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Insider Update

Tips to help make selling simple

The business benefits of dental cone beam computed tomography

As of January 1, 2024, Delta Dental is making a benefit enhancement by including dental cone beam computed tomography in our coverage for new PPO policies and upon renewal for existing policies. This inclusion represents our continued dedication to enhancing the patient and provider experience.

Dental cone beam computed tomography (CBCT), known for its high-precision and detailed imaging, has many benefits, including:
 

  • Enhancing the patient and provider experience
  • Improving quality of care
  • Creating better dental outcomes for the patient
  • Potentially reducing long-term costs on major services
  • Reducing administrative burden on dental professionals
     

Let’s examine the intricacies of CBCT, dental scan insurance coverage and the associated costs and benefits. Let’s start with a quick recap of the CBCT basics.
 

What is dental cone beam computed tomography?

Unlike the traditional dental x-rays you might be more familiar with, a dental CBCT machine adds a third dimension of imagery to provide a much more comprehensive view of a patient’s oral health.

Cone beam computed tomography is commonly used for implant procedures, orthodontia, and complex endodontic and periodontic services. Assessing the jaw from multiple angles, cone beam CT dental scans capture clearer images of a patient's oral anatomy more than ever before.

With detailed, three-dimensional images of oral and maxillofacial structures, dentists can conduct more advanced diagnostics and curate treatment plans that are accurate, precise, and tailor-made for each individual patient.
 

How does dental cone beam computed tomography work?

As the name suggests, the technology employs a cone-shaped beam that captures detailed images quickly, efficiently and with minimal radiation exposure — prioritizing patient safety without compromising diagnostic accuracy.

During a dental CBCT scan, patients typically sit or stand, depending on the machine’s design. The process is non-invasive and efficient, designed with comfort and ease of access in mind. There’s no noisy, buzzing machinery — just a smooth, straightforward and speedy process without any of the stress and anxiety associated with the more invasive, traditional CT approach.

With this in mind, it’s easy to see why dental CBCT coverage offers a significant advantage for patients. But how is it relevant to you as a broker? Here’s everything you need to know.
 

Understanding insurance coverage for cone beam CT dental scans

To be reimbursed for a CBCT scan, dental-specific insurance is usually required. Typically, standard medical insurance will only cover dental work for patients who have sustained trauma or an unrelated medical condition that affects the mouth. So, for this procedure, having a standalone dental policy from Delta Dental can be advantageous.

Of course, there’s no hard-and-fast rule. So, being well-versed in the small print and stipulations of all available insurance policies is essential for ensuring smooth processes and guiding your clients through the maze of options.
 

Cost considerations for dental CBCT scans

Depending on plan design and coinsurance for major services, member out-of-pockets costs will vary. Additional things for enrollees to keep in mind are: 
 

  • Coverage exclusions — Just like general medical insurance, dental policies aren’t designed as an all-inclusive pass. As such, cosmetic procedures and scans conducted for purely investigational reasons are typically excluded.
  • Alternative payment options — Because X-rays are an IRS-approved eligible expense, it’s possible that health savings accounts (HSAs) and flexible spending accounts (FSAs) may be used to cover the cost of dental cone beam computed tomography.
     

The business benefits of comprehensive dental coverage

In the competitive landscape of dental insurance, Delta Dental stands out as a market leader. We’re committed to providing clients access to innovative state-of-the-art solutions like CBCT dental scans. After all, only with the most advanced technology can we improve diagnostics and facilitate more personalized and effective treatment opportunities.

For your clients, the beauty of stand-alone dental policies is that there's no special enrollment period. This means that dental insurance can be added at any time. Plus, there are organizational perks to offering employees more comprehensive coverage that you can discuss with your clients. Let’s delve into a few of the primary benefits.
 

Enhance diagnostic capabilities

The ability to provide advanced diagnostics demonstrates a commitment to employee health beyond the surface level of generic medical policies that only cover basics like doctors’ visits and prescription drugs. Plus, the ability to identify potential issues early and take proactive steps to halt the development of more significant dental problems in their tracks equates to reduced absenteeism in the long run.
 

Reduce long-term health care costs

Offering comprehensive dental coverage is a strategic investment in the long-term health of employees. Oral health is intrinsically linked to overall systemic health. So, offering a policy which includes advanced diagnostic tools like CBCT dental scans can significantly reduce the onset risk of serious conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and respiratory problems. In doing so, long-term healthcare costs are minimized and mitigated.
 

Offer personalized treatment options

Employee well-being should never be restricted to a one-size-fits-all approach. Employees appreciate advanced, personalized care, with treatment journeys tailored to their unique oral health requirements. In the modern-day medical environment, where the patient-centered care model places each individual at the heart of their own treatment processes, technology like dental cone beam computed tomography can be a powerful catalyst in enabling employees to play a more active role in their dental journey.
 

Level up dental care with high-quality coverage

We invite insurance brokers to partner with us. By choosing Delta Dental, you're not just selecting an insurance provider. You're partnering with an industry leader dedicated to shaping the future of dental coverage. Get started today.