<img height="1" width="1" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=733017103557200&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

Dental insurance can help make sure you don’t brush off your oral health.

Major dental procedures explained

For some, visiting the dentist can be pretty scary... mostly out of fear of the cost 


But dental insurance can significantly help ease your woes — and save you big. How? Well, to start, your twice-yearly cleanings are at no additional cost. In other words, you can leave your wallet at home if you really want to. And second, the buildup of plaque and tartar will lead to tooth decay (read: cavities) if not routinely treated by a dentist. That means if a few years go by (once you finally muster up the courage to visit the dentist, that is)... you could wind up with a pretty expensive bill after a major dental procedure. 


If you’re curious to see our breakdown of minor dental care procedures, click here. Otherwise, we’ll jump right in to the major procedures and what to expect if you need one done — if, you know, it’s been a while since your last visit. 


What is considered a major dental procedure?  


Major dental procedures are services that are more extensive than your average cavity. They’re typically services that could have been addressed earlier and in a more affordable way, or services that require multiple stages to heal or complete. If you see the following procedures listed on your dental insurance benefits (or hear about them from your dentist), here’s what they mean:  


Denture and bridge repairs and relines: Dentures are removable prosthetic teeth that attach to the gums and can be removed. On the other hand, bridges can help if you have a missing tooth or teeth. They fill the gaps and restore your bite and smile. Sometimes (especially with dentures), they need to be repaired or relined. Repairs could be necessary if cracks begin to occur, while relines essentially mean a refitting — when dentures lose maximum suction, fit, and comfort. 


Extractions: Different from a simple extraction (read about them here), a surgical extraction is performed when the tooth is not accessible and impacted. It requires an incision and anesthesia (and depending on the need, sedation) so the tooth can be removed. This is common with wisdom teeth.  


Periodontic services: Periodontitis (or gum disease) is a serious gum infection that, if not treated, can lead to tooth loss. While periodontic maintenance is considered a minor dental service, procedures like scaling and root planing (or the cleaning of infected root surfaces), root surface debridement (or the removal of damaged tissues), and regenerative procedures (or the reversal of lost bone and tissue) take gum disease treatment to the next level.  


Prosthodontic services: This area of dentistry is all about replacing missing or damaged teeth with implants, dentures, and bridges. Think of these procedures like how you would think of a prosthetic arm or leg, but for your teeth. (After all, they are bones too!) Services can range from replacing one missing tooth to a full facial reconstruction.   


Crowns: These are tooth-shaped “caps” placed over your teeth and bonded by dental cement. Think of it like a snug hat for your tooth — that also restores the tooth’s shape, size, and strength. Crowns are necessary when a large cavity threatens the health of your tooth.  


TMD treatment: Short for Temporomandibular Disorder, TMDs are disorders of the jaw muscles and joints. Treatments to ease symptoms like jaw pain, difficulty chewing, and joint locking include orthopedic appliances or mouthguards, stretching and massage, or medicine.  


How much will dental insurance cover for your major procedures?  

Dental insurance plans follow a 100-80-50 coverage structure when you visit an in-network dentist. Preventive care, which includes your twice-yearly cleanings (and your x-rays and fluoride treatments that come with it) and brush biopsy, which screens for oral cancer, is 100% covered. Your minor dental care costs (for services like fillings and extractions) are 80% covered, and your major dental care costs are up to 50% covered. And considering the high cost of dental care, that’s huge. 


To get the most value out of your dental insurance plan, it’s important to make those twice-yearly visits a priority — so you can catch problems early before they become costly. Plus, there are a few other great benefits too:  


  • Your dental hygienist can remove stains (like from your morning coffee habit) that discolor your teeth. 

  • Your dentist can detect early stages of oral cancer, signs of broken fillings, and fractures. 

  • Do you grind your teeth? Experience jaw or neck pain? Your dentist will assess your bite alignment to see any changes and offer solutions to reduce any pain you’re having. 

  • Your dentist can detect signs of other health-related issues, like diabetes or vitamin deficiencies. 

  • Let’s be honest — that super-clean feeling is worth mentioning on this list. 



Why enroll in dental insurance? 


Enrolling in dental insurance can save you — and your wallet — from a surprise dental bill by covering some of the costs.  


That's right! Consider this: avoiding the dentist can actually wind up costing you more in the long run. If you’re not taking advantage of your dental plan’s twice-yearly cleaning benefit (that’s no out-of-pocket cost to you!), you might not be fully up to date on what’s going on with your oral health — even if nothing hurts.  


If that just made your smile turn upside down, don’t worry. You don’t have to wait for Open Enrollment to enroll in dental insurance! However, some plans might require a waiting period that can range from six months to a full year before any work (like some of the major procedures listed above) can be done. So if you’re thinking about holding out on dental insurance until that back molar starts bothering you — think again. 


While getting a crown or your wisdom teeth removed might not be an ideal way to spend a weekday, with dental insurance, saving 50-100% on the high cost of dental care is sure to make you find a smile. (Cuddles with your pet after oral surgery is known to help with recovery too, we hear.)  

Tags: Health, Care, Dental

What's Kasasa?

More than just an unusual word: Kasasa is a promise. That promise includes offering life solutions that suit every lifestyle to help you maximize your money. With our recent addition of Kasasa Care, we've partnered with industry leaders across the health, security, and protection industries to provide more convenience to your everyday life, while keeping your bottom line in mind.

We will continue to bring you new and exciting non-deposit based services to help you get the most out of your money. So keep checking back; we're just getting started!