FAQ: Dental

Who is eligible to use MIT Health’s Dental Service?

Anyone who is at least 15 years old and eligible to use MIT Health is eligible to use the Dental Service. That includes current MIT students, affiliates, employees; Draper and Whitehead employees; and eligible family members. 

How can I find out how much my dental care will cost?

After your examination and a discussion of treatment options, your dentist will give you a copy of your initial treatment plan, which will include estimated costs. These costs are estimates only, because your treatment plan may need to change if the dentist finds additional or different problems after actually starting treatment.

If you ask, the billing staff will give you an estimate that includes your out-of-pocket expense. They will also send a pre-estimate to Delta Dental. But you are responsible for understanding what your insurance covers and for paying any balances not paid by the insurance company. 

Are any dental services covered by my health insurance?

Very few. Health insurance plans usually do not cover routine dental care such as cleanings, X-rays, fillings, or crowns. Routine dental care is not covered by the MIT Student Health Insurance Plan (MIT SHIP) or MIT-sponsored employee plans. However, a few special procedures may be covered by these plans. Please review your benefit description or check with your health insurance company directly. Individuals covered by SHIP may contact the MIT Student Insurance Office at stuplan@med.mit.edu and employees may contact MIT Benefits at benefits@mit.edu or call 617-253-6151. 

What should I do if I have an urgent dental problem or emergency after hours or on weekends?

Contact MIT Health’s Urgent Care Service (617-253-4481) for evaluation and triage. Our general dentists are on call to provide advice to the Urgent Care Service after hours and on weekends, when the Dental Service is not open.

If you have a serious dental emergency (e.g., facial trauma, jaw fracture, avulsed tooth, uncontrolled bleeding, or airway compromise), you will be referred to the Massachusetts General Hospital emergency room. If your problem is urgent but not serious (e.g., chipped tooth, tooth pain, lost crowns, broken dentures, or fillings), we will see you as soon as possible, usually the next day. Most hospital emergency rooms do not treat dental problems like these.

What are the payment options for employees?

If you have the Delta Dental Premier insurance plan, you will pay your copayments or deductibles at the time of service. The Dental Service will then file a claim with Delta Dental for the balance. Employees with other dental plans must pay in full at the time of service. The Dental Service accepts personal checks and most major credit cards. If you have a dental insurance plan other than Delta Dental, we can provide a standard claim form for you to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. 

Why doesn’t my dental insurance cover all treatments that are recommended by the Dental Service?

You will need to ask your dental insurance company. Only a patient and their dentist can determine the most appropriate dental treatment plan. 

What are the payment options for MIT students?

Currently, MIT Health does not offer a dental insurance plan for undergraduate students.

Graduate students and their families are eligible for Graduate Student Dental Plan. Deductibles and coinsurance apply. 

Will you remind me when my next appointment is coming up?

We send reminders via email and text messages. Be sure to give us your correct phone number and preferred email address to ensure that you receive reminders. 

What should I do if I can’t keep a scheduled appointment?

Call the Dental Service at 617-253-1501 as soon as possible to reschedule. This will also allow us to offer your appointment slot to another patient. No-shows or last-minute cancellations increase the cost of providing care.