Use it or Lose it: Take Advantage of Your Dental Benefits Before the End of the Year

The end of the year is a universally busy time for most people. With the holidays in sight, schedules overflow with social engagements in addition to the normal work, school, and family commitments. But even with everything you have going on between now and the last day of December, there’s one more important thing you should add to your list: a visit with your dentist at Perfect Smiles Dentistry.

That’s because virtually all dental insurance plans are annual, meaning this year’s benefits are set to expire after December 31st and will be completely reset as of the first of the year. Any current benefits you haven’t yet used (but have already paid for) will be lost, effectively leaving money on the table.

Instead of throwing hundreds of dollars out the window, take advantage of the benefits your current plan offers before they become null and void.

Here are a few excellent reasons to pick up the phone and schedule an appointment with our experienced dental team before the year ends.

You haven’t had a recent cleaning or exam

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as the saying goes, and that’s true when it comes to maintaining optimal oral health. In fact, many of the most severe dental problems we see here at Perfect Smiles Dentistry could have been avoided or minimized with routine preventive care.

Having regular dental cleanings and exams is one of the easiest ways to prevent tooth decay and spot problems before they progress. Not only do we have advanced equipment that can remove plaque more effectively than the manual or electric toothbrush you use at home, but we also have the tools and expertise required to remove tartar, or calcified plaque, which can lead to gum disease (and eventually tooth loss) when left untreated.

Most dental plans allow for bi-annual cleanings and exams, meaning you can have your teeth and gums professionally cleaned and checked once every six months. If your last cleaning was before July, now’s the time to schedule your second annual appointment.

You’ve already (or almost) met your annual deductible

Your annual deductible is the total amount of money you pay out of pocket before your insurance policy kicks in and begins to pay in full for any dental treatments or services you require.

Although dental policy deductibles vary greatly between insurers and even among different plans within the same company, they all have one thing in common — they don’t roll over. So, in much the same way that your current benefits are set to expire at the end of the year, so will any headway you’ve made with your deductible.

Because most dental plan deductibles are relatively low compared to other types of health insurance deductibles, chances are you’ve already paid part or all of your annual deductible if you’ve used your insurance even just a couple of times this year.

Your flexible spending account is about to expire, too

If you have a flexible spending account (FSA) through your employer, it allows you to save a certain amount of pre-tax money from each paycheck to cover any services, treatments, or products that help keep your mouth healthy, ranging from insurance plan copays for routine cleanings to essential orthodontic work, dental restorations, and more.

Most FSAs work a lot like a debit card, allowing you to pay for services as needed. Although there are some exceptions, most FSAs require you to use — or lose — any money you haven’t spent by the end of each calendar year.

Before you make plans to spend your FSA dollars, contact your program administrator for a list of covered services and products. FSAs generally can’t be used to cover cosmetic procedures such as veneers, professional whitening, or some types of orthodontics.

You want comprehensive care you can trust

Staying on top of your dental needs is essential to maintaining a beautiful smile. Minor dental problems tend to develop into major issues when left untreated, and poor oral health can have a negative impact on your overall health.

Let us help you maximize your dental benefits to get the services and treatments that help you promote, protect, and maintain great oral health for life. Call our office in Everett, Washington, today, or use the convenient online tool to schedule an appointment with Dr. Gowda any time.

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