According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the prices of dental procedures have increased by 20% over the last decade. What’s more, a survey by the Urban Institute’s Health Policy Center has shown that even those with insurance are likely to skip out on treatment due to high costs.
This is where discount plans come in. They can be a great way to lower dental costs, even up to 60%. What are they? How do they work? Read our detailed guide to find out.
What are dental discount plans?
Dental discount plans work similarly to a membership. You pay a monthly or yearly fee and get to enjoy reduced prices at dental offices.
Dental plans give you a lot of flexibility. You pay the dentist directly and there is no paperwork. There are no copays or premiums, and no yearly caps. This means that you don’t have to stretch your treatment over months in order to save up.
You can also get reductions on vision, prescription, hearing, and alternative medicine.
How much can you save with a dental discount plan?
All procedures you would typically have at the dental office are accounted for. You can check the exact rate of discount for particular services prior to joining.
The reduction could be anywhere from 10% up to 60% of the dentist’s regular price. Here is a table that shows typical savings possible with a discount plan:
|PROCEDURE||REGULAR COST||DISCOUNTED PRICE|
|Full mouth X-rays||$126||$47|
|Simple tooth extraction||$152||$60|
|Adult teeth cleaning||$83||$34|
|White tooth filling||$150||$47|
|Full upper dentures||$1,518||$701|
The exact amount you will be able to save depends on the type of procedure, the dentist’s fee, where you live, and which plan you choose.
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Dental discount plans vs dental insurance
Insurance policies often cover basic procedures such as cleanings and fillings in full. This means you get all your money back. You are reimbursed partially for more extensive procedures. Treatments such as root canals or extractions involve between 80% and 50% out-of-pocket costs.
On the downside insurance includes waiting periods, paperwork, and yearly maximums. This means you can’t receive treatment as soon as you sign up, have to collect evidence such as X-rays, and won’t be able to work on your mouth all year if you need extensive procedures.
In-network dentists can help you optimize costs by using your dental plan reductions after your yearly maximum is reached. Plans and insurance cannot be used simultaneously for the same procedure.
With a dental plan, no service is covered in full. You receive a discount of 10% to 60% on all types of treatments.
The only catch is that you have to visit an in-network dentist. This should not be a problem, however. With 140 000+ professionals available, you can easily find general and specialist dentists, as well as emergency dentists.
DENTAL DISCOUNT PLANS
Reduced rates on all services
A discount of 10%-60%
No procedure is covered in full
No waiting periods
No yearly caps
The dentist has to be in-network
Some procedures are covered in full
Cosmetic procedures will likely not be covered at all
Yearly caps usually up to $1,500
Out-of-network services are possible
Are dental discount plans for you?
You are definitely going to benefit from a dental plan on any procedure that isn’t medically necessary. Dental discount plans are recommended for: - those without dental insurance, - seniors, - those on Medicare, and - those preparing for major dental work.
If you are looking for an affordable dentist to get aesthetic or cosmetic procedures, a dental plan would be a great choice.
What are the best dental discount plans?
We recommend dental plans from well-known and established national brands.
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