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Dental Insurance Versus Dental Discount Plan: Which Should You Choose?

Part of the basic oral hygiene routine is visiting the dentist at least twice a year. A routine dental checkup can prevent dental problems from worsening, while dental treatment helps save the teeth.

But the 2015 Oral Health and Well-Being in the United States report by the American Dental Association (ADA) revealed that one in five adults in the United States had not visited a dentist in the last few years. Meanwhile, 11 percent see the dentist only once every two to three years.

Several reasons were associated to why people opt to forgo their dental care despite their necessity to oral health.

According to ADA, cost, fear, and inability to find a convenient location or appointment were identified as top reasons, with cost leading the list with 59 percent. With the rise of dental fees by 20 percent, the figures are no longer surprising.

With the expensive cost of dental procedures, what options are left for people aiming for healthier and more beautiful smile?

Subscribing to either a dental insurance or a dental discount plan might be the best answer.

A form of health insurance, dental insurance is designed to protect policyholders from expenditures from dental procedures. Whereas, a discount plan is a membership-based program that offers discounted rates on the maintenance and intervention on dental health.

Similarities and Differences between Dental Insurance and Dental Discount Plan

Depending on the policy, a dental insurance can cost around $350 a year. It is also billed monthly. A dental discount plan is priced around half of an insurance plan and is paid annually. Both require annual renewal.

Before the insurance plan commences, dental insurance entails annual deductibles which range from $25 to $50 per covered individual. A deductible is an amount an insured pay for covered services before the insurance plan takes over. A discount plan requires no deductibles.

Dental insurance has $1,000 to $1,500 limit per year, while there are no caps or annual limit on the benefits of a discount plan.

A dental insurance also has waiting periods especially on pre-existing conditions and rarely covers dental specialties like orthodontic treatments. On the one hand, a discount plan can be used upon registration or be activated within three days. Some discount plans may offer savings on orthodontics and teeth whitening.

Both dental insurance and discount plan involve participating dentist networks. It is best to inquire with your dentist what insurance or discount plan he or she accepts.

Both a dental insurance and a dental discount plan have set prices for their members, allowing lower spending than full out-of-pocket payment for dental treatment.

Before signing up, research and understand the coverage and other features of the dental insurance or the dental plan. Assess your condition and the probable treatments you will need to ensure that you are subscribing to a program that is best for your needs.

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