Why is dental treatment not included in health insurance coverage? Is the importance of oral health underestimated?


Health insurance packages in many countries, including the United States, often do not include dental treatments or only offer limited coverage for dental care. There are several reasons for this, including the cost of dental care, the structure of dental care, and the history of dental care insurance.

One of the primary reasons why dental care is not typically included in health insurance packages is the cost. Dental care can be expensive, and including it in health insurance packages would likely lead to higher premiums for policyholders. Additionally, dental care can require specialized equipment and expertise that is not typically found in general medical practices, which can make it more expensive to provide.

Another factor that contributes to the lack of dental coverage in health insurance packages is the structure of dental care. Unlike many medical procedures, dental treatments often require multiple visits over an extended period of time. This can make it more difficult to structure insurance coverage for dental care. Additionally, some dental procedures, such as cosmetic dentistry, may be considered elective and not medically necessary, making it less likely for insurance companies to cover them.

The history of dental care insurance is also a contributing factor. Dental care insurance in the United States only began to emerge in the 1950s, whereas general medical insurance has been around for much longer. As a result, there is less of a tradition of dental care coverage in the insurance industry, which may make it more difficult for insurers to provide comprehensive dental care coverage.

However, some health insurance packages do offer limited dental care coverage. For example, some plans may cover routine cleanings and check-ups, but not more extensive procedures like root canals or orthodontic treatment. Others may provide a set amount of coverage for dental care each year, but policyholders are responsible for any costs beyond that amount.

Ultimately, the lack of dental care coverage in many health insurance packages can lead to lower rates of dental care utilization and poorer oral health outcomes. However, there are some options available for individuals who need dental care but do not have coverage through their health insurance. Some dentists offer financing plans or payment arrangements, and there are also dental discount plans available that can provide discounts on dental care services.

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