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Your Dental Insurance Might Not Cover This….

Posted on September 30, 2014 | in Dental Care | by

I Have To Wait How Long For a Replacement?

Did you know that after you receive dental treatment (like a filling or crown), most dental insurance plans have forced wait periods before they will fix or replace the same tooth again?

For example, say you had a crown placed on your front tooth two years ago. Today you bite into a popcorn kernel, and crack the crown in half.  Unlike medical insurance, your dental insurance will deny your claim to replace or fix your tooth. This is because you are still in their wait period before they’ll pay for new work on the same tooth.

Dental Emergency with Insurance

Your options are to wait until the wait period is over, pay for the new crown in full yourself…or throw yourself on the mercy of your dentist for a discounted replacement.

According to dentistryiq.com, typical wait periods for the replacement of an existing crown range from five to seven years before a replacement will be paid for. This amount varies depending on the insurance company and your specific plan. Some insurance plans are extending their wait periods out as far as ten years, although the most popular dental plans are typically five years.

This could be cause for concern because accidents do happen. Sports injuries, biting down on food, dogs chewing on dentures, or new decay threatening are all possible threats to your dental work lasting as long as possible.

Would My Dentist Fix My Work For Free?

Every dentist handles the question of “how long do you stand behind your work” differently.

  1.  Case-by-Case – Some dentists will look at the issue on a case-by-case basis and handle issues as they come. They will see if you’ve been a long-standing patient. They will see if you’ve been in for your regular cleanings. And they will determine if they can fix the issue at a low cost to them and a low cost to you.
  2.  Unwritten Office Policies – Some dental practices have office policies or rules of thumb stating how long they will cover various types of dental procedures. Usually this is going to be between one to three years, and occasionally an office will cover issues as long as five years. Usually if you cause the damage through trauma, a dental practice will see it as your responsibility to cover the cost of a repair. Of course if you move or travel and later have a problem that needs fixing, you would have to return to your original dentist.
  3.  Third-Party Warranty – Your dentist may use a third-party warranty provider, such as Dental Warranty Corp. This allows them to protect the work they’ve done for up to five or six years during the time when your dental insurance doesn’t pay. With the help of a third-party, the warranty is nationwide, meaning that even if you move or are traveling, any dentist honors the warranty.

As dental patients, we need to ask our dentists the “what if” questions. Accidents happen every day and so it pays to be prepared “just in case”.

Authors Bio:

The preceding article is a guest post from Dental Warranty Corp. Dental Warranty is the leading third-party warranty provider for dental offices.  It is not insurance, but it does protect cosmetic and restorative dentistry for tens of thousands of patients with nationwide, no-fault protection. This is the highest standard of peace-of-mind available in dentistry today. If your dentist doesn’t have a warranty, you may be eligible for a referral bonus.  Visit our DentalWarranty.com website
to learn more.

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+Chris Barnard is Managing Editor of DentalPatientNews.com, a patient-centric Social Dental Network blog dedicated to enabling the digital dental health conversation - and the eradication of the cavity creeps.
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