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Here's How You Can Use Your Dental Benefits Before Year End

Dec 11, 2023
Have you procrastinated about fixing a damaged tooth, missing tooth, or even getting your annual dental exam? That delay can cost you, big time. Use your dental benefits before the end of the year so you have even more funds next year.

You wouldn’t literally burn money or throw it in the trash can. Or stuff it down the disposal. But if you don’t use your dental benefits by the end of the year, that’s essentially what you’re doing.

All year long, you’ve paid — or your company has paid — into your dental insurance account. That money is ready and waiting for you to use. Now.

Even if you have benefits next year, they may not cover everything you need if you delay this year’s procedures past the end of this month. Restore your teeth and gums by the end of the year so you have next year’s benefits to cover next year’s needs.

At our clinic in San Antonio, Texas, Anthony Osei, DDS, PhD, wants you to have healthy teeth and gums. He also encourages you to get the work you need done now … now.

Unsure of how to use up your dental benefits before the end of the year? Although dental insurance plans vary by individual, following are some tips. 

Get your two free prevention visits

If you haven’t yet scheduled your first — or second — in-depth examination and dental cleaning with our office, call us today. Most dental insurance plans cover two preventive dentistry visits per year, which include:

  • Cleaning
  • Scaling
  • Removing stains
  • Oral exam
  • Oral cancer check
  • X-rays (if necessary)

It’s important to get an exam at least every six months, even if you brush and floss twice daily. No toothbrush, floss, or consumer water pick cleans as thoroughly and deeply as professional dental tools.

Your biannual exams also let us check the gums and soft tissues of your mouth to ensure they’re healthy and cancer-free. If we spot problems, it’s always easier to treat and cure them in the early stages.

Broken teeth or cavities

About 91% of adults (ages 20-64) in the United States have had at least one cavity in their teeth. You can’t always see cavities, but the bacteria in your mouth use them to access your inner tooth and cause infections.

If you need to get a filling or restore a broken tooth, don’t wait until next year. First, allowing rotten or broken teeth to remain in your mouth puts your oral soft tissues — and even your life — at risk.

An infection in your tooth from a cavity or a broken tooth can spread to your gums. Periodontitis, or infected gums, is a common oral issue that can lead to tooth loss. An oral infection can also spread through your bloodstream and cause a life-threatening condition called sepsis.

In addition, if you don’t clean tartar off of your teeth, it can break off and circulate in your bloodstream, too. Tartar is that brownish discoloration on your teeth that you can’t simply brush away. Tartar can even cause cardiovascular disease and strokes if it gets into your bloodstream.

While your insurance may not cover the entire cost of your tooth and gum restoration, you may be eligible for up to 80% coverage for some procedures. In addition, by fixing your teeth now, you avoid the extra expense of resolving complications in the new year.

Missing teeth

If all you want for Christmas is your two front teeth (or back teeth), call us right away. Missing teeth don’t just affect your holiday smile, they change the way your jaw functions. When you don’t replace one or more missing tooth, you’re at risk for:

  • Gum erosion
  • Super erupted teeth
  • Twisted or fallen teeth
  • More tooth loss
  • Jaw pain
  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder
  • Trouble chewing
  • Worn teeth
  • Trouble digesting
  • Jawbone atrophy

If you can’t yet afford dental implants, or if your insurance considers them a cosmetic treatment, be sure you get a bridge or dentures as soon as possible. One missing tooth that’s not replaced can eventually result in the loss of many other teeth, a shortened face, and jaw pain.


If your misaligned bite or crooked teeth cause functional issues with your mouth, your insurance may cover the cost of orthodontics. In addition, if you have a health savings account (HSA) or flexible spending account (FSA), you may be able to use those funds to pay for necessary dental procedures.

Find out what you can get

If you’re unsure of what your dental insurance and spending plans cover by the end of the year, give us a call! Our office staff is familiar with most dental plans and can give you insights into what procedures are 100% covered, which require a copay, and how much the copay will be.

Don’t wait to protect or restore your teeth and gums: Use your dental plan benefits before the end of the year to maximize your smile and your spending in 2024. Contact us by phone or through our online form for restorative dentistry today.