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Student Health/Dental Insurance

MomMe32MomMe32 Registered User Posts: 126 Junior Member
Son will be a freshman at UMN this fall. He is getting the health insurance. But trying to decide on optional dental.

Have any current/former students bought the optional dental insurance and had more expensive procedure(s) done using itt? Was it worth it vs just going to UMN Dental w/ just the UMN student health plan? I know many ppl local to TC area go to UMN for more expensive procedures since it is a teaching dental school. I'm wondering if there is any savings beyond the "teaching subject" discount?

Looks like son may need wisdom teeth pulled this year and we're possibly looking at 2 implants while he is in college.


Replies to: Student Health/Dental Insurance

  • khidhalakhidhala Registered User Posts: 319 Member

    I can't speak to the insurance packages for students- sorry. I can share my experiences with the dental school, however. My wife and I have both used the dental school as a cost savings option for some of our crowns.

    Other savings you might consider include:
    Transportation. If student is living on campus, they can likely just walk back to their room. With wisdom teeth extraction, they'll want to have a friend along, but they could call Campus Police for a free escort as well. I just looked, and there is also a dental clinic at Boynton, which can be used with the Dental insurance, so this is really a wash between the two.
    Possible bonus. Depending on the time of year and the demand, the state board is always looking for cases to be used as part of the certification exam. If the procedure you are having done is identified as a need for the certification testing, they will compensate you further for your time. Out of 8 procedures my wife and I have had done, I was just selected once, so don't count on this, but it's a nice bonus if it comes.

    Any materials are billed at or near cost, so the discount can run between 20-50% depending on the procedure. (That's cost before insurance... YMMV).

    Wife and I have switched to a local dentist, in part because the convenience and service there have been outstanding. With our dental insurance, the cost (to us) was about the same, and we have flex dollars that we need to burn down. But if we had to, we would do the school again. Just bear in mind:

    The dental school is a school, so service will be significantly slower than a dentist's office. The student decides on the work to be done, the teacher comes and hears the student detail the plan, then the student does the work, then the teacher comes and reviews the work done.

    Because of the lower cost, there are a lot of patients. Waiting room will have 40 or more patients all waiting. The check in process runs fairly smoothly overall, but it can lack some of the personal feel of a private dentist's office.

    These are students, so while they are supervised by experienced faculty, they may need to re-do a step or two along the way, as they learn techniques and skills.

    Wisdom teeth aren't cheap! Good luck in whatever you choose. Feel free to pm me if you have other questions about our dental school experience.
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