Dental Discount Plan Basics
Ensure your smile and protect your family with dental coverage from a leading provider. Learn more about the basics of Discount Dental Plans, and purchase membership today!
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Discount Plans vs. Insurance

Discount dental plans may appear to be very similar to dental insurance, but there are many differences to consider. Depending on the plan, dental insurance can offer valuable benefits for dental visits and procedures. Many employers, however, do not offer a dental insurance option as part of the benefits package. In that case, purchasing an individual dental insurance plan for yourself (and perhaps your family) can be very costly

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Dental Option Details

If you are without dental benefits, rest assured that affordable coverage is available through a discount dental plan. Inexpensive dental care is provided through a dental plan membership – simply present your card at the time of service and enjoy deeply discounted rates as determined by a discount fee schedule. With a dental plan membership, discount dental procedures offer significant savings over traditional dental insurance. The following chart illustrates the differences between each type of plan:

 
Discount Dental Plan
Dental Insurance
Coverage for cosmetic procedures Cosmetic procedures (including whitening or bonding finishes) are available at discounted rates Cosmetic procedures generally are not covered
Waiting period Dental plans are effective immediately Often a waiting period of 6 months (up to 18 months in some instances) is imposed before coverage begins
Cost Low monthly or annual “membership fee;” very affordable alternative to insurance Can be pricier than a discount dental plan
Participating dentists Must visit a participating dentist to receive a discount; depending on the area, there are many to choose from Must visit dentist “in network” to receive benefits
Payment Payment made directly to dental provider at deeply discounted rate (up to 60 or 70%), depending on procedure Insurance company makes payments directly to the dental provider; requires paperwork and submitting a claim
Limits No limits on services or visits Coverage typically limited to a certain number of visits, depending on procedure
Specialist visits Discount plan members can see any specialist who provides discounted fees Generally, insurance companies require that your primary dentist refer you to a specialist; coverage may or may not be provided
Deductibles Generally no deductibles A deductible amount is often required
Co-pays No co-pay required Co-pay typically due at time of service


Again, it is important to note that discount dental plans are different from dental insurance, putting the responsibility for payment squarely on the dental plan member. Payment is made out-of-pocket at a significant savings (as listed on the discount fee schedule). For additional information about specific dental plan providers, including Aetna, GE, UNI-CARE and more, visit the Products and Solutions page.

 

Protect your smile and your budget with a Discount Dental Plan >>

Discounts: What Is Covered?
Discount Plans vs Insurance
Maintaining Good Health
Orthodontia
Whitening Treatments

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Dental Options is not an insurance carrier or an insurance broker. We cannot guarantee a quote from a specific carrier, and we also cannot guarantee that all products are available in all states. The information and suggestions on our site are intended for informational and educational purposes only, and we expressly disclaim any representations or warranties, express or implied, regarding the accuracy of such information.
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