An emergency visit to the dentist isn’t something anyone wants to deal with on their vacation, let alone think about when planning a trip, but sometimes things happen that are out of our control
One way that you can prepare for an emergency like this is to invest in quality travel insurance. Whether it’s a minor toothache or a broken or chipped tooth, having travel insurance means you won’t have to worry about the high costs of emergency dental work when enjoying a trip abroad.
Many travel insurance policies today offer some form of dental coverage, either as part of the original plan or as an add-on. Here’s what you need to know about travel insurance and dental coverage before you take off on your adventure.
Why You Need Travel Insurance
Before we dive into the specifics of dental coverage, let’s look at why you need travel insurance in general.
For many people, a vacation is one of the biggest purchases they’ll make each year. You don’t want to have that investment ruined with unforeseen circumstances, especially if you’re traveling very far from home.
A reliable travel insurance policy protects your investment. Many travel insurance policies are very affordable but provide plenty of financial coverage for a trip.
Most basic travel insurance plans will provide coverage for canceled flights and hotel reservations, expenses from travel delays, and lost or stolen baggage. These travel interruptions not only result in unanticipated costs, but they can also take up a lot of extra time.
A reliable travel insurance policy can give you the peace of mind you need should this situation arise.
Why You Need Medical and Dental Coverage
Many travel insurance policies include medical and dental coverage either as part of the initial policy or as an add-on. This is incredibly important, as you never know when a medical emergency is going to strike, and care for this type of emergency can be very expensive when traveling abroad.
Most policies will offer an emergency medical coverage amount with a dental emergency coverage sub-limit. The dental sub-limit will generally be a much lower dollar amount than the emergency medical limit given that dental emergencies typically cost less than medical emergencies.
Emergency dental care can be very pricey in any situation. Even if you have existing medical or dental insurance, providers in a different country usually won’t accept it.
You don’t want a dental or medical emergency to ruin a trip that you worked so hard to plan. You also want to make sure you can get the best care possible when you need it, without having to worry about the final bill.
Investing in a travel insurance plan up front can ensure you get the dental care you need while you’re vacationing.
What Does Travel Dental Insurance Cover?
Travel insurance provides coverage for dental or medical emergencies while you’re at your destination. This could include treatment for broken teeth, implant repairs, or sudden pain. It also typically will cover any medications or supplies you might need.
Most travel insurance policies include some form of dental coverage along with their general medical coverage. However, other policies may have you purchase dental coverage as an add-on. Dental add-ons usually offer more comprehensive emergency coverage.
What Isn’t Covered?
Travel insurance does not cover routine dental appointments like exams and cleanings. Additionally, travel insurance doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions. For example, if you had damaged a tooth before your trip but decided to seek care for it during your trip, your travel insurance likely wouldn’t cover it.
Dental emergencies that result from high-risk activities also may not be covered under your travel insurance policy. For example, many travel insurance policies have limitations for injuries sustained during activities like skydiving, race car driving, or extreme rock climbing. There also may be limitations in your contract if you’re traveling to a place with political unrest, or environmental dangers.
It’s very important to read your travel insurance policy thoroughly before committing to it. Understanding exactly what your insurance does and doesn’t cover can save you time and money in the long run.
Finding a Travel Insurance Policy
On TravelInsurance.com, you can compare policies from a wide range of providers all in one place. You’ll enter in the details of your trip and the type of coverage you’re looking for, and you can see all of your options in an easy to read format. This makes it easy to determine which policy is going to provide the best value for money.
Your travel insurance policy will have a certain coverage amount attached to it for each feature. For example, your policy might offer $4,000 for trip cancellation, $2,500 for lost baggage, and $50,000 for emergency medical coverage. This is the amount the insurer will pay for that feature should you file a claim.
Some travel insurers have a deductible for medical coverage, but most do not.
What To Do If You Experience a Dental Emergency Abroad
Contact Your Insurer
If you experience a dental emergency while you’re traveling, the first step is to find quality care that you can trust. This is particularly important if you’re in a foreign country where you aren’t familiar with the language. Some travel insurance companies offer a concierge service that can help you navigate the process, which can provide huge relief in a stressful situation.
If your plan offers this, you can contact them directly and they will help you find a provider.
Search For a Dentist
If your plan doesn’t offer this service, start looking for a dentist right away. Your hosts or the hotel staff may be able to point you in the right direction if you aren’t sure where to go.
Many travel insurance providers allow you to pick the provider you want. However, some have limitations about the type of provider you can seek out (ie., you can only visit a hospital or urgent care center). Be sure to check these requirements to avoid any headache down the road.
Document Your Care
Make sure to keep all of your receipts as well as any documents relating to your procedure. Most travel insurers will have you pay up front for your dental care and will reimburse you at the end of the trip.
If you haven’t been in touch with your travel insurance provider by this point, now is the time to do so. The sooner you file the claim, the quicker and easier it will be to process it.
Give Yourself Time to Rest
If you’ve had dental work done while on vacation, make sure to give yourself enough time to rest and recover. It can be tempting to go out and do all the fun activities you originally had planned, but this could be dangerous if you aren’t fully healed.
Check with your dentist about what you should and shouldn’t do, and make sure to take any necessary medication as prescribed.
Take Preventative Measures
If you’re taking off on a long trip, it can be helpful to visit the dentist before you go. A routine checkup can catch dental issues before you depart, which gives you the opportunity to get treatment from your dentist at home.
Your dentist can also prescribe any necessary medication and provide guidance for how to take care of yourself while you’re abroad. Preventative care is key to your overall dental health.
When it comes to traveling, it’s important to prepare for the unexpected. A travel insurance policy with good dental coverage ensures that you can get the care you need while you’re traveling, though it may come at a higher cost.
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