When it comes to their health, most people are well versed in the necessity of maintaining medical insurance. From routine exams to emergency procedures, ensuring you have a good insurance plan protects you from the uncertainties of life. What about dental insurance? Is this another necessity of adulthood or is it an unnecessary expense created to nickel and dime you? Let’s consider the facts in regard to dental maintenance and emergencies.

Routine Visits

Dentists recommend biannual cleanings when it comes to oral hygiene. According to CostHelper.com, an office visit can run from $50 to approximately $350 dependent upon the procedures provided. From the initial exam, dental x-rays and cleaning, you can find yourself out of pocket a significant sum. While skipping out on dental cleanings may seem an easy way to save money, these appointments don’t simply keep your teeth sparkling clean. Instead they help prevent tooth decay, check for signs of oral cancer, improve your breath and deter gum disease. On its own, gum disease carries an associated risk of heart disease, diabetes and other serious health complications.

Dental Emergencies

If you are lucky, these twice yearly visits to the dentist will be the sum total of your dental care for the year. Yet dental emergencies can always crop up when least expected. From overwhelming oral pain to a chipped tooth, a dental emergency can rack up your debt overnight. According to Dentably, emergency services can range from $75 to upwards of $1400. Depending upon whether it’s a simple tooth extraction or a complicated root canal, a dental emergency can cost a significant amount.

Dental Insurance

Now that you understand the cost behind maintenance and the potential for emergencies, you need to know the average cost of dental insurance. Credit Donkey states, “dental insurance premiums from an employer-sponsored plan cost between $14 and $30.50 per month, or $168 to $366 per year.” Individual insurance is more expensive, however, by approximately fifteen dollars per month.

Insurance Coverage

Yet while it may seem apparent that you should save money if purchasing dental insurance, a savvy consumer needs to understand the dental plans offered as well. Certain dental plans only cover routine visits to the dentist while other plans only partially cover emergency visits. Therefore you need to educate yourself on the dental insurance offered and weigh the pros and cons in this regard.

Important Dental Facts

The Center for Disease Control states that over 18 percent of children ages 5-19 have untreated cavities while upwards of 30 percent of adults aged 20-44 have the same condition. Meanwhile over 84 percent of children have visited the dentist within the last year in comparison to only 64 percent of adults. These are important statistics to keep in mind when deciding upon dental insurance. Cost of care is most often quoted as the reason why people avoid the dentist.

Even though no one enjoys visiting the dentist, it is a necessity in regard to maintaining your health. Whether you should purchase dental insurance, however, remains a personal choice.