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survey results

Nationwide Dental Survey Results Published

Over 2,000 adults across the country were asked “Which of the following issues would make you change your dentist?” The results revealed the degree to which patient experience and financial considerations motivate consumers to switch where they receive their dental care. Can you guess the number one reason? Interested in what issues were a bigger concern for women more than men? Read the full results of the survey at “Nationwide Survey Explores What Makes Consumers Change Dentists.”

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See Why People Love DentalInsurance.com

"It was a pleasure to speak with the agent who was courteous and very informative, as a result I now can make an appointment with the dentist of my choice, I would highly recommend their services, I am now a happy camper."
Livermore, CA

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"Please tell your friends and family if they are in need of coverage than this is the site to use. Very affordable plans and a wide range to choose from to fit your budget. This is the first site that I can say I give a A+ for organization and professionalism."
Belle Chase, LA

TrustPilot Five Star Customer Review
"Thank you for a pleasant experience. I got signed up for Dental Insurance and your Representative made it very easy and explained everything very well. His name was Reuben and his product knowledge helped me to pick the right plan for my needs."
Grantville, GA

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Learn How to Shop Better

Shopping but not quite ready to buy? Here's some of our best articles to make you a smarter shopper and save money:

Why Do You Need Dental Insurance?

Dental insurance is about more than a pretty smile, though that’s certainly important. Quality dental coverage encourages you to visit your dentist regularly for routine care and an evaluation of your oral health. Poor oral health can negatively affect your overall physical health. For example, periodontitis, more commonly known as gum disease, is linked as a risk factor to several other health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, and lung diseas.

Good oral health, in contrast, can help reduce the risk of dental problems in the future that can be painful as well as expensive to treat. Given the number of inexpensive dental plans available across the nation, getting coverage makes sense from the perspective of your finances as well as your health and wellness.

How Do Dental Plans Work?

Dental plans have many similarities to traditional health insurance but also some significant differences. Like medical insurance, dental insurance charges a monthly premium for the plan’s benefits. These benefits often come with a minor deductible amount that needs to be paid out-of-pocket before the plan begins sharing in the costs of covered dental procedures. However, some plans have waiting periods that delay the coverage of certain services for a time period after you enroll and your plan becomes active. Often dental services that have waiting periods are for more expensive procedures such as crowns or root canals. If you have some dental care you need in the near future and you are shopping for a dental plan, be certain to review the Summary of Benefits to make certain that the care you need is eligible for coverage immediately.

Like most health insurance plans, many dental plans have networks of providers from whom an enrollee can choose to receive care. In HMO dental insurance, dental care received from an out-of-network dentist is typically not covered. Dental PPO plans cover out-of-network care but your out-of-pockets are higher than is the case for in-network dentists. For a more thorough discussion of the trade-offs between these two types of coverage, see our article Dental PPOs vs Dental HMOs.

Dental discount plans, which are not insurance but provide reduced rates on dental services, only work through in-network dentists. Indemnity dental plans are not restricted to a network. You can see any dentist you wish and a set reimbursement is given to you toward money spent on covered dental services.

Best Practices When Shopping for Dental Insurance

You care about your teeth so you should care about the way you shop for dental coverage. Don’t consider the monthly premium alone. Instead you should examine plans available in your area to see:

For a more comprehensive discussion of dental plan options and considerations, read our Dental Insurance 101 article. It covers all the major plan types, dentist networks, premiums, and out-of-pocket costs.



Dental Plans Comparison Chart

Use the chart below to understand the differences among your coverage options so you can make the best choice for your circumstances.

Discount
Plans/Cards
Dental HMO Plans
(DHMO)
Dental PPO Plans
(DPPO)
Indemnity
Plans

Choice of Dentists

Must use an in-network dentist

Yes

Yes

No

No

Must obtain a referral in order to get specialty (e.g. oral surgery) dental care

No

Yes

No

No

Must select a primary care dentist (or dental facility)

No

Yes

No

No

Can use any licensed dentist

No

No

Yes

Yes

Plan Benefits

Dental services may be subject to an annual deductible

No

No

Yes

Yes

Certain dental services may have a waiting period before the plan will share in costs

No

No

Yes

Yes

Minimum waiting periods between routine oral exams & teeth cleanings

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Total payments by the dental plan for covered dental services has an annual limit

No

No

Yes

Yes

No annual limit on services

Yes

No

No

No

Dental Costs

Out-of-pocket costs for most dental care

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Contracted rates for covered specialty services from participating specialists

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Payment for services received due up front unless otherwise negotiated with dentist

Yes

No

No

Yes

Some routine care may have no out-of-pocket costs

No

Yes

Yes

No

Claim forms required for out-of-network care

Not applicable

Not applicable

Yes

Yes

Frequently Asked Questions / FAQ

Do Dental Plans Pay for Braces?

Orthodontists correct misaligned teeth and their services include braces (traditional, ceramic, etc.), headgear, and retainers. The majority of dental plans don't pay for orthodontic care, but there are some plans that do cover these services. These plans have differing levels of coverage and may have annual or lifetime limits on payments for orthodontic care. In some cases, orthodontic coverage may be restricted to children under the age of 18 on the dental plan. Additionally, there may be a minimum time of enrollment (e.g. 12 months) before a person may take advantage of orthodontic benefits. This minimum time of enrollment is known as a "waiting period."

For state-by-state examples of dental insurance plans, see "Does dental insurance cover braces?" Please note some plans with orthodontic benefits may have waiting periods before these benefits are active.

Will My Insurance Cover Teeth Whitening?

It depends on several issues. First, what teeth whitening method do you intend you use? Teeth whitening toothpastes and over-the-counter whitening kits are typically excluded from coverage. The second issue concerns which dental plan you use. Some dental plans do help pay for in-office whitening performed by a dentist. Third, the dental plans that cover teeth whitening may have conditions placed on the coverage such as a waiting period or the plans' annual limit on dental spending.

To confirm coverage or non-coverage of whitening, you need to review benefit explanation within the insurance's Plan Details, Plan Brochure, or Summary of Benefits. You can learn more about the different techniques for teeth whitening in our article "What's The Best Way to Whiten My Teeth?"

How Much Will a Dental Implant Cost

Dental benefits are not standardized, which means not every dental service is covered by every dental plan. A dental implant is considered major care. Dental plans that include coverage for major care like implants may still have a waiting period before the plan will pay for the service.

The total cost of a dental implant (plus the work to install it) can cost from $1,500 to several thousand dollars. Out-of-pocket costs for a dental implant are often a percentage of the complete cost of the implant. This percentage is called a "coinsurance fee." For example, if an implant costs $1,500 and your insurance's co-insurance is 50 percent then the fee you will pay $750 after the plan pays $750 to the dentist for the 50 percent it covers. Some plans have a set dollar amount it will contribute to a dental implant procedure. For example, if a plan will pay a maximum of $1,000 for a dental implant and the total cost is $2,100 then the patient will be responsible to pay $1,100.

We've assembled a guide and a list of plans in each state with implant coverage for consumers looking for dental insurance that covers implants.

For answers to other Frequently Asked Questions, visit our main FAQ page.

 

Why Buy from Us?

DentalInsurance.com pioneered internet dental insurance sales through value and high quality customer service. Launched two decades ago, DentalInsurance.com was the first coast-to-coast marketplace for comparing prices and buying dental insurance plans online. Our website was the internet’s original dental insurance marketplace and continues to lead the field because we put customers first. We earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau as well as a top rating of “Excellent” (4.8 out of 5 stars) from TrustPilot, a website review company with 15 years experience and over 100 million consumer reviews of online businesses.

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