Got a toothache? Who could have imagined something as small as a tooth could cause so much discomfort! You can manage it with over-the-counter pain medication and hope it goes away on its own soon, but if it doesn’t you need to make a call to the dentist.
For most Canadians this is no big deal. However, if you are one of the many Canadians living without insurance, a simple toothache may keep hurting you in the pocketbook for a very long time. Have you ever wondered who needs dental insurance in Canada? You do! Not convinced? You will be!
Who Doesn’t Have Insurance?
Health and dental insurance are something a lot of us take for granted. Statistics Canada conducted a two-year study to assess the dental health of the nation, and some of the results were surprising.
For example, 32% of Canadians do not have dental insurance of any kind, and 16% of Canadians have delayed or skipped treatments recommended by their dentist because they can’t afford the associated costs. This has far-reaching economic consequences for the uninsured. An estimated 2.26 million school days and 4.15 million working days are lost every year to oral health care issues. That’s a lot of lost productivity!
This problem affects Canadians from all walks of life. New graduates are starting jobs that no longer include robust compensation packages, and many retirees are facing the prospect of a life without dental coverage as companies scale back their benefits programs.
The most alarming thing about going without dental insurance is that the people who need this coverage the most are the ones most likely to go without it. In fact, children and seniors are the most liable to go without adequate dental care when they don’t have insurance.
When you consider that proper dental care can prevent serious problems for children later in their lives, and how vulnerable the senior community is to the health conditions that can be triggered or worsened by poor oral health, it’s easy to see why dental insurance is so important.
Lack of Dental Care Affects Quality of Life
For obvious reasons, people who have dental insurance are more likely to obtain dental care when they need it. Those who do not have coverage often suffer pain, embarrassment or a diminished quality of life because of problems with their smile.
In the Statistics Canada study, as many as 12% of Canadians reported that they avoid some foods because of problems with their teeth or mouth. Another 12% reported persistent tooth or mouth pain in the last year. That’s over FOUR MILLION people who aren’t living their lives to the fullest every day because they think that affordable dental insurance is out of reach.
It’s easy to think that dental insurance isn’t something you need to worry about, until you’re one of the millions of Canadians who are faced with the prospect of living with painful dental conditions every day.
Addressing the Coverage Gap
Preventative dental care does more than look after your teeth. Heart disease, diabetes and some pregnancy complications have all been linked to poor oral health. Dental treatment is a lot like car care — routine maintenance is ultimately a lot less expensive than dealing with emergencies as they arise. In other words, a root canal is more expensive than a regular filling — and a lot more painful too.
That alone should be enough to make you seriously think about getting your own health and dental insurance coverage, but if it’s not, think about what you would do if you woke up with a raging toothache tomorrow morning. Sitting in a dentist’s office in a lot of pain is no fun at all. Wondering how you’re going to pay for treatment while you’re sitting there is an extra layer of stress that nobody needs.
At first glance, dental insurance premiums can seem like a large monthly expense, but that’s before you understand that the emergency dental treatment you may need one day can easily cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. An insurance broker can help you better understand policy details and the long-term benefits of purchasing health and dental insurance coverage.
If a lack of health and dental insurance prevented you from taking care of all of your health needs by seeing the dentist, call us today. We can work together to find the right policy for your oral health needs.