Finding cheap dental insurance

Discount dental plans like
DentalSave can be a better deal

If you’re looking for cheap dental insurance, your best bet might not be insurance at all.

More and more people are learning that dental insurance isn’t right for them—it costs too much or doesn’t provide enough coverage. Instead, they’re jointing discount plans like DentalSave, getting affordable dental care at a fraction of the cost.

Does cheap dental insurance even exist?

Dental insurance premiums may be considerably lower than health care premiums, for example, but that doesn’t mean they’re cheap. They start to look even more expensive once you understand how little value they can provide.

Dental insurance isn’t like other kinds of insurance. Yes, you pay a regular premium (and, often, co-pays or other expenses) and your insurance plan covers your initial dental bills. But most plans put low limits on the total expenses they’ll cover, usually just $1,000-2,000 per year.

If you need care that surpasses this cap, your plan stops paying and you’re on your own. Conversely, if you need only basic dental care, you’ll find you pay more in premiums than you get back.

This makes dental insurance the Goldilocks of insurance plans—it’s really only worth it if you need just the right amount of care.

What’s the alternative?

Easy—it’s DentalSave, a dental discount plan that works on a totally different model.

Instead of paying an insurance premium, you pay a membership fee that starts at just $99 per year for individuals. Membership gives you access to deep discounts at participating dentists, usually 25-50 percent off their regular rates.

You pay your dentist directly rather than routing bills through an insurance company, but you can still come out ahead. Consider this side-by-side comparison of costs for a year’s worth of basic care:

Procedure DentalSave Insurance
Annual fee/premiums (individual) $99 $1,200
Two annual exams $57 $0
Two annual cleanings $102 $0
X-rays $75.50 $0
One filling $181 $0
Total: $514.50 $1,200

Don’t be fooled by “free” treatments in the insurance column—once you factor in premiums, insurance runs twice the cost.

DentalSave can be a better deal for people who need lots of expensive care, too. Again, insurance covers only the first $1,000-2,000 of dental treatment in any given year. DentalSave discounts apply to every single service you buy.

Typical discounts look like this:

Procedure Regular fee DentalSave fee Savings
Periodic oral evaluation $52 $28.50 $23.50
X-rays, including bitewings $137 $75.50 $61.50
Adult cleaning $93 $51.00 $42
Resin filling $255 $140.50 $114.50
Crown $1,170 $643.50 $526.50

Fees for dental implant services, orthodontic care, and other procedures usually are discounted by 25 percent. Exact costs vary from dentist to dentist.

A DentalSave membership can pay for itself in just one visit. Available plans cover individuals, couples, and families—they put high-quality dental care within reach.

Which dentists accept DentalSave?

Participating dentists include some of the nation’s best, representing every dental specialty in nearly every community. Use our search tools to find one close to you.

Dentists join the plan to connect with thousands of DentalSave members, fill available appointments, and reduce time and paperwork. They provide our members the same degree of care, but charge members much less.

Some dentists accept both DentalSave and insurance. Ask if you can combine both kinds of plans for even better deals.

Why should you settle?

Good question. For many individuals and families, there’s no need to settle for cheap dental insurance when a discount plan like DentalSave provides a better way.

Only you can decide which route makes sense for you. Do a little research, crunch the numbers, and don’t take it from us: See these Nerdwallet and Lifehacker posts about insurance versus discount plans.

Activate your dental plan in minutes
and use it the same day.

  • purchase a membership

    Purchase a Monthly or an Annual Plan

  • then save
  • use your membership card

    Use Your Membership Card at a Participating Location

  • then save
  • save on dental care

    Save on Every Visit & Every Procedure

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