While going over your dental care plan, you may hear start hearing terms such as “basic” or “major” being used to describe the treatments and procedures being recommended. What does this mean? Major dental care refers to services that are more extensive than fillings or root canals. These types of services can include treatments such as dental crowns, dental bridges, and dentures – services that replace damaged or missing teeth. Understanding the distinction between a basic and major treatment is most important in the context of insurance coverage.
Common Dental Insurance Tiers
Dental insurance plans often describe dental services in three classes of service:
- Class 1: Preventative and diagnostic care, such as x-rays and cleanings
- Class 2: Basic restorative care, including fillings and root canals
- Class 3: Major restorative care, including dentures, bridges, and crowns
Although insurance generally covers 100% of the cost of preventative treatments and about 75-80% of basic treatments, major dental restorative care is often only covered up to 50%. This leaves half of the total cost of major dental work up to you to cover out-of-pocket.
Common Examples of Major Restorative Dental Care
Basic dental procedures usually refer to procedures that are beyond preventative treatments, such as cleanings and checkups, but not more major than a routine filling. Major treatments are typically services that could have been addressed earlier and in a more affordable way, or a procedure that requires multiple stages to complete.
The following treatments are often considered major dental services:
- Dental crowns (may also be basic in certain cases)
- Inlays or onlays
- Dental bridges
- Dental implants
- Wisdom tooth extraction (may be basic in certain cases)
- Complex oral surgery procedures, such as full mouth reconstruction
- Complete or removable partial dentures
- Orthodontic treatment
If you need dental care to replace a missing tooth or correct decay that has been long-ignored, there is a good chance your treatment will be considered major. This is yet another reason why it is so important to maintain regularly-scheduled dental visits to identify and treat minor issues before they become bigger, more expensive problems.
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Call Scott Greenhalgh, DDS today at 720-484-8832 to schedule an appointment. Dr. Greenhalgh welcomes patients from Denver, Lakewood, Golden, and nearby areas in Colorado.