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Dentists encourage Virginians to understand their dental benefits and to not postpone essential dental care

Typical dental insurance policies have an annual maximum benefit that resets at the end of the year 

As recent reports show that nearly half of insured Americans have skipped dental visits or procedures, leaders with the Virginia Dental Association are urging Virginians to use their dental benefits on oral healthcare before they reset at the end of the year.  

“Many people don’t realize that dental insurance works differently than medical insurance,” said VDA President Dr. Cindy Southern. “Typical dental insurance plans pay for a portion of dental care up to an annual maximum amount and reset each year. Medical insurance plans are designed to protect policy holders against costs beyond a certain point. If you don’t use the annual benefit that you earned to access dental care, you lose it.” 

A typical dental plan has an annual maximum benefit of $1,000-$2,000. Many plans also cover the full cost of preventative care appointments, which are a key factor in maintaining optimal oral health. Plans vary and you can call your dental benefit plan administrator or your dentist to understand how your plan is structured.  

“When it comes to your oral health, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” said VDA President-Elect Dr. Dustin Reynolds. “If you’ve put off a visit for preventative care or to correct a known issue, taking care of it now will be better for your health and for your wallet.” 

The VDA encourages anyone who has delayed getting treatment for an oral health issue to book an appointment now to address it with their dentist before the end of the year. While some dentists are booked months out for regular checkups, they can typically see you sooner for a specific need or to address pain. And the sooner an issue is taken care of, the less likely it is to cause problems down the road. 

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About the Virginia Dental Association  

The Virginia Dental Association is affiliated with the American Dental Association and has 4,000 members across the Commonwealth. The VDA’s mission is to represent and serve member dentists by fostering quality oral health care and education. The VDA provides continuing education, advocacy and practice support for its member dentists to further that mission.