It’s one of those line items we all check during the annual enrollment period. We say, “yeah, I’ll definitely use it this time.” But, then January rolls around and we’ve left that money right there on the table.

According to the National Association of Dental Plans, only 2.8% of people make the most of their dental benefits each year. That’s over 97% of us not taking advantage of a benefit we pay for.

Well, now’s your chance. Here are 6 ways to maximize your Dental PPO Plan benefits this year.

6. Use it or lose it, pal.

This one might seem obvious, but the stats above don’t lie.

Most dental plans expire on December 31st. That means anything you didn’t use this year is lost forever.

5. Schedule your appointment early.

Most people start thinking about their dental benefits around December. But, with the Holidays and potential for snowy weather, that’s the absolute hardest time to squeeze in a visit to your dentist.

Booking your appointment in Spring, Summer or Fall ensures your pearly whites don’t miss out on essential cleanings. It also allows you to catch and take care of any issues your dentist discovers before benefits run out.

4. An ounce of prevention…

You know the old saying. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

If you notice an issue, don’t wait to see your dentist. You might think recurring mouth pain or a loose tooth is normal, but it could be a sign of a much larger issue looming down the line.

Putting off needed dental care will only make matters worse… and likely end up costing you more out of pocket.

3. Saving money is good.

Dental plans offer deep discounts on advanced treatments. And what’s covered may surprise you.

Work with your dentist and benefits provider to understand coverage options for your dental needs.

Your dentist will usually be happy to look this information up for you, which is awesome because they can actually decipher all those codes and conditions listed in the plan info.

2. Free is even better.

Most dental plans cover preventive visits like annual cleanings at 100%. That means zero money out of pocket for you.

If you haven’t already scheduled your appointment, do it now. Go ahead, we’ll still be here when you get back.

1. Combine benefits with your FSA.

It’s like the ultimate money-saving team up.

A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) allows you to set aside money for any medical expenses before it gets taxed by Uncle Sam. You can use this money for any services or products that help keep your mouth healthy: including cleanings, braces & orthodontics, benefit plan co-pays, dentures and more.

An FSA is set up through your employer, who deducts the money from your paycheck pre-tax. Many plans today add that money to a debit card you can use for treatments, checkups or even products at your local drugstore.

Bonus Tip: Work with your dentist.

Your dentist and their staff understand all the codes and coverage options associated with dental insurance plans. They’re uniquely qualified to help you maximize your benefits and optimize your dental health.

Lake Norman Dentistry accepts all major dental insurance plans (and many minor ones!). If you’re in the Charlotte / Huntersville / Lake Norman area, give us a call at 704.895.3858 or click here to make an appointment.