The end of the year is here, and that means you’re making lists and checking them twice. It’s a fun time. Christmas parties, New Year’s traditions, shopping, and spending time with family. It’s hard to focus on anything but enjoying this time of the year as the kids gear up to spend a few weeks at home and your schedule is jam-packed with fun. It’s a great time of year to say,
“I’ll worry about it after the start of the New Year,” when it comes to anything other than fun.
However, sometimes you have to focus on things you simply don’t want to focus on this time of year. One of those things is your dental insurance. You’ve been using it all year, and you have some benefits left to take advantage of. Those benefits don’t roll over, you need to use them or lose them. It’s a phrase you use with the kids all the time, and now you need to apply it to yourself and your good dental health. Remember, your dental health is directly related to your overall health. You don’t want to look back one day and think that you might have been able to avoid your heart problems or diabetes if you’d only taken better care of your oral health today.
Now is the time to take a few moments to look over your dental insurance and your benefits. You’ve been paying all year, and you’ve probably made an impressive dent in that deductible. Anything you need to do to your mouth should be done now to save money, time, and energy. Saving money is always important, so we want to help you take advantage of your dental benefits left over before the New Year takes them and everything is a little costlier. Here’s how you can make the most of your dental benefits before the year is over. Hurry, though, you’ve only got a few weeks.
Did you know the traditional dental insurance policy covers two cleanings per year? You did know that, and you probably also never consider how you schedule those appointments. Let’s say you always manage to make it our offices every six months. You’re doing your job, and you’re allowing us to do ours. However, what happens if you’re schedule is a little bit off? Perhaps you saw us in June, and then you decided to schedule your next six-month checkup at the beginning of January to make it to the six-month mark or to avoid a trip to the dentist during the most wonderful time of the year?
You’re not doing yourself any favors not coming in before the year is over. You’re losing a free visit to our office for a check-up. Sure, you’ll get another check-up in January, and another in the middle of the year, but that’s a free check-up you’re missing out on this year. You don’t get that back, and you’re definitely paying for it every month when you pay that premium. We want you to get the most for your money, and that’s an additional check-up. There’s not much we get free in life anymore, so you might as well take advantage of your perks when you can get them.
Bigger isn’t always better, but sometimes it is better. In this case, we’re talking about bigger issues you need resolved in your mouth. Did your dentist tell you it’s time for a root canal, a bridge, some crowns, perhaps some dentures? Those aren’t inexpensive procedures, and you want to take advantage of all the savings you can get before the end of the year. We know every time you come into our offices, you chip away a little bit toward your annual deductible. When you reach that deductible before the end of the year, any other treatments you need or want are going to cost you far less. This means you might be $200 away from reaching your annual deductible of $2,500.
Do you want to wait for that root canal or that bridge or that major dental work until January when you’re then going to pay $2,500 to reach your deductible before your dental insurance kicks in? Or do you want to pay $200 to meet your deductible now so your coverage takes care of the other work you need done?
We might only be dentists and not mathematicians, but we do know that paying $200 for something is a lot less than paying $2,500, and we want to pass those savings along to our patients. We don’t just want you to have a gorgeous smile, we want you to have more money in your pocket. It’s our Christmas gift to you.
Cleanings are good. Being clean is good. So why not schedule a cleaning before the end of the year and take advantage of those cleanings left over in your insurance policy before it does not roll over into the New Year? You probably need a good cleaning this time of year, too. Most people spend a lot of time eating a little more sugar and other unhealthy treats this time of year, and you probably have been since your kids went trick-or-treating on Halloween and brought home all that good stuff.
A cleaning is important for your teeth for more than one reason. For one, your oral health is directly related to your overall health. People who are diagnosed with oral health issues are
more likely to be diagnosed with more serious health issues later in life. People who develop gum disease are more likely to develop certain cancers, heart disease, and diabetes. You’re also more prone to stroke, heart attack, and high blood pressure. Cleanings help prevent those things.
When you get your teeth cleaned, your dentist is able to help you clean places you can’t reach, areas your brushes and floss can’t handle, and they can see what’s going on inside your mouth. If we notice something seems off, we can dig deeper to find out if there is a problem. If we catch oral health problems early, we have more success during the treatment process. This helps prevent you from developing gum disease or more serious health problems later in life. Regular cleanings this time of year are a good idea because it helps you get rid of all the bacteria build-up in your mouth. It’s also a good time for your dentist to remind you to lay off the sticky candy because it is so much worse for your teeth than anything else you might eat.
Your employer might offer an FSA (Flexible Spending Account) in which you offer pre-tax savings to use for your health. This is appealing because it saves you a lot of money on your taxes, and it helps you cover the cost of your medical treatments, prescriptions, and other needs. You can use the money in your FSA account for dental reasons, and you should use it for that. You should use it for anything health-related, really, because that money does not roll over into the new year. If you don’t use your FSA benefits during the calendar year, you lose that money.
Losing money isn’t something you want to do when it comes to your health. That’s something you save for the slot machines during your Vegas vacation. You must use your FSA contributions before the year is over or you lose them. Do yourself a favor and check with your FSA account to see what’s in there, how you can use it, and what you should do to spend it all before January 1. You can use it to pay for a dental visit, to meet your deductible, and even to pay for health-related purchases if your dentist recommends you pay for something more high-tech to care for your oral health.
At the end of the day, you pay for your dental insurance all year so that you can benefit from what your plan has to offer. It only makes sense you want to use what you’ve been paying for before you lose it. No one wants to pay for things they don’t use. To make this a little more relatable, imagine you spent $500 on a gift card to your favorite restaurant that’s good for one year. You have two weeks left to use it before the balance expires, and you’ve only used $250. Do you let the year pass and forget the $250 you have left to spend? It’s free money, so you’re not allowing it to go to waste. Your dental insurance might not seem so much like free money, but it is. It’s time for you to call us and schedule your next big oral health appointment now so we can help you spend all those benefits before you lose them.