The ADA has this breakdown for the differences in how dental works compared to medical.
Medical plans cover needs and treatment that are:
- High cost
- An insurable risk
Dental plans cover needs and treatment that are:
- Low cost
- Low risk
The linked article starts by looking at the differences in Medical and dental insurance then explores how the professions developed independently. Which according to the article is mostly due to early physicians not wanting anything to do with teeth. Of course dentistry not only has different insurance coverage it has separate educational institutions and licensing boards.
This is important because it reflects what our patients are reading and what they believe about dentistry and it lets people know that their dental “insurance” will not cover much. In fact it isn’t really insurance as it is usually defined.
The article goes on to imply that dentistry should be included in general medical insurance and may become part of future ACA (Obamacare) benefits. I hope not. I believe dentistry as a profession is much better off than medicine because of the limited influence of third parties.