Using Your Flexible Spending Account For Dentistry

People typically have lots of things on their mind as the year comes to a close. However, many times their flexible spending account is not one of those things. Maybe it seemed like a good idea to put this tax-free money away at the beginning of the year for their qualified medical expenses but now the year is ending and even though they have money left in their flexible spending account (F.S.A.) they aren’t sure what to use it on so many people just let the money expire. A little bit of planning can make sure that you are fully reaping the benefits of your flexible spending account. For most people there are a number of ways this money can benefit their dental health which we will discuss in further detail below.

Additional Dental Cleanings

Although the common rule is to visit the dentist twice a year, most people can benefit greatly from having their teeth cleaned 3-4 times per year. A hygienist is able to clean your teeth much more thoroughly than you can yourself, and most dental practices have very economical fees for dental cleanings. If you have a few extra dollars in your flexible spending account then this is a great use of that money for yourself and for your entire family.

Restorative Dental Work

Maybe the price of that dental crown scared you earlier in the year when your dentist told you that you needed it done. However, with the additional money in your flexible spending account, now is an ideal time to have it completed. Dental problems only tend to get worse with time, not better. It’s worth it to not wait too long to have your recommended dental work completed. Also, paying for this work with the money in your flexible spending account can amount up to a 25% out-of-pocket savings for you since the money is tax-free.

 Dental Implants / Dentures

Typically dental implants and dentures are a large expense. Many dental insurances will often pay a portion of these procedures but still leave the patient with an out-of-pocket expense. Using money that is in your flexible spending account can help take a huge dent out of both dental implants and dentures.

Nightguard, or Occlusal Guard

Grinding and clenching your teeth may be having a bigger effect on your overall dental health than you realize. Excessive grinding can wear down your teeth, disrupt your bite, and trigger TMJ problems. Nightguards prevent this by putting a barrier between your top and bottom teeth while you sleep.  Many times nightguards are not something that your insurance covers so using your flexible spending account to protect your teeth is a no-brainer.


Braces or Invisalign for yourself or your children is one of the most common uses of money in flexible spending accounts. If you know that orthodontic treatment is on the horizon for you, or if you have always wanted to straighten your teeth, there could be significant savings for you by using your flexible spending account. Bonus: To accommodate patients who want to use their flexible spending accounts towards braces, many orthodontic practices open additional hours during November and December.

Oral Healthcare Products

Products such as denture cleaners, denture adhesives, toothache relievers and  teething rings are all qualified medical expenses under your flexible spending account. However, products such as toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss are not – so be careful not to use your flexible spending account when stocking up on these necessities!


In conclusion, there are a number of ways using your flexible spending account can positively impact your dental health. Please contact Rusnak Family Dentistry in Richmond, VA to schedule your dental appointment today!


POSTED IN: Dental Insurance, Dental Tips, Dentistry


  1.   Mary

    A flexible spending account allows you to put money from your paycheck aside to use for allowed medical or dental expenses that are not covered by you insurance. The money is taken out before taxes, so your income tax can be reduced as a result. it can be used to meet your deductible as well as other expenses. It is taken in equal ammounts from each pay period. There is a use it or lose it clause, if you set the money aside and then you do not use the full amount, you do not get the unused portion back. On the plus side, the full amount is available for use from day one, so if you set aside say, $2000 and you need to use that full amount in January, you can. If you were to leave you job or be layed off, you do NOT have to reimburse the company for the amount you used and they cannot, by law, collect that from you either. Since you do not get the unused portion back, you have to carefully consider the amount you have in the account. But if you KNOW you have certain expenses coming up this is a great way to handle it – the exact same amount per pay period versus a big out-of-pocket expense. You could cover $10,000 toward dental implants at 384.00 per pay period rather than pay the dentist the full amount up front, for example. I had 60,000 in medical expenses this year, my out-of-pocket maximum on my policy was 8,000, and my FSA covered 5,000 of that, which made it possible much easier for me to meet my bills.

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