Emergency Dental and Orthodontics

How much dental insurance coverage do I need? How much is dental insurance going to cost me? Where can I find a dentist?

These are just a few of the common questions that consumers ask time and time again in reference to dental insurance coverage. There are over 100 million Americans who are lacking any kind of dental insurance coverage.  The Surgeon General recommends that people visit the dentist for a routine checkup at least once a year so as to ensure the health of the teeth and gums, and to catch any potentially hazardous oral health problem as early as possible.

Generally speaking, you should have enough dental coverage to get all the basic types of preventative care that help ensure the health of your teeth and gums. This includes routine checkups, cleanings, x-rays, etc. How much will this cost you? If you opt for the most basic form of dental coverage, a discount dental plan, then you might find yourself paying as little as $5 per month for your basic services. If you require a great deal of services to be covered under your dental insurance plan, then you might want to consider opting for one of the more expensive options like a managed PPO dental plan or an Indemnity plan.

They could run approximately $20 per month on the low end, depending on the provider you purchase your policy through, and the additional services you purchase therein. In terms of finding a dentist, if you sign up for a managed care plan like a PPO / HMO dental plan, you will be provided with a network of dentists whom you can research and choose from. If you do not have a managed dental plan, then there are a variety of services through which you can locate the dentist of your choice. The best option would be to search for a listing of dentists who service your general location via the Internet.

Dental Emergencies
If you find yourself faced with a dental emergency of some kind, it is incredibly important that you act quickly. (The exact response time depends on the severity of the emergency. A broken jaw should be dealt with immediately, whilst a chipped tooth may not require the same type of immediate attention) If you are slow to react to a dental emergency, then it could end up costing you a tooth or worse. Most families maintain some sort of first aid kit in their home in case of some sort of medical emergency, so it is recommended by dentists that you keep a similar aid kit in the event that you have a dental emergency. This kit could include items like a chemical ice pack, ibuprofen, (Not aspirin which thins the blood) some gauze and a list of your dental emergency contact numbers.

So you might be asking yourself, what exactly constitutes a dental emergency? Dental emergencies include:

  • Broken tooth/teeth
  • Cracked tooth/teeth
  • Broken jaw
  • Severe toothache
  • Knocked out tooth/teeth

Oral Health Care
Although dental insurance has been on the rise, most people still view it as secondary to health insurance, often neglecting to include oral health care in their preventative routine. They assume that by going through the motions of brushing their teeth twice a day, and using the occasional piece of floss, that they are helping to maintain healthy teeth and gums. If this were true, then dentists all over the world wouldn’t be making the kind of money that they are. As it is, people are starting to come around to the realization that oral health care, while not more important that medical care, is itself serious issue that must be dealt with.

Oral health care, coordinated in part by your licensed dentist of choice, is a preventative technique designed to fend off the harmful effects of tooth decay and gum disease, along with any other dental / oral health issues that may be encountered at some point.

Oral health care has seen rapid improvement over the course of the last 100 years. The breakthrough of fluoridation, through which a fluoride compound is added to a water supply in order to help thwart tooth decay, is one of many advancements that has helped lengthen the average lifespan of teeth. Similar technological advancements in the field of orthodontics have revolutionized the field of dental care through the ability to correct a wide array of natural dental irregularities such as the highly common overbite or other forms of faulty tooth alignment.

The use of corrective braces is the most common type of orthodontic treatment. It is extremely important to remain focused on oral hygiene after getting braces, because they make it more difficult to perform even the simplest task, be it brushing or flossing your teeth. Although braces are the most commonly used piece of orthodontic equipment, other appliances include:

  • Retainers
  • Biteplates
  • Headgear

The length of orthodontic treatment is judged on a case-by-case basis. Someone whose teeth are extremely unaligned would require longer treatment than someone with a minor issue such as a small overbite. Although the length of treatment can only be judged on a case-by-case basis, it tends to average somewhere between 1 and 3 months in duration. (Again this depends on the severity of the problem) The cost of orthodontic treatment is also judged on a case-by-case basis, however, to give you an idea of the price range, it will generally run you somewhere between $1,000 and $5,000 dependent on the duration. Consult an orthodontic professional to get a better idea of the exact costs and their breakdown.

Dental insurance policies often cover the majority of orthodontic treatments, however it is imperative that you clarify this prior to purchasing an insurance plan, especially if you have children. The last thing you want to do is be forced to cover all orthodontic costs yourself without the help of an insurance company.

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