Not taking proper care of your teeth is often associated with not having dental insurance, which can lead to obvious side effects like yellowing, tooth decay, and gum disease, which is also known as periodontal disease. Oral health issues can spread to other seemingly unconnected parts of the body when the bacteria in your mouth reach dangerous levels and move into the bloodstream. That’s when the blood vessels can become inflamed, and the risk of stroke increases. One study published in The BMJ found poor oral hygiene also puts you at a greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Research shows that other health issues go hand-in-hand with neglecting the toothbrush. Periodontal disease has been linked to diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and increases the risk of having a baby born preterm.Certain signs signal poor oral health, such as painful gums, bleeding when brushing, receding gum lines, and bad breath that just won’t go away. Any of these could suggest that it’s time to see a dentist.
The main benefit of having dental insurance is you’ll be protected from expensive bills associated with serious oral health issues. If you need a lot of dental care, insurance could save you from paying out of pocket. Let’s say you need a root canal—you can expect to pay significantly less if you have insurance because most plans cover 50-90% of reparative procedures, after a deductible is met. That same root canal can run up to $700 per tooth for a front tooth and $900 per tooth for a molar, according to a recent study..
Be aware that some policies limit how much coverage you can receive during the year, so there’s a possibility all of your procedures won’t be covered. Also, most insurance doesn’t cover cosmetic enhancements, such as veneers. Finally, some insurance plans require a waiting period, sometimes as long as 18 months, before they begin to cover expensive procedures.