Dental health insurance plans offer financial assistance not insurance


The concept of insurance is to provide the insured against catastrophic loss.  Fire insurance or medical insurance will ideally pay for the complete loss of your home or quadruple heart bypass surgery.  Dental insurance is not like that because it does not pay for a catastrophic loss.  Instead, dental insurance plans have a very low annual maximum that really haven’t increased in the nearly 25 years I have practiced dentistry.  Dental insurance will not even cover close to the cost of even one tooth needing root canal therapy and a crown in my office.  So what is it?  It is really financial assistance not insurance.

Dental insurance plans, and particularly usage of dental benefits by employees, is very statistically predictable.  Insurance companies can profit on the difference between premium dollars paid in and “dental loss”, dental claims paid out.  It is a relatively inexpensive perk that can be offered to employees — if the coverage is limited.  That is why it is limited.  The only situation where coverage may not have a maximum is within a DMO (dental maintenance organization) discussed elsewhere, because in this special case it is the dentist, not the insurance company, that has an interest in limiting the benefits provided.

–Dr. Jeffrey Dorfman, Director
The Center for Special Dentistry

The Center For Special Dentistry is NOT a member of any dental insurance plan network.