The price for obtaining top quality dental care has more than doubled in the past few decades. While the reasons for the increased costs can be explained, the bottom line is that it has become more expensive for an individual to maintain clean and healthy teeth and gums, even with dental insurance. Today, there are discount dental plans for individuals that help people reduce the amount paid for dental services. Discount dental plans are not insurance plans and, quite often, will cover more procedures and cost less per procedure than an insurance plan. Understanding how a discount dental plan works will enable individuals to make informed choices.
<strong>HOW DISCOUNT DENTAL PLANS WORK:</strong>
Discount dental plans offer pre-agreed upon reduced fees on a variety of procedures from a plan’s participating dental providers. The discounted fees apply to a full spectrum of services from routine check-ups and cleanings to orthodontics and cosmetic dentistry and the reduced fees will range from a low end of 10 percent up to a significant 60 percent off a provider’s normal fees. There is no limit on how many times a procedure can be obtained but, fees are to be paid in full at the time of services.
Once someone joins a plan, the new member will receive a plan ID card and a list of all the participating providers. A plan is activated on the same day of enrollment or within three days from enrollment.
Individuals can join more than one dental plan, but can only use one plan at a time per provider. The reason that someone might elect to have two plans is for the savings. An example would be that one plan offers excellent savings on customary dental procedures but does not include someone’s desired orthodontist who is a provider on another dental plan.
<strong>SELECTING AN IDEAL PLAN:</strong>
Just as someone researches for the best health insurance plan to fit personal needs, some research is needed to find the best discount dental plan. There are dozens of plans available across the country. To insure someone gets the most comprehensive plan at the best price, a comparison of the available plans in a given zip code will show all of the participating providers, all of the procedures, and all of the agreed upon fees. One comparison website is: www.dentalplans.com/dentalsearch/zipsummarycomparion. This website can also be used to find a participating provider for emergency dental care while away from home.