The lack of affordable dental coverage in the United States has become a big issue for most families. As a matter of fact, seven out of ten people in this country have no type of dental plan at all. There are several states that are now paying the treatment costs for those low income individuals and families, but it's a hardship for many of these people to even afford regular health insurance. Dental coverage would be considered a luxery for most, unless they're fortunate enough to be able to take advantage of a group plan offered by their employer.
There are generally two different types of dental plans being sold right now that are the most popular. The are dental insurance and dental discount plans. Let's briefly look at the Pro's and Con's of each type of plan so that you may make an educated decision before you decide to buy.
Dental insurance is traditional insurance coverage just like health, auto, etc. You'll have a monthly premium to pay and you'll also have deductibles that you must pay for a portion of your care. This is normally around twenty percent of the cost of the visit. Example, if your cost at the dentist was $ 100.00 then your out of pocket deductible cost would be $ 20.00.
Many dental insurance plans will pay for routine dental care right away. Routine dental care is things like cleanings, flouride treatments for children under sixteen years old, etc. This of course depends on the policy, but is pretty standard. You'll have a waiting period for many major procedures of anywhere from six to twenty four months. These are procedures such as tooth restorations (fillings), bridge work, root canals, etc. Cosmetic dentistry is rarely covered by dental insurance.
The Pro's of a dental insurance plan are that, eventually the majority of your dental care costs will be paid for. The Con's are that by the time you are eligible to receive this coverage you may have already paid that amount in premium payments. The costs for dental insurance range from as low as $ 10.00 per month all the way up to $ 100.00 monthly for a family plan. Of course, the higher your monthly premiums are the better coverage you'll receive. You definitely get what you pay for.
Dental discount plans are exactly what they say they are, a discount at the time of your visit to the dentist. Most of these plans offer saving of anywhere from ten to sixty percent on standard dental procedures and around twenty five percent for major dental, such as oral surgery.
The Pro's of dental discount plans is that they're very affordable for just about anyone. You can purchase an individual dental plan for as low as $ 79.95 per year from some companies. Another advantage is that there are no waiting periods, like there are with dental insurance. If you need a procedure done then you can have it done that day. There are no age limits or exclusions. Cosmetic dentistry is included with some of these plans. You receive a discounted fee schedule with your membership that gives you a cost of procedures before and after your discount and a list of participating dentists within the plans network that you may visit.
Some of the Con's of dental discount plans is that you must pay for the services performed at the time of the visit. Some of the discounts are substantial, but you still must be prepared to settle up at the time of the appointment, as there are no payment plans with discount plans. This can also be a burden on some people, unless they prepare for it. Another Con is that you are restricted to seeing a dentist with the network of the plan. The good news though is that you may change dentists at any time until you find one that you are comfortable with. Who knows, your dentist may already be a member?
This is only meant to give a general idea of the different types of dental plans available to consumers. Only use this comparison as a guideline and do your own research before you make a final decision about what's best for you and your family.