The end of the year is fast approaching, and your calendar might be full of obligations. One of the big to-dos at the end of the year is to evaluate and possibly use your remaining health benefits before it lapses or resets on January 1st. Continuing your treatment into the new year takes planning and communication with your dentist, their administrative staff, and your insurance company. If you are a dental patient with ongoing treatment that may take you into the new year, or if you think you need to start a longer-term treatment and you have questions about this transition, here are some things to consider!

If you have a need, but have been putting off treatment…

You need to get in touch with your dental practice right away. Your dental benefits and flex-account dollars will not likely roll over into the new year, which means you are leaving money on the table and you are leaving your teeth at risk. This is also important for evaluation purposes: if your dentist identifies a problem, you might be able to start some of that treatment now (maximizing your 2018 benefits) and then continue into 2019. November and December are busy months for dental offices because dental insurance coverage generally ends at the end of December. Your teeth matter, so make an appointment today.

If you have been seeing a professional and your treatment will continue into 2019…

This is a great time to get in touch with your dentist and specialist to coordinate your treatment plan. You want to make sure you are on track for timely, effective treatment (that’s always the priority), but there might also be ways to tweak the schedule so treatment works for your financially.

Depending on the severity and urgency of your treatment plan, your doctors may need to prioritize your treatment for right away. If you have already maxed-out your dental insurance benefits for the calendar year, this might pose a challenge because you may need to pay for treatment out-of-pocket. Continued communication with your dentist and the administrative staff is crucial for financial planning for lengthy treatment. Don’t let the potential financial complications keep you away from the office! Delaying treatment can make your problem worse, complicate potential therapies, and add to potential expense!

Hopefully, you and your dental team can figure out a treatment plan that will restore your health in this calendar year and then finish up in 2019, using your benefits without going to out-of-pocket expenses.

The key point of the day: keep in touch

We cannot emphasize this enough: communication is key. Be in touch with your dental professional and administrative staff, but also get in touch with your insurance company. You should always contact your insurance company and employer/HR professional to be fully educated on your benefits package and how you can use it to your full advantage. Even if you stay with your same carrier, insurance packages often tweak and change from year-to-year. Knowing your 2019 benefits now means you can make smart decisions about treatment plans that will carry you into the new year. Don’t forget: knowledge is power, and you have the right to ask questions about your policy so you can make effective decisions.

The calendar year is coming to a close, but your good oral health doesn’t take a break. After all, you should be planning to take your teeth with you into 2019! Proactive approaches, a few phone calls, and clear communication are essential for making sure your teeth are healthy and your treatment is effective and financially sound. Make today your day to prepare for a healthy, happy new year.

Is prioritizing your oral health one of your resolutions for the new year? Are you looking for a friendly, modern specialty dental practice for your restorative therapy needs? We are always happy to answer your questions and appointments are still available before the end of the year. Get in touch with us today!

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