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Dental Insurance Waiting Periods: What Are They? How Do They Work?

March 1, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — ddfamilyteam @ 3:07 pm
Close-up of tooth model next to calculator

Perhaps you know you need a bit of restorative care for your smile, such as a filling or a crown. To help you pay for your treatment, you purchase a dental insurance policy, but when you visit your dentist, you find out that your benefits will not cover your procedure! That frustrating situation could be due to your policy’s waiting period. What exactly are dental insurance waiting periods, and how do they work? This blog post explains some basic information.

What Is a Dental Insurance Waiting Period?

Basically, a dental insurance waiting period is the length of time that you must own your policy (and keep up with your premium payments) before you are eligible to receive certain services. Waiting periods exist in order to protect insurance companies; without them, some people might buy insurance, get a few treatments, and then quickly cancel their benefits until the next time they get a toothache.

How Do Waiting Periods Work?

Every dental insurance company has its own approach to waiting periods. Very often, though, there is a six-month waiting period before you are eligible to receive coverage for basic restorative services, which usually include things like fillings, simple extractions, and other straightforward treatments. There is often a 12-month waiting period before you become eligible to get coverage for major services, such as oral surgery, crowns, and other complex procedures.

The good news is that, in most cases, there is absolutely no waiting period for preventive care. As soon as your policy becomes active, you can visit your dentist for a cleaning and exam and expect to receive full coverage.

Is It Possible to Get a Dental Policy Without Any Waiting Periods?

There are a couple of instances in which you may not need to worry about a waiting period:

  • You just switched to a new policy. Often, insurance companies waive waiting periods for people who had at least 12 months of continuous dental coverage right before switching to their new plan.
  • You have an employerprovided dental plan. In many cases, there is no waiting period for dental benefits that come through an employer (as opposed to dental policies that are purchased by individuals).
  • You have a dental discount plan. A dental discount plan is not the same as insurance, but it can provide reduced fees on many services. Plus, there is usually no waiting period.

Dental insurance waiting periods can be annoying! Know how your policy works so you do not run into any unpleasant surprises when you are paying for treatment.

Meet the Practice

Dr. Durga Devarakonda and the team at DD Family Dentistry in Carrollton are proud to offer a broad range of services for patients in our community. We welcome dental insurance, and we are in-network with some popular plans, including those from Aetna, BlueCross BlueShield, Delta Dental, and Guardian. If you have questions about how you can use your policy in our practice, contact our friendly staff at 972-236-7906.

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