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Dental care is about much more than protecting your smile. Routine dental care is necessary to prevent tooth and root decay and other major dental needs in the future. Dental insurance can help to ensure you stay on track with your oral health and minimize expenses for routine and major dental needs.
Dental insurance (PPO, HMO or Fee-For-Service) should always be compared alongside dental savings plans to determine what type of plan would be the most appropriate for your situation. Traditional dental insurance often has higher premiums and annual limits on services, as well as waiting periods for major dental work. Dental savings plans, on the other hand, usually have lower premiums and fewer limits on services. And in some cases, no waiting periods. Depending on the plan, dental savings plans may require you to pay more for each service than dental insurance and also have a stricter network of dentists and dental specialists that may be used than dental insurance plans.
Compare Dental Insurance Plan Choices
Dental Networks / Choice of Dentist
Dental PPO (DPPO)
Few limitations: Not required to visit in-network dentists but out-of-network dentists will have higher out-of-pocket costs than in-network. Sometimes long waiting periods can apply.
Copayments: You just pay copayments for procedures. Require you to reach a deductible and have annual plan maximums.
HMO or Prepaid Plans
Limited: Choose one dentist or facility. Out of network procedures will not be covered at all. Referrals needed to specialist dental care. Usually short or no waiting periods
Coinsurance: No deductibles or plan maximums. You pay copayments for each dental procedure. Some procedures have very low or no out-of-pocket costs.
Fewer Limitations: Go to virtually any dentist you want to. Sometimes low or no waiting periods.
Pay copayments, or reimbursement can be made directly to dentist or to you for dental bills you paid as a cash pay patient.
Dental Discount Plans / Dental Savings Plans
Dentist must participate in the dental discount service. No waiting periods to receive discounts.
Discounted Fee: Reduced fees are pre-negotiated , and are completely out-of-pocket on cash pay basis. No deductible or maximum.