Taking good care of your teeth is important, but there is only so much that you can do at home. Brushing and flossing every day will help, but to keep your teeth as healthy
as possible, you need to visit the dentist on a regular basis. Of course, this means that you will have to find a way to pay for these visits – discount dental plans or dental insurance.
Which one is best for you?
In general, there are two main ways to find help paying for the cost of dental care if you cannot afford to just pay out of pocket. These two options are dental insurance and discount dental plans. By considering the following information, you can decide which option is right for you.
Dental insurance basically works like regular health insurance, except it is designed to cover dental care. You buy an insurance policy and pay a monthly premium, and in return, the insurance company will pay for much of the cost of your dental care. And remember – dental insurance rarely, if ever, covers braces or other orthodontic treatments.
There are often a number of different types of dental insurance that you can buy. For example, you can join a dental HMO. These work much like regular HMOs, in that you are restricted to seeing dentists who are members of the organization. However, your premiums will likely be lower and you will probably not have a deductible.
Joining a dental PPO gives you more flexibility in which dentist you can see, but you may have to pay more if you go to a dentist who is out of the network. These policies also have higher premiums and you may have to pay more out of pocket before your coverage kicks in.
You may also find dental indemnity insurance available to you. With these policies, you can visit any dentist you like, but you will have to pay higher premiums, and your policy will not cover as much.
Discount dental plans, like dental insurance, are designed to reduce the amount you will have to pay for dental care. However, you should realize that these plans are not insurance policies. Instead, they are essentially memberships in a discount club. By paying an annual membership fee, you are eligible for significant discounts on most dental procedures. Discount dental plans or dental insurance – you may come out dollars ahead with discount dental plans.
One great advantage of these plans is their greater ease of use. You do not have to worry about dealing with an insurance company. Instead, you just pay your dentist directly. Whenever you have a dentist appointment, just show your card to the receptionist and you will be given a discount when it is time to pay.
Make sure that your dentist accepts your discount plan, however. You should also check to see whether there is a waiting period before the plan takes effect. It is better to buy your membership ahead of time, rather than at the last minute. Discounts with these plans are also generally greater for preventative care than for specialized procedures, such as root canals.
Both Discount dental plans or dental insurance have advantages and disadvantages. Consider them carefully before you make your decision.
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