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The end of the year brings a tide of annual reflection, holiday joy, and excitement for the future–but did you know it also means the end of your yearly dental benefits? If you have a dental benefits plan or a flexible spending account (FSA), you should plan to use your dental benefits before they expire at the end of the year. Making the most of your dental plan is easier said than done, especially with the busy holiday season about to begin. But by planning ahead, you can get the best bang for your buck from your dental coverage this year.

When Do Dental Benefits Reset?

Many dental plans offer “use it or lose it” dental benefits with a set expiration date. Because most insurance companies choose December 31 as the deadline to use your yearly coverage, it’s wise to use your medical benefits before the end of the year. In some cases, what you don’t use will simply be gone forever. According to the National Association of Dental Plans, only 2.8 percent of people with PPO dental plan participants reach or exceed their plan’s yearly maximum. That’s a lot of money left on the table from unused dental benefits!

You should also consider your deductible when planning your end-of-the-year dental work. A plan’s average dental deductible can vary widely. But how do dental deductibles work, and how do they affect your benefits? Keep them in mind when deciding how best to use up your plan’s dental benefits before the end of the year. If you have an FSA, you can use your account’s balance to pay for your deductible rather than paying out of pocket. That can save a nice chunk of money before your insurance kicks in, especially when the alternative is losing that money entirely.

How To Use Remaining Benefits

The best way to use your dental benefits before the end of the year will depend on how your plan works. Your FSA may work like a debit card, allowing you to spend the money on several dental and medical services–and some healthcare-related purchases you can make at your local store. Some dental benefits are free but limited based on the number of times you go per year. Here’s the best way to make the most of your medical benefits before the end of the year causes them to expire: 

  • Book a tooth cleaning, or maybe even a teeth whitening. Most plans will cover most of a set number of teeth cleanings each year. If you haven’t yet exceeded your plan’s maximum, you might want to schedule an appointment–especially with the threat of sugary holiday treats looming on the horizon! To learn more about the benefits of deep teeth cleaning, read our blog here!
  • Schedule any necessary dental procedures before the end of the year. This way, you can make sure to put your benefits to use rather than pushing those expenses to next year. To see our current offers, click here!
  • Use your FSA to purchase any necessary supplies. If you need a new electric toothbrush, flossing supplies, or toothpaste, you can put your excess FSA dollars to good use and get provisioned for the new year. 

Of course, the best way to make the most of your dental benefits is by using them strategically from day one. The time to start planning your next year’s dental spending is now! Contact Pinnacle Dental Associates today at (541) 928-9299 to make an appointment, or request an appointment online.