Dental Insurance Vs. Dental Discount Plans – Which one is better? - All About Dental, Pet, Health and Motorcycle Insurance

Dental Insurance Vs. Dental Discount Plans – Which one is better?

Meta description: If you are wavering between purchasing dental insurance and picking up dental discount plans, please take a glance at our article before making a decision.


Everyone knows that insurance is an indispensable “small print paper” that protects you and your family. Currently, insurers offer numerous types of insurances which could drive patients crazy.

Dental insurance
Among all sort of insurances, Americans have a high demand for buying dental care packages or dental insurance as dental visiting costs here go like hot cakes.
If dental insurance and dental discount plans are in your consideration and you don’t know which one is better, keep reading our article to have the answer.   

Dental insurance VS Dental discount plans

Before jumping into a meticulous analysis of the difference between dental insurance and dental discount plans, you should understand thoroughly about each type of dental care. Please take a look!

What is dental insurance?

According to the latest survey from the National Association of Dental Plans, individual plans cost more than group plans and family plans. Individual plans cost 4$ - 35$ higher than other types of dental plans.

In 2016, it took employee nearly $14 per month for the DHMO premium health insurance and $24.49 per month for DPPO. Premiums for individual insurance were higher, based on past research.

In general, DPPOs is more expensive than DHMOs, both in service cost and in premium. Everything happens for a reason, and this cost gap between DPPOs and DHMOs isn’t an exception. 

When you have a dental check in in-network provider, most DHMO networks are smaller and have limited provider options. Furthermore, you may be required to pick up a primary care dentist.

In contrast to DHMO, DPPO plans have larger and border networks. They also allow you to go to your preferred dentist. Interestingly, they often offer attractive discounts at in-network providers.

While DPPOs set a maximum limit on coverage for adult per year (up to $2000), DHMOs don’t have annual maximums. 

Dental insurance plans often fully cover preventative care such as one set of X-ray or two cleanings per year. According to Guardian Life, insurance agencies may cover half the cost of major procedure costs and the majority of basic procedure costs.

The total amount of money you have to pay will vastly depend on the coinsurance (DPPO), and copay (DHMO) amounts set by your insurance. Notably, you should pay attention to whether your plan covers orthodontics or not.

What is the dental discount plan?

Discount dental

When you opt for a dental discount plan, insurers collect a yearly or annual membership fee from you.

In return, you will be given a discounted price on services. The monthly membership fee varies from location to location. Averagely, it ranges from $8 to $15.

In comparison to insurance, dental discount plan networks can be a bit limited. Moreover, the out – of – pocket costs are normally higher for purchasers. Unlike dental insurance which has coinsurance or copays, this type of dental care offers discounts on certain services.

Discounts range from approximately 20-50%. Among all type of procedures, routine procedures have the highest discounts.

Dental insurance or dental discount plan?

There are several differences between dental insurances and dental discount plans. Before making a purchase, you should answer the considerations below:

A patient is under a dental examination

When do you want coverage to start?

Dental insurances have waiting periods which doesn’t happen in dental discount plans. Normally, dental insurance periods range from 6-18 months. However, a couple of insurance plans allow patients to get an X-ray or cleaning right away.

On the contrary, when purchasing dental discount plans, you only have to wait a few days for your membership to be approved. Hence, if you and your family have an instant need, a discount plan is what you need to buy.

How many options do you want?

It is highly important to know how many dentists you could opt for and the location of well-rated in-network dentist nearby.

In case you already have a liking for a certain dentist in your area, kindly check whether he/she will accept discount plans or insurance.

Dental insurance is a bulky profit for dental agencies as the dentist gets refunded from the insurers. However, when you use discount plans, the dentists only receive what you pay.

That is the reason why new dentists tend to accept discount plans to grow their customer database and get loyal customers.

What do plans cover?

In order to have a full understanding of the plans you pay for, you should carefully and meticulously read the fine print.

Otherwise, you could be a bit shocked when you pay a procedure with an unwanted cost. Some low-cost plans don’t offer coverage for expensive procedures such as a root canal.

One more consideration is that your insurance fees vary from dentist to dentist. Surprisingly, insurance or 2 dental plans in-network dentists can charge distinct prices for the same service.

If you’ve already chosen your favored dentist, don’t forget to call him/her to confirm how distinct coverage will influence your costs.

If you are new to the town and don’t know any good dentist, make a list of highly recommended or well-rated dentists and ask them about the cost before buying,

Final verdict

To sum up, dental insurance and dental discount plans have their own pros and cons. If you are in an emergency case, dental discount plans are our big recommendation.

In case your insurance budget is limited, dental insurance may be a good option. Lastly, remember to ask the insurers about the cost, policies carefully before making a purchase.
Wish you all the best.