The importance of good oral hygiene cannot be overstated. Maintaining your oral health is essential to eat and speak correctly. Additionally, good oral hygiene contributes to your overall health, appearance, and self-esteem. The negative consequences of ignoring dental care are disease, infection, pain, discomfort, and bad breath.
Caring for your teeth has also never been more costly. Coupled with this fact has been the marked reduction of employer-sponsored dental coverage. This loss has caused many of today’s consumers to seek outside dental plans that will provide them with financial relief. Unfortunately, most consumers want to pay a small monthly plan premium for their coverage so they can receive dental treatments for a simple co-payment. However, that kind of coverage is difficult, if not impossible, to find in a “stand-alone” dental plan.
Dental Discount Plan Trends
Much like healthcare, dental care has seen its own revolution in recent years. Dentists have invested heavily to make your visit comfortable and pleasant, which has in turn driven up costs. New advances in dental techniques and medications have greatly reduced or even eliminated pain and discomfort. In addition, more consumers are seeking cosmetic dentistry, undergoing advanced dental treatments, and using new medications when visiting their dentist.
Although the changes in the dental industry have greatly improved our experience in the dental chair and given us more cosmetic choices, it continues to be a financial hardship. Today, it is even more important to have dental plan coverage that can help reduce your out-of-pocket costs. For many consumers, tapping into the large discounts that managed-care networks have negotiated with dentists is the preferred avenue when seeking ways to reduce dental costs.
Dental Discount Plan Options
Typical plan options:
- Indemnity Dental Plans – This type of dental plan is sometimes referred to as an “expense” plan. It is typically more expensive (higher premiums) but allows for less out-of-pocket costs when seeking treatments. Keep in mind that many of these plans only pay a set amount for each treatment (no matter the charged amount). They may have waiting periods before the benefits begin and possible low plan benefit limits (e.g., $1,000.00 of annual coverage). In addition, the insurance premiums may also end up costing more than the needed services. If the security of simply having insurance is your first priority, then this plan may be your best option.
- Discount Dental Plans – This type of dental plan is usually the most affordable but is not actually insurance. There is usually no waiting period, and consumers have many different plan choices. You can choose to cover one person or an entire family for a very low cost. Although you will be paying out-of-pocket for your dental care, these plans are popular because the low premiums can provide large discounts when paying for each procedure. Some discounts may be up to 60% off the regularly billed charges when using an in-network dentist. This plan option may be a good choice if you cannot afford high premiums, want preventative dental care, or visit the dentist often.