Just the headline is enough to set dentists' teeth grinding: "Is dental insurance worth the cost?" Still, CBS reporter Marilyn Lewis poses a fair question, and offers an equally fair answer.

She dives in with an opener that quickly summarizes the pros and cons of dental insurance: "You can avoid the most likely causes and expenses of dental problems, decay and gum disease by brushing and flossing your teeth diligently. But some teeth are more prone to problems, and when they have a problem, the costs can mount quickly."

So, some of us need it, others probably not, right? Currently, she notes, two-thirds of Americans have dental insurance — lower than nondental health insurance, but still a substantial number of people.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.