The year’s end is fast approaching! One thing we can’t help but think about for our patients is if they’ve really maximized their dental insurance and/or FSA/HSA funds. Why is this top-of-mind at Shoreline Dental Studio? Well, many dental insurance plans don’t roll over your funds year to year. In other words, it’s a use it or lose it situation.

To that we say, don’t let your hard-earned money disappear this year. Take steps before the year’s out to ensure you’re making the most of your dental coverage and dental savings plans before December 31st hits! With that in mind, here are a few of our tips:

  1. Understand Your Dental Insurance

Grab that dental benefits booklet or that digital version buried in your email! Take note of the services covered, like check-ups and cleanings, x-rays, and other procedures. Most insurance plans include two cleanings and check-ups per year per family member covered. If you, your spouse, or dependents haven’t had your second cleaning this year, schedule one for November or December with Dr. Ritzau, Dr. Livingston, Dr. Saad, or Dr. Winters at our San Clemente or Mission Viejo office. Preventative dental care is the foundation of a healthy smile!


Dental insurance plans also have annual maximums. Again, review your coverage on your own or check in with your coverage provider to find out your limits, how much you’ve used this year, and what remains.

Maximizing Benefits for Family Members

Your spouse and dependents are typically covered under your health insurance. Take stock of what everyone needs (check-ups and cleanings, fillings, orthodontic care) and figure out how to best maximize your benefits for family members before the end of the year. 

  1. What to Do With Your Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)

Just like typical dental insurance packages, unused money in FSAs disappears by year’s end unless your employer has a rollover option. HSAs are a different story, however. They don’t expire at the end of the year since it’s 100% your contributions only. Phew!

What should you do with your FSA or HSA money then? One option is to put your remaining FSA money and health insurance dental benefits together towards any remaining treatments this year. You might want to save your HSA money for next year since it rolls over. 

  1. Plan Preventative Care and Prioritize Treatments

Make a list of the dental work you need and prioritize it based on necessity. Have any dental issues you haven’t made an appointment about? Make an appointment at our San Clemente or Mission Viejo office ASAP. You want to make sure you’re using your funds for the most critical treatments first.

Even if you or your family members don’t need any major dental work, a check-up and cleaning can catch potential issues before they turn into more expensive, time-consuming problems. Preventative care appointments typically only take one visit. As we mentioned earlier, schedule any remaining cleaning appointments now for maximizing your benefits towards your family members’ oral health — there’s still time. If it turns out someone in the family needs fillings, they typically take one quick appointment; schedule fillings right away if you can.

Other dental treatments — like root canals — can sometimes take multiple visits to complete. If this is the case for you, chat with the Shoreline Dental Studio team about starting now before the year is up to apply this year’s benefits or FSA money to the initial stages of your treatment. Then continue in the new year if possible to tap into next year’s funds and finish up your procedure. 

At Shoreline Dental Studio, our dedicated insurance co-ordinators can help you plan out your dental treatments to line up with your insurance coverage. And if the insurance company you’re with means our Orange County dental practice is an out-of-network provider, we’re happy to explain and help you figure out if you have to pay fully out-of-pocket or if your insurance has some out-of-network payment coverage.

  1. Weigh When to Book Those Cosmetic Dental Procedures

As a comprehensive Orange County dental practice, Shoreline Dental Studio not only provides preventative and restorative dental care but cosmetic dentistry, too. If you’ve been thinking about procedures to level up your smile like veneers or gum contouring, take note that these types of procedures aren’t typically covered by dental insurance if they’re for aesthetic purposes only. However, if these treatments are also medically necessary, like if they’re part of restoring injured or diseased teeth, they might qualify for some insurance or FSA coverage. 

Different insurance providers have slightly different rules so double check or chat with our knowledgeable insurance co-ordinators for assistance.

  1. How About Emergency Dental Care?

Unfortunately, sometimes dental emergencies happen. Thankfully, most dental coverage includes some assistance with these situations. Familiarizing yourself with your dental insurance in these cases is important in knowing how much is covered.

See Your Orange County Dentist Before December 31 to Maximize Your Benefits

Now that you’ve taken steps to figure out your remaining insurance benefits and HSA/FSA amounts for this year, as well as prioritized which oral care needs come first, make appointments with your Orange County dentist before the year is up. Remember, use it or lose it!

Book your November and December appointments today.

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Shoreline Dental Studio