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Do you have dental insurance? Sadly, many do not as it is not usually considered to be essential healthcare coverage. Oral health is closely connected to holistic health, so it is imperative to take care of teeth and gums- including regular routine cleanings and checkups. It may be possible to purchase dental insurance separately from your medical plans, and the cost is typically quite affordable ranging from around $10 to $50 per month in most cases.  

So, what does dental insurance cover? Here are some basics: 

  • Dental insurance covers 100% of preventative care, including x-rays and cleanings.  
  • Dental insurance covers around 80% of services including cavity fillings. 
  • Dental insurance usually covers about half of procedures like dentures or crowns. 

Confirm and check with your carrier to determine how much your policy covers when it comes to maintaining dental and oral health, as you will bear the responsibility of any costs not covered by insurance.  

Here is what you should know about your dental insurance coverage and teeth cleanings: 

There are essentially three different types of services when it comes to dental cleanings. Depending on how often you go to the dentist and the condition of your teeth will pinpoint the kind of cleaning that you require.  

Standard Teeth Cleaning   

Standard dental cleaning is usually covered by insurance coverage, if applicable, and is recommended once to twice per year. If you are paying out-of-pocket, plan on this costing upwards of $200 for your cleaning appointment.  

Periodontal Deep Cleaning 

Periodontal deep cleaning is more intense and invasive than standard teeth cleaning. This often is warranted when the patient has advanced gum disease or an accumulation of tartar and plaque. It is necessary to prevent premature tooth loss and bone deterioration. The teeth are cleaned in quadrants, which basically divide the mouth into four separate sections which could require more than one visit to complete.  

There is a significant cost differential between periodontal deep cleaning with and without insurance, as many suggest that it could cost up to $900 with insurance and twice that- or $1800- if you do not have coverage.  

Periodontal Maintenance Cleaning 

Periodontal maintenance is not as intense as deep cleaning but is intended to follow up that procedure to ensure build-up does not occur. This is often recommended every four months after intensive scaling and periodontal deep cleaning. Without insurance, plan on spending around $200 per visit, and talk with your carrier to determine costs with dental insurance coverage as it varies based on the policy.  

More About Dental Cleaning 

  • Remember that geographic location plays a role in how much your dental cleaning will cost out-of-pocket. Provider accessibility, cost of living, and inflation all contribute to what you will pay at your dental appointment.  
  • A good rule of thumb to follow is that the more vigilant you are about dental hygiene, the less it is going to cost you when you go to the dentist for a cleaning. It is that simple.  
  • When dental costs are covered by insurance, make sure that you are aware of any co-pays that could be issued. In some instances, you may have a deductible that must be met before insurance kicks in to pay for your dental procedures.  
  • The only way that tooth decay can be treated is by a dental provider. There is no over-the-counter cure. See a dentist before the pain becomes intolerable.  
  • There is treatment for bad breath, which is often a sign of periodontal or gum disease. Hardened bacteria and plaque turn into tartar, which may be the cause of chronic bad breath. Removing tartar can improve this condition- schedule a dental cleaning today! 

The American Dental Association recommends having teeth cleaned twice per year, or a minimum of once annually. This provides your dentist with the opportunity to examine and detect any issues before they can become problematic. Call to schedule your appointment for a cleaning at Old Mt Pleasant Dentistry, in Mt Pleasant, SC, today!