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dental insurance and taxes

Eight out of 10 U.S. taxpayers will be getting (or just got) a tax refund of roughly $3,000. Most won’t spend that money on a tropical vacation or the latest and greatest consumer technology. Spending on health care rises 60% in the week following receipt of tax refunds, according to a recent study by JPMorgan Chase Institute. And for many of us, that tax refund goes to dental care. Almost a third of people headed directly to the dentist after receiving their tax refund.

If you’ve been waiting to get dental care, you’re probably wondering how you can make the most of your tax refund at the dentist. Read on for tips that will help you get the most out of your dental care investment.

Get A Dental Savings Plan

Dental savings plans reduce the cost of dental care by 10%-60%. Choose a plan that offers the best savings on the dental care you need now. This will enable you to stretch your tax refund even further, and get the most dental care for your money. And, if you join a plan from, you can use an online tool to find the plans that meet your dental care needs (or you can call DP customer service for help). The majority of dental savings plans activate within 72 hours of purchase (or sooner) and have no annual maximum. That means you can continue saving on your dental care all year long, not just at tax refund time.

If you’re wondering whether dental insurance can stretch your tax refund, the answer is yes. But if you’ve been waiting for your tax refund because your dental bills will exceed your dental insurance’s annual limit, a dental savings plan will help you save on out-of-pocket costs. And if your insurance doesn’t allow you to get the care you need for months after joining, a dental savings plan will enable you to get the care you need quickly and affordably.

You can also consider funding your health savings account (HSA) with your tax refund. As with tax refunds, the IRS allows (IRS publication 502) HSA payments for “the amounts you pay for the prevention and alleviation of dental disease. Preventive treatment includes the services of a dental hygienist or dentist for such procedures as teeth cleaning, the application of sealants, and fluoride treatments to prevent tooth decay. Treatment to alleviate dental disease include services of a dentist for procedures such as X-rays, fillings, braces, extractions, dentures, and other dental ailments." Cosmetic treatments are not included, and your dental expenses must not be eligible for reimbursement through insurance or other sources,

Get A Treatment Plan

If you haven’t been to the dentist for a while, your first step is to book an appointment for a checkup and cleaning. If your teeth are hurting or are loose, you may want to tell whoever you speak to at the dentist’s office that your teeth aren’t in the best shape, and you want to discuss treatment options with the dentist before you book a cleaning.

During your appointment, the dentist will probably take x-rays and examine your teeth and gums for signs of decay, disease and other health issues. Your dentist will then create a treatment plan, a document that details what dental treatments you need, the ADA billing codes associated with those treatments, and the costs of the treatments based on whether you will pay out of pocket, with a particular insurance plan or with a dental savings plan. You can then discuss finances with your dentist, which would include talking about your dental insurance coverage or your dental savings plan, what treatments you need to get as soon as possible, and which ones – if any - you may be able to delay a bit. Your treatment plan is your action plan, enabling you to budget for your share of the costs of care. Just remember, a treatment plan isn’t effective forever – if you’re not actively getting care according to the treatment plan schedule, prices for treatments may go up. And your dental health will likely continue to deteriorate, which means you may need different (and costlier) care than what was indicated on your initial treatment plan.

Your treatment plan should also include the ADA billing codes for each procedure listed. ADA codes (also known as “Dental Procedure Codes) are numerical codes that are used by insurance companies, dentists and government agencies to help ensure consistency in dental records. There is a code for every dental procedure, and the codes are used nationwide. If your treatment plan doesn’t include ADA codes, ask your dentist for that information. You’ll need ADA codes if your dental insurance requires you to get pre-authorization before starting treatment. And if you’re shopping for a dental savings plan, the ADA code info can help you or dental savings specialists such DentalPlans’ customer care team, to find the plan that will save you the most money on your dental care.

A Healthier Smile is Your Best Investment

Every dollar spent on preventive oral care can result in up to $40 in savings on future dental costs, according to the American Dental Hygienists’ Association. Using your tax refund to get dental care is a very smart investment. And you can make it an even smarter choice with a dental savings plan, which will help your refund stretch much further.

To find out more about the advantages of dental savings plans, visit

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