There's a curious thing about gap-free dental coverage. You might already have it without actually knowing. It's simply a feature of many health insurance policies that offer dental coverage. This means that a certain range of dental services will be entirely covered by the policy. Ordinarily, your insurance would cover a certain percentage of the cost of a service, with the remaining amount (the gap) to be paid by you. With gap-free dental, basic services are covered in their entirety. If you've only recently discovered that you have gap-free dental coverage, how can you use it to your benefit?

Your Insurer and Your Policy

There's little uniformity to gap-free dental allowances. It depends on your insurer and the specific policy you hold with that insurer. There's a limit to the amount that an insurer is willing to cover, and this coverage is limited to fairly routine dental services, such as regular checkups and professional teeth cleaning, necessary diagnostic testing (such as x-rays), and some basic forms of dental restoration (such as a filling). 


You will also find that there are limits to the number of times that you can utilise your gap-free dental coverage in a given year. Just because professional teeth cleaning might be covered, it's not as though your insurer will cover these costs if you attempt to have this service performed each month. Limitations are more in line with standard dental operating procedures. For example, your dentist might recommend a checkup and professional tooth cleaning every six months, and this will be the number of sessions (and subsequent services) that your insurer will be willing to cover.

The Overall Cost

A lot also depends on the overall amount that can be covered by a gap-free dental policy. Some insurers will have a fairly low monetary value that can be charged before a gap is implemented. Once a dentist has performed (even basic) services to the extent of this monetary value, you will be charged for any additional services, no matter how basic or general they might be. Other insurers have a higher monetary value that can be used for gap-free dental care in a given year. 

Dentists Near You

It's also important to note that just because a dentist provides gap-free services, it doesn't automatically mean that they can provide them to you. Your insurer will have a list of participating dentists, and only these dentists can provide gap-free dental care to you—as they have entered into a partnership with your insurance provider. Essentially, if your policy doesn't have a participating dentist near you, it might be time to change to an insurance provider who does.

In many respects, gap-free dental is in the insurance company's best interests. It's more cost-effective for them to pay to maintain your teeth, rather than contribute to the cost of major restorations which might be needed without this ongoing maintenance. In any event, if you're already paying for an insurance policy with gap-free dental care, it's time to start taking advantage of it.