Dental Insurance

Why is it important for everyone to have a dental exam and dental treatment? 

Your mouth is the gateway to your body. Your total health depends on how healthy your teeth and your gums are. For those who cannot afford dental treatment and do not have dental insurance through their workplaces, you might consider buying a dental plan that is suitable for you.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 60 percent of Americans over the age of 60 have visited a dentist within the past year. Since older people are prone to have periodontal disease and to lose their teeth, less visit to the dentist prevents elderly from getting proper care for their dental need and affect overall health.

Dental insurance plans divide into three categories:

1. Freedom of choice - this is the best program available. It offers the best flexibility and the best coverage.  Most dentists that accept insurance subscribe this plan.   Physician Mutual Insurance is one of the insurance companies I found to have extensive dental coverage (300 dental procedures) with no deduction, and no annual or lifetime maximum. 

2. PPO (Managed-care plans or preferred provider organization) - this insurance limits the patient to selected dentist within the insurance network. The dentists who join this system agree to their discount fee. 

3. HMO (Dental Health Management Organization) - this plan, usually, has minimal coverage with a fixed amount of the charge. You can go to any dentists in their networks. There may /may not be any co-payment for each treatment depend upon an individual insurance policy. This plan often charges a small monthly premium.

Freedom of choice dental plan and PPO may include co - payment fees ( a fee that doesn't cover for each treatment) plus a deductible each year.

Average dental plan policy for "Freedom of choice dental plan" and "PPO" include:
  •  Plan maximum per year -  between $1,000 to $1,500
  •  Deductible $ 50 - $100
  • 100 % coverage on preventative that includes cleaning, routine oral examination, and bitewings x-rays, twice per year
  • 80% coverage for all basic treatment (fillings, extraction, periodontal treatment, root canal treatment)
  • 50-60 % coverage on major dental works such as implants, bridges, and crowns
  • Some plans may include orthodontic treatment
An individual who plans to buy dental insurance should visit a dentist to assess the dental problems prior to choosing a dental plan. That way, you can select the best dental insurance plan or discount dental plans according to your need.

Discount dental plans

What is discount dental plan

Discount dental plans are not dental insurance.  Participating dentists have agreed to accept a discounted fee from discount dental plan members as payment-in-full for dental services performed. There is a variety of other essential differences between discount dental plans and dental insurance plans.

How do discount dental plans differ from dental insurance plans?

Discount dental plans
are an affordable, easy-to-use and hassle-free solution for anyone looking for dental care savings. Below is a comparison guide between discount dental plans and dental insurance to help you make an informed decision.

Discount Dental Plan:

  • No annual limits
  • Most plans activate within three business days
  • No paperwork, plan members simply present their membership card at a participating dentist office for discounts on most dental services
  • No health restrictions, there is no need to wait for comprehensive dental treatment plans
  • Select plans include discounts on dental specialties, including cosmetic dentistry and orthodontics
  • Consumers pay affordable membership fees for access to a network of dentists offering discounts on most dental procedures
  • Available directly to individuals, families, businesses and groups 

Dental Insurance:
  • Limitations with deductibles and yearly maximums
  • Long waiting periods for major dental procedures
  • Tedious and time-consuming while claiming process
  • Restrictions/exclusions on pre-existing conditions in most dental insurance policy
  • Some dental specialties, such as cosmetic dentistry, are rarely covered
  • Consumers pay expensive monthly premiums for defined coverage
  • Typically inaccessible to individuals and families unless provided by their employer