Time to use it

The end of 2017 is quickly approaching, and while it’s natural to look ahead into the new year, it’s also important to make the most of the current one. As it relates to your dental care, this means ensuring you’re not forfeiting free care by forgetting to take advantage of the preventative care included with your dental insurance.

“A lot of people just don’t know they have it,” says Dr. Rashmi Bhatnagar of BellaVista Dental Care in Ahwatukee. “What they should know is if they don’t use their insurance, they’ll lose free care. Some people might even be having money taken out of their paycheck for this, and so now they’re paying for something they’re not even using.”

Typically, most insurance companies allot two cleanings and two x-rays annually, covering them at 100 percent. Fillings are generally covered at about 80 percent, while major work like crowns and bridges are typically covered at around 50 percent.

Bhatnagar says using your insurance for preventative care coverage is all the more important since it helps reveal potential problems early on.

“It’s a great benefit because ultimately, it’s very likely if you catch things early on you won’t need anything more than a filling,” she says. “If you wait, the cost just goes up with the treatment to try and save the tooth. If you’re going in for regular cleanings, your dentist will be able to remove plaque and calculous, which is a hardened material around the tooth. This in turn will help prevent decay and gum disease.”

The American Dental Association recommends two cleanings per year and one x-ray per year.. It’s important to check with your insurance provider for the details of your coverage as well as to ensure you’re using an in-network dental care provider.

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