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    Dental Insurance Top Things to Know!

    Posted on February 15th, 2023 by Dr. Peter Tomaselli

    Did you know about Dental Insurance?

    Dental Insurance, unlike its medical counterpart, is a relative newcomer to the market. Up until 1954, people always paid for their dental visits, if you can imagine such a thing. The first dental plans were introduced in California. Following their introduction, dental plans gained popularity and traction through the 1960’s. Are you still reading? This is just getting good! The model of prepayment plans was hatched and the industry exploded.

    Dental Insurance in the 1970’s:

    During the 1970’s, these plans were everywhere. Furthermore, they usually had a maximum benefit of $1,000!  Sound Familiar? That’s because those maximums are still in effect today more than 40 years later. That’s right! While inflation rolled along its merry way, dental coverage dug in its heels and said, “hah, we’re good, right here.” Had coverage kept up with the rates of inflation the average annual maximums would be close to $10,000. Can you even begin to imagine what the kind of coverage could do for our health? Don’t spend too much time dreaming, because, sadly, it did not. Back to the 70’s- most of the plans were offered by Delta Dental. Soon the Preferred Provider Organization (PPO0 elbowed its way to the forefront. Many of the existing insurance companies hopped on the PPO bandwagon driving their popularity. PPO’s are basically a contracted network for dentists who agree to accept a reduced fee for the insured. Coverage extends to out of network dentists, too with the patient picking up the difference between network and out of network fees. Many times, insurance will dictate the type of procedure to be completed. For example, downgrading to metal fillings instead of tooth colored.

    Dental Insurance in the 1980’s:

    The roaring 80’s saw the birth of the Dental Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO). The HMO’s were set up to offer care at a reduced fee with no maximums and no deductibles, as long as the insured saw a participating provider.


    Today, the affordable care act requires that health plans include an offer of dental coverage for children up to age 18, although there is no requirement of acceptance. The future of dental insurance s sure to keep evolving! Your dentist has a knowledgeable team who can help you to maximize your benefits. Please realize that we at Chicago Smile Design don’t work for the insurance industry, we 100% work for you, our patients! Most insurance companies provide great benefits for our patients and we’re going to do everything we can to maximize yours. The fees that we charge and the treatment that we recommend is specifically designed for your individual needs and is never based on insurance coverage. Also at CSD, we offer Sunbit to help lower some of the costs that your Dental Insurance provider may not cover, and to help our patients pay their dental costs over time. For any questions about Sunbit or Dental Insurance please reach out to our team we are more than glad to help you navigate your future and current oral health needs to create your best smile!

    Thank You,

    Dr. Tomaselli & Team

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