Individual Health Dental Plan – Dental Insurance or Dental Discount Plans – Which is “Really” Best?

So this is the deal…You need to see a dentist, but you’re not sure whether you should be searching for dental insurance or a good dental discount plan. Also, would it be better to buy an individual health dental plan or one of the many family dental plans available? Let’s take a look at some of these options and then you can make an educated decision on which dental plan would be best for you.

Dental Insurance

Dental insurance used to be the only option that you had and many people don’t realize that there are other options available, other than dental insurance, now that can potentially give them a broader range of benefits and save them much more money on most dental procedures. However, if you’ve had a dental insurance policy in place for more than two to five years, then you should see some decent coverage on most major procedures.

Most dental insurance policies have what is known as a “waiting period” before you can be seen for any type of pre-existing condition. Most of these waiting periods are 6-12 months in duration. Even after the waiting period most policies won’t cover certain procedures and if they do choose to cover them then they’ll do it at a low savings rate, such as 10%.

Let me give you an example of how a dental insurance plan would not be a good buy.

Let’s say that you have a toothache and, after visiting a dentist, discover that you must have a root canal performed on one of your teeth. Unless your insurance policy has been in effect for six to twelve months then you’ll have to pay 100% of this procedure out of pocket. Many plans will pay up to half once the waiting period has ended.

Most dental insurance policies are not cheap either. If you are still undecided about whether you should buy a family dental plan or if you’d be better off buying an individual health dental plan then consider that dental insurance for an entire family can cost as much as $100.00 a month U.S. and, for most families, that’s just not in their budget. It’s no wonder that seven out of ten people in the United States have no type of dental coverage at all. They simply cannot afford it.

Dental Discount Plans

Dental discount plans are networks of dentists that have agreed to take a substantially reduced rate for dental procedures if the member agrees to pay cash at the time of the visit. This is a great deal for some people, if they’re prepared for the visit. In other words, if you’ll be needing a root canal, as in the example above, then you would save as much as 50-60% off of the cost, which could be as much as $400-$500.00. However, you would need to have the rest of the money “cash in hand” when you visit the dentist.

By using a dental discount plan you don’t pay large monthly premiums. Most are under $20.00 per month, but, as stated above, you must have the cash in hand when you go to the dentist in order to pay for your visit.

Are dental discount plans a great deal or is dental insurance the way to go? That will depend on your finances and which plan you choose.