Why choose a dental discount plan?

Discount plans like DentalSave provide an alternative to dental insurance

Dental discount plans can make dental care significantly more affordable. They operate on a completely different model than dental insurance, providing an alternative that’s available to everyone.

Discount plans combine the bargaining power of thousands of patients like you. They give dentists a reason to offer plan members the best possible rates for dental care.

Read on to learn more about discount plans like DentalSave and to determine whether a dental discount plan is right for you.

What is a dental discount plan?

Dental discount plans work like this: Plans find dentists interested in participating then negotiate discounted fees for dental care. Members pay a fee (either monthly or annually) to join the plan, then pay the discounted fees the dentists agreed to offer at the time of the appointment.

Participating DentalSave dentists, for example, typically charge DentalSave members 20-50 percent less than other patients.

Think of it like a warehouse club: By becoming a member, you get the same quality product (in this case, great dental care) for a big discount. The money you save quickly covers the cost of membership. All you need to do to save is show your membership card.

What’s the difference between a dental discount plan and dental insurance?

With dental insurance, you pay a premium, usually monthly, to the insurance company. When you get dental care, the insurance company pays a portion of the bill (you’re often responsible for a co-pay).
In most cases, the insurance company puts a cap on the benefits they’ll cover in any given year. Once you pass that cap, you’re responsible for any remaining bills.

Here’s what you pay for under a
dental insurance plan:

Here’s what you pay for in a
dental discount plan:

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Which approach—dental insurance versus a dental discount plan—saves you more? It depends.

If you don’t get a lot of dental care and don’t usually use all your dental insurance benefits, you may pay more in insurance premiums than you’d pay directly to the dentist under a discount plan.

Likewise, if you get a lot of dental care, you may surpass your annual benefits cap. When you factor in premiums, co-pays, and costs beyond the cap, you can end up paying more with insurance than you would with a discount plan.

On the other hand, if you get just the right amount of care and don’t surpass your benefits cap, insurance may provide a good deal.

One other difference: Dental discount plans are open to everyone and provide instant savings as soon as you become a member.

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    Can I combine a dental discount plan with dental insurance?

     

    Often, yes, but it’s best to check with your dentist first. Different dental offices establish different policies for combining discount plans and insurance.

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    What do dental discount plans typically include?

     

    Dental discount plans usually include every kind of treatment you get at the dentist, from routine exams and cleanings all the way through cosmetic and specialty care like braces and dental implants.

    DentalSave includes benefits that go beyond dental care. A DentalSave membership also offers access to steeply discounted rates on vision care, hearing care, and prescription drugs.

Why do dentists accept dental discount plans?

Dental discount plans help dentists attract patients and fill available appointments. Participating in discount plans helps dentists connect with a growing market that’s choosing the plans alongside or instead of traditional insurance.

Discount plans offer other advantages for dentists, too. They get paid right away, without the time and paperwork needed to collect payments from insurance companies. In short, it’s a win-win for dentists and patients alike.

DentalSave has participating dentists everywhere. Find a dentist by location and specialty, or check whether your current dentist offers DentalSave discounts.

How much can a dental discount plan save me?

Every patient is different, and the amount you can save depends on the dental services you need. Participating dentists typically slash their fees 20-50 percent for DentalSave patients. That translates to big savings for common services:

Service code Procedure Average fee Member fee Savings
D0120 Periodic oral evaluation $52 $28.50 $23.50
D0210 X-rays, including bitewings $137 $75.50 $61.50
D110 Adult cleaning $93 $42 $42
D2332 Resin filling $255 $51 $114.50
D2750 Crown $1,170 $643.50 $526.50

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

An individual DentalSave membership is $99 per year—less than what you’d save on just one visit for an exam, cleaning, and x-rays.

How do I choose a dental discount plan?

There are different dental discount plans on the market—choose the specific plan and level of coverage that best meets your needs. Here are some things to consider:

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Number of participating dentists in your community

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Access to discounts on other kinds of health care services

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Number of family members you want to cover

DentalSave plans start at $99 per year for an individual and run up to $199 annually for a family of three or more. Membership also gets you discounts on hearing care, vision care, and prescription drugs.

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Become a member

Joining DentalSave takes only a few minutes, and the savings start right away.