Dental Insurance and dental Phobia

Dental insurance is insurance designed to pay the costs associated with dental care. Dental insurance pays a portion of the bills from dentists, hospitals, and other providers of dental services. By doing so, dental insurance protects people from financial hardship caused by unexpected dental expenses.

The American Dental Association states that more than half of the population in the United States are not covered by any dental insurance plan. Those who do have dental coverage often get it through their employer as part of their health insurance plan. Depending upon the type of medical coverage you have, it may be a good idea to have a compatible program to eliminate any gaps or overlap within the two plans. That may save money while allowing you to take advantage of receiving necessary preventive care.

The most common types of dental insurance plans are either Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) or Dental Health Maintenance Organization (DHMO). Both types are considered managed care, and each dental insurance plan has benefits and disadvantages.

Dentists participating in the PPO plans have negotiated their fees with the administering company, and provide their services under the plan, but this usually doesn't cover all fees. There are deductibles to consider and most of these types of dental insurance plan only pay a percentage of the charges, leaving the patient with a co-pay. There may also be a maximum amount they will pay annually. If your employer is paying the monthly premiums for the dental insurance plan and the dentist you use is part of the PPO, this might be an attractive option.

A Dental Health Maintenance Organization is another dental insurance plan option, based on the model of medical HMOs. Here, too, the patient is enrolled in a program, and can visit any dentist in that program. However, dentists may end up having to provide services at 'below cost' rates, and not be able to spend as much time with each person as a PPO could offer. Working in an HMO setting, the dentist has many more people to see and is compelled to function in an environment where volume matters. Although a patient will be seen and treated, the relationship with the dentist isn't developed due to lack of time. If you want to be seen by a dentist who takes time with his or her patients, this may not be your optimum dental insurance plan.

Dental phobia is a fear, or phobia, traditionally defined as an irrational and exaggerated fear of dentists and dental procedures. Some controversy exists with regards to whether the fear is "irrational", as dental phobia is most commonly caused by previous bad experiences. Furthermore, there appear to be several subtypes of dental phobia, which to date have not been adequately described and categorized, for example "fear of dentists" versus "fear of specific dental procedures", needle phobia, and dental phobia resulting from previous, perhaps unrelated, abuse. Not all of these fears can be deemed irrational.

Dental phobia may better be defined as an extreme and persistent fear which results in the individual's avoidance of attending a dentist at all costs, unless possibly when a physical problem becomes overwhelming. Even thinking or hearing about going to the dentist will cause marked psychological distress, and the phobia may interfere with social functioning.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, dental phobia which may also be referred to as odontophobia, dentophobia, dentist phobia, or dental anxiety is one of the specific phobias. The diagnostic criteria of specific phobia include

a marked and persistent fear of the specific object or situation that is excessive or unreasonable,
an immediate anxiety response upon exposure to the feared stimulus, which may take the form of a panic attack,
recognition that the fear is excessive or unreasonable,
avoidance of the anxiety-producing situation,
the phobia interferes with normal functioning or causes marked distress.

Automobile Insurance Defined

Automobile insurance, is probably the most common form of insurance and may cover both legal liability claims against the driver and loss of or damage to the insured's vehicle itself. Throughout most of the United States an auto insurance policy is required to legally operate a motor vehicle on public roads. In some jurisdictions, bodily injury compensation for automobile accident victims has been changed to a no fault system, which reduces or eliminates the ability to sue for compensation but provides automatic eligibility for benefits.

Health Insurance Defined

A health insurance policy is a legal, binding contract between the insurance company and the customer. The largest difference between private sector health insurance and life insurance is that for life insurance, a person may purchase guaranteed renewable insurance for the whole of the insured's life at a constant premium rate, while health insurance is generally purchased year by year with generally no assurance of renewability and if renewable no guarantee that premium rates will not increase.

This is a consumer assistance web site designed to help the average consumer become more educated on their insurance policies as well as insurance needs.

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