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Do you need dental insurance?

There are many factor to consider when getting dental insurance. [Photo by Caroline Im]

You know you need health insurance, but what about dental insurance? Whether it is offered by your employer, bundled with your individually purchased health insurance or bought on its own, dental insurance can protect against the high cost of staying healthy and looking your best.

Dental insurance can be a smart purchase, but it is not right for everyone. Here are some key factors to consider.

Do You Have Kids?

Children are likely to need dental work, and the costs can add up. Cavities are common, and braces alone can cost thousands of dollars.

For parents with young and not-so-young children, dental insurance can be a smart purchase. Just make sure the policy covers braces, retainers and other orthodontic work. You want to be sure you are getting what you pay for.

Can You Purchase Dental Coverage Through Your Employer?

Group coverage through an employer typically costs far less than a dental policy you buy on your own. If your company offers dental insurance at a group rate, it might be too cheap to pass up.

Even if you do not foresee the need for extensive dental work, a low-cost dental insurance plan can give you peace of mind. Just be sure to compare the cost of employer-sponsored coverage against the price you can get on your own.

Do You Have a Robust Emergency Fund?

An unexpected dental emergency can be extremely painful, and not just for your mouth. Something as simple as a chipped tooth during soccer practice could set you back hundreds of dollars.

If you have an emergency fund with plenty of cash on hand, you might not need dental insurance, especially if you cannot find an affordable policy. But if a dental emergency would put your family finances at risk, dental coverage could save you.

How Likely Are You to Need Dental Work?

You can’t predict a dental emergency like a chipped tooth or abscess, but you can look at your situation and estimate your future need for extensive dental work.

If you brush and floss regularly and work hard on oral hygiene, your chances of needing extensive dental work are relatively small. If you have a mouthful of cavities and other risk factors, buying dental insurance might be smart.

The purpose of insurance is to protect you from the unexpected, and it is important to weigh your need for coverage against the extra costs that coverage impose. When it comes to buying dental insurance, the factors listed above weigh heavily, so do your homework and shop accordingly.


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