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The Red Tape of Dental Insurance

Do you really need dental insurance? Maybe not. If you have healthy teeth, you might also have a healthier budget by declining dental coverage.

Phil Villarreal| Modified date: March 27, 2019

Workplace benefits are not all created alike. Some, such as health insurance and life insurance, are lifesavers.

And then there’s the sweet, retention-aiding trifles that are stock options and 401(k) matching, which help you use the company’s resources to build your wealth. Vision insurance, while it may not be useful to everyone, helps you see clearly.

And then there’s dental insurance, which serves no discernible purpose other than to line the pockets of insurance companies.

While tempting to get because it’s so seemingly cheap and useful, with access to two free cleanings a year, dental insurance is bad news for almost all customers, especially those with good teeth who don’t need much maintenance.

Here are five reasons to opt-out of the least beneficial of benefits:

You won’t use it

If you only visit the dentist twice a year and every now and then to have the odd cavity filled, you are probably spending more on dental insurance than you would be if you just paid out-of-pocket for all your needs.

While dental insurance premiums are easy to deal with because they don’t take much of a bite out of your paychecks, the biweekly deductions add up over time, snowballing into a hefty chunk of change you could put to a better purpose.

Cheap cleaning options are available

Like medical doctors, dentists offer higher rates to patients with insurance, and discounts for those who are paying out-of-pocket.

A quick online search can yield reputable dentists who will clean your teeth for a fraction of what you’ll pay in dental premiums throughout the year, allowing you to clean your teeth for even cheaper than so-called “free” cleanings that insurance will cover. Besides, cleanings are the discount oil changes of the dental industry — ways for upsale-minded vendors to get under your hood and get you to commit to unnecessary repairs. Which leads us to the next category:

Insurance tempts dentists to get you to have more work done

Just as with your car, there is plenty wrong with your mouth, at least as far as the trained professional eye is capable of spotting. But the line between problems that need prompt fixing and niggling issues that can go by unaddressed is a thick and blurry one.

When you’ve got insurance, unscrupulous dentists can go in for the kill, scaring you into fixing a laundry list of problems with your teeth that may not be all that important to handle. Ignorance, in the case of the cesspool of problems that is the human mouth, can be bliss.

Dental exams mean unnecessary exposure to radiation

While X-ray radiation may not put you at risk of cancer or allow you to benefit from any X-Men-like mutations, there’s a reason they protect your chest with a heavy lead smock every time they wheel out the cameras.

The aim of the dentist is to spot cavities or cracks in your teeth in order to fill them before they become painful problems. That’s fine for those who have the time and money to be proactive about micromanagement-style dental care, but for those who just want to keep things in working order and avoid debilitating pain, there is no need for annual blasts from creepy machines they keep in the back office.

You’ve had your wisdom teeth out already

Sometimes dental insurance will pay for itself by knocking 20 percent or more off the $800-$1,000 cost of having your wisdom teeth extracted. Those who plan to have their wisdom teeth removed who are sure their dental plan will handle the procedure should stick with insurance until the year after they do the deed.

But for those who have had those hard-to-reach teeth pulled, insurance makes less sense — especially if no root canals or other high-cost dental maneuvers are in their foreseeable futures. If your wisdom teeth are impacted, meaning they truly need to come out for the sake of your health, your health insurance will usually cover the procedure.

So where’s the wisdom in paying a dental insurer to do something your health coverage will already handle?

 

Source Article MoneyUnder30.com