Canadian Dental Insurance Plans: Are They Worth it After Retirement?

Posted on July 13, 2018

Wondering if dental insurance is still worth it after retirement?

When you retire, you might feel like your Canadian dental insurance policy is an expense you can no longer keep up with. Since you don't have an income anymore, it's tempting to cut corners anywhere you can. But is dental insurance really something you should give up?

In this guide, we'll walk you through what you need to know about dental plans for seniors. Keep reading to find out if getting an insurance plan is still worth it!

How Canadian Dental Insurance Works

First, you'll need to know how the insurance system works, so you can decide whether or not it's right for you when you retire.

The right insurance plan for you depends on what you can afford, and the dentists you want to be able to choose from. For example, if you like the dentist you have, you'll probably want to stick with a plan that will allow them to keep treating you.

If you don't have a dentist yet, you'll get to choose from the dentists in the network of the plan you choose. You'll have to see a provider who's in your network - paying for someone outside of the network can get too expensive.

The insurance premiums you pay depend on factors including the insurance company, the location you're in, and the plan you pick. Even when you're not getting work done, keep in mind that you'll need to keep paying the monthly premium.

Will You Lose Money?

If you're paying premiums when you're not using dental services, it can feel like you're losing money. In a way, you're right.

Insurance companies do need to make profits so they can stay in business, just like any company. However, insurance does exist for an important reason: you'll be protected if something bad happens. That said, dental insurance may not be as crucial as other types of insurance.

When you have homeowners' insurance or health insurance, that's because you literally couldn't afford the worst-case scenario. The risk of not having insurance is hard to afford. But with dental insurance, you don't have quite as much to lose. That said, there's still a lot you can gain.

If you're getting standard dental care done, including cleanings and x-rays, you might lose a couple hundred dollars in paying insurance premiums. These preventative-care treatments are covered by insurance. But if you paid for them out of pocket, it would probably cost somewhat less than the total cost of your insurance premiums for the year.

The Worst-Case Scenario

When you're retired, saving a couple hundred dollars a year can seem well worth it. But if the worst happens with your dental health, will you be prepared to face it without insurance?

Maybe you end up needing a root canal, some fillings, or a crown. That's on top of the cost of your routine preventative care. This is where your insurance can become helpful.

However, dental insurance isn't always as helpful as you might want it to be - it depends on your policy. Some insurance policies have low maximums, and once you reach that amount, you'll have to pay for everything on your own. To make your policy worth it, look for one with a maximum that will cover what you might need in a given year.

Having insurance can also help you pay lower fees when you're at the dentist. Keep in mind that cosmetic dentistry and orthodontics generally aren't covered by insurance. But insurance exists to help you pay for the serious work you might need to get done.

Should You Wait to Get Insurance?

Since insurance is most helpful when you have more serious problems, it's tempting to wait until you "really need it." However, this plan actually doesn't work all that well.

Insurance companies have probationary or waiting periods to discourage people from doing this. This means that for a period of time after you start the insurance policy, it won't cover any work done. You can't wait until you need insurance - you'll have to start the process when things are still fine with your teeth. That way, you'll have an active insurance policy at the moment you need it.

Is Dental Care That Important?

You're probably starting to see some of the ways dental insurance can help you out after retirement. You might spend a little more on premiums in an average year. But since you'll be living on a budget, you'll need your insurance to help you pay when more serious problems arise.

Still, it's tempting to think your oral health isn't all that important - especially when you aren't having any problems. Couldn't you just skip the routine exams and save some money, at least for the first few years? Let's take a look at why that's not a good idea.

Your oral health is actually closely linked to your overall health. What's going on in your mouth can give a hint as to what's happening elsewhere in your body - and it can also affect your overall health.

How does this work? Like most parts of your body, your mouth is full of bacteria. Most of these bacteria are just fine and can be kept under control with regular brushing and flossing. But when your mouth isn't clean enough, the bacteria can get out of control.

This can cause many issues, and not just in your mouth. In addition to gum disease and tooth decay, research has linked excess bacteria in the mouth to a number of other diseases.

The Best Dental Plans for Seniors

You can't afford to neglect your oral health, especially after retirement. Canadian dental insurance should be a priority, even if it costs a little bit more money. After all, what price can you put on preserving your health for years to come?

Wondering what the best dental plans for seniors are? We have some great options for you - contact us to learn more.

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