There are a lot of confusing terms associated with dental insurance. Choosing a dentist who is in-network with your plan can save you 30 to 40 percent. What does in-network mean? It means the dentist has entered an agreement with your insurance company to only charge the fees and co-pays outlined in your plan. He or she writes off the remainder or difference between your plan and their regular fees.

Some dentists say they will accept your insurance even though they are not participating. That’s not the same. They can still charge you the difference between what your insurance company pays and their fees.

In addition to checking the in-network status of your dentist, you’ll also want to make sure they are honest and skilled. If his or her care falls short, you could end up with more costly problems down the road. Be sure to read reviews and ask about the practice’s use of technology. With an intra-oral camera a dentist can show you clinical issues that they plan to treat. That saves you stress and money!

Dr. Damian Dachowski is a family dentist and owner of d3dentistry in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina