If you're old enough to have been employed in the 1960's, you may remember when your company began to provide dental insurance as part of your health benefits package. Like many consumers, you may have thought-and perhaps still still believe-that your medical and dental coverage were similar, but that is not the case. Understanding the differences between these types of insurance can be a vital tool as you continue to seek the highest quality, lowest cost oral care.
Private Health Insurance General Medical vs. Oral Health Concerns
To understand why health insurance and dental coverage are different from each other, it is helpful to think about the nature of the problems each addresses.
Private Health Insurance Most non-dental, medical conditions we encounter can not be predicted, and can be considered uncertain or random. Quite often, their occurrence results in significant and even catastrophic expense. Take a look at an itemized hospital bill or a receipt that shows how much your insurance covered when you needed an MRI or extensive blood tests, and you will understand just how quickly health costs can spiral out of control, as well as the key role insurance coverage plays in cushioning many of us from bankruptcy.
Contrast these health problems with dental issues such as tooth decay and periodontal disease. While oral diseases can be found in people from all walks of life, races and creeds, their prevalence has markedly decreased in recent years. This positive trend is due, in part, to community water fluoridation, as well as to the fact that more people are seeing the dentist regularly for preventive care. But unlike many health problems that may disappear unexpectedly, dental problems such as tooth decay and gum disease only worsen over time, resulting in extensive and costly care.