Going to the dentist is a chore that is often universally dreaded. Even if you’re just going in for a routine checkup, you may feel anxious about visiting the dentist due to its invasive nature. On the other hand, your fear of the dentist may stem from the cost, as dental care can be extremely expensive. In most places in the United States, an average check-up, which includes an exam, x-rays, and a cleaning, costs roughly $288. One way to mitigate this unpleasant aspect of dental visits is to get dental insurance.

Insurance of any kind sometimes gets overlooked as an unnecessary expense, especially if you’re young and healthy and don’t foresee any issues in your health. In reality, though, there are a number of reasons insurance is one of the healthiest investments you can make – and dental insurance is no exception.

Let’s take a look at three of the reasons dental insurance is so important:

1.     It Encourages You to Maintain Your Oral Health

Having dental insurance is an excellent method for maintaining your overall oral health. According to a 2016 report from the National Association of Dental Plans (NADP), people with dental benefits were more likely to go to the dentist, take their children to the dentist, seek out restorative dental care, and experience better overall health than those who do not have benefits. The report clearly showcased a correlation between dental benefits and access to dental care, which ultimately improves the quality of oral health. Additionally, with greater oral health comes greater overall health; the report states that those without dental benefits report higher incidences of other illnesses. Specifically, 67% of uninsured individuals are more likely to have heart disease, 50% are more likely to have osteoporosis and 29% are more likely to have diabetes.

2.     It Can Save You Money

Believe it or not, routine visits to your dentist can not only sustain your oral health, but they can save you money in the grand scheme of things. According to the Journal of Dental Hygiene, every dollar invested in preventive dental care saves patients roughly $8 to $50 in the long run. That means that a $250 dental checkup can save you approximately $2,000 down the line. This is because preventive care helps you avoid more serious dental conditions that are costlier to treat, such as tooth decay and gum disease.

Dental coverage can also save you large sums of money in the event of a dental emergency. Dental emergencies include things like injuries to the mouth that cause loss of a tooth, a chipped tooth, severe mouth or tooth pain, major swelling, or bleeding that will not stop. These types of incidents are already stressful and painful, and the last thing you want to worry about is having to spend hundreds – or even thousands – of dollars out-of-pocket to seek out the care you need. Fortunately, there are many dental insurance plans that not only cover pre-scheduled appointments, but also cover emergency dental services.

 3.     It Provides Peace of Mind

When you have dental insurance, you’re not only prioritizing your health and saving money in the long run, but you’re gaining an invaluable asset: peace of mind. When you know that your dental insurance has your back in the face of both expected and unexpected events, you can live your life more comfortably and confidently – and that’s a gift you can’t put a price on.

Are you wondering what kind of dental insurance plan is right for you? Not sure where to look to explore your options? There are plenty of online resources you can consult which allow you to cross reference various dental coverage plans based on your location and personal details (age, gender, etc.).

Even if your oral health is in tip-top shape, dental insurance is still an incredibly essential investment to make. It can help you sustain your overall health and wellness, save money for your future, and give you the peace of mind you deserve. Your smile is one of your most important assets, so be sure to protect it as best as you can with dental insurance.