Dental care is an important part of your overall health care and so it demands attention periodically. You need to be careful about your pearly whites in order to keep that smile going. Apart from the routine daily care, you may need to go for specific treatments like plaque cleaning, root canal, teeth whitening, gum surgery, braces, implants etc. Some of these can be expensive even if you have NHS to support you for affordable treatments. Many Brits still pay for exclusive dental treatments, which calls for the necessity of dental insurance.
Wondering whether you need dental insurance even when you have a comprehensive health insurance policy? Well, normally health insurance policies do not include dental treatments or dental cover has to be purchased as an add-on to the policy. You can also buy thorough dental cover if you have weak teeth or a jaw that demands treatments on occasional basis.
In this policy, you need to pay monthly premiums to cover the expense you make on any kind of dental procedures throughout the year. With a dental insurance cover, you can get NHS treatments as well as private treatments.
Why you need dental insurance in the UK?
Although, the NHS provides an efficient dental service some of the treatments are really costly. Even when expensive oral treatment like crowns, dentures and bridges are done with the NHS dentist they can still cost you around £235 in England.
On top of the cost, you have to bear the inconvenience of sitting in the long NHS queue and some of the treatments may not be available with the NHS. For treatments like teeth straightening or other kinds of cosmetic dentistry, you need to depend on private dentists and these procedures would cost you a dear amount. Therefore, UK dental insurance providers offer you different insurance policies – for NHS-only or NHS and private treatments.
What does the dental insurance policy cover?
There are various levels of dental insurance cover, which should be checked according to your personal requirements. If all the procedures you plan to go through are covered in the standard policy then you can purchase that level of cover, else talk to your insurance provider to design a customised policy for you.
NHS dental treatment policy: In this cover, you pay monthly premiums to manage the finances of dental treatments taken from the NHS. Well, the wise way to check whether you need to invest in a dental cover would be to compare the total expense of all the treatments you need in an entire year. Some of the policies would cover the full cost of treatments but may charge you an excess for expensive treatments.
Private dental treatment policy: When you want the policy to cover treatments that are more than the NHS treatments you will need private dental cover. However, some of them only pay for a part of the procedures and not the full cost of the treatment, so, you need to check in advance about what the cover offers.
The exclusions of the dental insurance policy vary with the kind of cover and insurance provider. Most of the policies would not cover any pre-existing dental conditions, which means you cannot leverage it for oral issues you are already aware of. Some of the insurance providers may want you to submit a report of the last 12 months of dental check-ups.
Most of the policies have a time restriction on them, which means that you cannot make a claim any time soon after purchasing the policy. Mostly it restricts to make a claim within one to three months of buying the cover. Some of the dental policies have a clause of paying excess in order to lower the premiums. Few of them also have age limit clauses and are offered to people falling in the age group of 18 to 65. If you do not fall under the age range then there is no point taking the policy. In addition, some of the policy covers do not pay for purely cosmetic dental procedures and should be checked well in advance for any of the limitations.
How to make a claim for dental insurance?
Well, even if you want to claim, you need to still pay the money at the time of the treatment and then produce the medical bills or receipts to get the money back before a pre-decided time limit, which is usually six months. You can easily get the claim form online or get it delivered through the postal service.
Dental insurance cover alternatives– Dental Capitation Plan
This is a unique dental insurance offered directly by the dentist. In this, the dentist examines your teeth and oral condition, based on which they plan the need of dental checkups, treatments and procedures over the year and then set a monthly fee. This way, your oral care budget is spread across the year making it quite easy on the pocket. The main problem with this is that prices are set by the dentists and may not offer you the best value for money.
One nice thing about this plan is that payments are decided by grouping people in payment bands. This means that if you are taking good care of your teeth and oral hygiene then the money you pay can be used for other people with more serious oral issues.
From where can you purchase a dental insurance policy?
You need to shop around to find the best yet affordable dental insurance policy in the UK. Most of the time, it is included in the health insurance cover or is purchased as an add-on.
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