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Not many people know that dental insurance is nothing like medical insurance.

For instance, if you have a dental PPO plan, you likely have a limit on how much the insurance company will reimburse you over the course of the year. In addition to the annual cap, insurance companies impose various limitations on how often, when and what procedures are covered and at what percentage. It's a messy world in the insurance universe.

We don't want to go over all the mundane complexities of dental insurance, but we do have a few tips on how to use your dental benefits efficiently. Here is what you need to do now before it's too late in the year:

1. Make sure you find a dental office that you trust with good reputation and great service.

2. Make your first appointment with them for the comprehensive exam.

3. After the exam, if it turns out that you do need to do some work, they will plan it for you to get those procedures done throughout the year in a way that you maximize your dental benefits.

4. If you don't have any major work done, make sure to book your regular cleanings (every 6 months) and check ups. These visits are usually covered by your dental benefits. They are necessary to ensure that your teeth are in their best shape and you discover any issues early on before they turn into major hassles. That also helps with utilizing your credit with your dental insurance before the year ends.

Keep in mind that your annual dental credit with your insurance company doesn't rollover to the next year. That's why it's best to make sure that you discover any issues early on in the year and to plan to get them done before the year ends to minimize your out of pocket expenses for dental work.

// 7x7 has partnered with Soothing Dental, a concierge dental service with offices in San Francisco, Sunnyvale, Belmont and Los Gatos to make sure that your dental needs are covered. You can book your first visit in any of their offices by visiting soothing.dental or by downloading their app at soothing.dental/app.

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