insurance is worth investing, and what patients and policymakers can do about it.