top of page

Dental Insurance Vocabulary

Welcome to the world of dental insurance, where the jargon is dense, the rules are complex, and the confusion is real. But fear not, dear reader, for we are here to demystify this mysterious landscape and shed some light on why a dental team that knows its insurance vocabulary is worth its weight in gold. So buckle up, grab a cup of coffee, and get ready for a journey through the tooth and gum of dental insurance. You might even learn a thing or two!


Dental insurance can be a confusing topic for both patients and dental professionals. However, it is crucial for a dental team to have a thorough understanding of dental insurance terminology and how insurance works.

This not only helps the team provide accurate information to patients but also facilitates clear communication between the dental office and insurance companies. When the dental team is knowledgeable about insurance policies and procedures, they are better equipped to answer patient questions and help them navigate the complexities of their coverage. This can result in a smoother and more stress-free experience for patients, as well as improved financial outcomes for the dental practice. Ultimately, having a well-informed dental team benefits everyone involved, and demonstrates a commitment to patient satisfaction and quality care.


 

  • Annual maximum - The highest dollar amount that an insurance plan will cover in a given year.

  • Benefit period - The length of time during which an insurance plan will cover a specific procedure or treatment.

  • Claims process - The steps taken by an insurance company to review and pay out a request for coverage.

  • Co-insurance - The amount that a patient is required to pay for a covered service, typically a percentage of the total cost.

  • Deductible - The amount that a patient must pay out-of-pocket before their insurance begins to cover treatment costs.

  • Dental insurance - A type of insurance that covers some or all of the costs of dental care.

  • Endodontics - The branch of dentistry that deals with the treatment of the inside of the tooth, including root canals.


  • Exclusions - Procedures or treatments that are not covered by an insurance plan.






  • In-network provider - A healthcare provider who has a contract with an insurance company to provide services at a discounted rate.

  • Maximum benefit - The highest dollar amount that an insurance plan will cover for a specific procedure or treatment.

  • Orthodontics - The branch of dentistry that focuses on correcting misaligned teeth and jaws.



  • Out-of-network provider - A healthcare provider who does not have a contract with an insurance company to provide services at a discounted rate.



  • Out-of-pocket maximum - The maximum amount that a patient is required to pay for covered services in a given year, after which the insurance company will cover all additional costs.

  • Pediatric dentistry - The branch of dentistry that focuses on the oral health of children.

  • Periodontics - The branch of dentistry that deals with the treatment of the gums and surrounding tissue.

  • Pre-authorization - The process of obtaining approval from an insurance company before a specific procedure or treatment is performed.

  • Preventive care - Dental care that is intended to prevent the onset of disease or other oral health problems.

  • Procedure code - A code used to identify a specific dental procedure or treatment.

  • Provider - A healthcare professional or facility that provides medical or dental care.

  • Waiting period - The length of time that must pass before an insurance plan will cover a specific procedure or treatment.

  • Annual deductible - The amount that a patient must pay out-of-pocket for covered services in a given year before their insurance begins to cover treatment costs.





  • Capitation - A type of payment plan in which a healthcare provider is paid a fixed amount per patient per month, regardless of the number or type of services provided.

  • Co-payment - A fixed amount that a patient is required to pay for a covered service at the time of treatment.


  • Coordination of benefits - A process in which multiple insurance policies are used to cover the costs of a single treatment or procedure.




  • Covered services - Procedures or treatments that are included in an insurance plan.

  • Dependent - A family member who is covered by another person's insurance policy.

  • EOB - An Explanation of Benefits, a document that outlines the details of a claim and the amount of coverage provided by an insurance plan.

  • Expiration date - The date on which an insurance policy or coverage period ends.

  • Flexible spending account (FSA) - A type of account that allows a patient to set aside money from their paychecks on a pre-tax basis to cover out-of-pocket healthcare expenses.


And there you have it folks, the importance of a dental team understanding dental insurance vocabulary in a nutshell. We hope this has been informative and enlightening, and that you now have a better appreciation for the role dental insurance plays in the world of dentistry. If you have any further questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to us. Until next time, keep smiling and take care of those pearly whites!


 

Dentistry Support ® provides remote support for dental offices nationwide. We serve the needs of any size dental office including those with Spanish-speaking needs on both the east and west coasts of the United States of America. Learn more.









Disclaimer:


To learn more about Sarah Beth Herman, the author of all free training content you can read her bio here. These materials are intended to provide helpful information to dentists and dental team members. They are in no way a substitute for actual professional advice based on your unique facts and circumstances. This content is not intended or offered, nor should it be taken, as legal or other professional advice. You should always consult with your own professional advisors (e.g. attorney, accountant, or insurance carrier). To the extent, Dentistry Support ®has included links to any third-party website (s), Dentistry Support ® intends no endorsement of their content and implies no affiliation with the organizations that provide their content. Further, Dentistry Support ® makes no representations or warranties about the information provided on those sites. You can view our privacy policy and terms and conditions by clicking those pages in the footer of our website.

1,021 views46 comments

Recent Posts

See All

46 Comments


John Ivan Perez
John Ivan Perez
Sep 11, 2023

Be part of the team now. Thank you for sharing!


Like

Tey Armada
Tey Armada
Jun 06, 2023

"serving the needs of any size dental office"

Like

Rhialyn Librinca
Rhialyn Librinca
Jun 06, 2023

This is awesome😍

Like

Raul Pacia Jr.
Raul Pacia Jr.
Mar 06, 2023

so awesome!!

Like

Ciana Balondo
Ciana Balondo
Feb 27, 2023

This is very useful thanks for sharing 💜

Like
bottom of page