Dental Discount or Dental Insurance?
When looking to buy coverage for dental services, discount dental plans and dental insurance can be misinterpreted and can become confusing. Both plans will save you money on dental and both have some restrictions. Both types also offer discounts for going to in-network dentists and use waiting periods.
Discount Dental Plans
When you buy a discount dental plan you first pay an enrollment fee. This allows you to use the discounts associated with the plan you buy. You also have to pay an annual fee to continue to use the plan. Discount plans offer discounts that pay for a percentage of the services you get. You pay the dentist the remaining bill after every visit out of your pocket. There is no annual maximum but they can usually only be used for general dentists. Many don't have waiting periods and they are generally cheaper than dental insurance. Although they are cheap, the cheaper they become, the smaller the savings becomes too.
Dental Insurance Plans
Dental insurance plans have premiums and annual maximums, along with deductibles and coinsurance. You pay out of pocket till you hit your deductible and when you do you pay a coinsurance of the bills going forward till you hit your annual maximum. You are also paying a monthly premium for your insurance. These may have waiting periods but will generally have better coverage than discount dental plans. Although they are generally more expensive, they will also save you more money on larger procedures than discount dental plans. They also cover many preventative services at 100% so you don't have to pay a penny. A cheap dental insurance plan will have about the same savings as an expensive discount dental plan for basic procedures and a root canal.
Having either one of these types of plans will save you money and those who have a plan will generally get more treatment. Both make it more affordable to see the dentist on a regular basis and in turn, save you money by avoiding major procedures in the long run.