Dental expenses can be huge, and we don’t think about them as much. 42% of people don’t have any dental insurance at all. Those twice a year cleanings can be quite manageable; it’s not that expensive. But when you get into cavities and crowns and veneers, they can be very expensive and very difficult to manage. I can tell you from personal experience that dental costs rise with age. You start to have all kinds of problems with your teeth, and they’re expensive problems.
25% pf people over 65 don’t have any teeth at all. So now we’re talking prosthetics and having to do all of those things. It can be very, very expensive.
Dental insurance can be a misnomer, I think. What we find is there are very low deductibles, very limited on your coverage. Usually, it’s just for the cleanings—those twice a year cleanings. In fact, the insurance companies count on us not going for our twice a year checkups so that they make money off of us. Basically, dental insurance is just like prepaid dental plans, because you just get back the benefit cost. That’s all you’re going to get. They barely cover those benefits.
What you need to do is, you need to think about if your employer is covering that insurance, then great. You need to make sure you use it twice a year. But if it’s an optional plan, I would think twice. In fact, there are some other options.
You might want to look at an actual dental plan. There are membership plans out there, and you pay a membership you. You can find out if your dentist participates and compare plans. You can go to www.brighter.com (that is an actual plan). I plugged in my ZIP code, and I found dentists in my area who participate in that. You can go to www.dentalplans.com, and that’s a site that allows you to search many different types of plans to see what fits you. What you’re going to find is a savings in the range of 20-50% on those participating dentists. That really is a better deal than paying for that dental insurance out of pocket yourself.