Considering a Discount Dental Plan? Let's Weigh the Pros and Cons

Picking a dental health plan requires two things - some time to study all of your options, and an understanding of what kind of services and procedures you need covered.  A discount dental plan can be one of the most affordable options out there, but is it right for you?

Let's find out - by weighing the pros and cons:

  1.  PRO - a discount dental plan is cheaper than a "traditional" dental health plan

    With traditional dental insurance, you have to pay monthly premiums, copays, deductibles, and sometimes even coinsurance percentages.  But with a discount dental plan, you don't have to pay for any of that!  All you have to do is pay your annual fee - and it's much lower than a year's worth of premium payments.  In return, you'll get a discount card that entitles you to savings on your dental services and procedures.  For example, you might get 50% off on your x-rays, 25% off on your root canals, or 30% off on your cleanings.

  2.  CON - you have to pay  for your services and procedures all by yourself

    Under a discount dental plan, once you get your discounts, you're responsible for paying the remaining balance.  So, if you need a lot of work done, this low cost dental plan can quickly turn expensive.  However, if you're the type of person who only heads to the dentist once or twice a year for routine stuff, you'll actually wind up spending less money than you would on a regular dental health plan. 

  3. PRO - you only have to pay for stuff you really need

    When you have a traditional dental health plan, you wind up paying for a bunch of coverage that you're never going to use.  Sure, it's nice to have the coverage "just in case", but it's unnecessary if you're really trying to save money.  Under a discount dental plan, once you pay the annual fee, you don't have to spend another cent until you actually walk into your dentist's office for treatment.  So, you won't have to feel like you're wasting money!

  4.  CON - you can't bundle a discount dental plan with vision insurance

    Lots of people save money by "bundling" their dental and vision insurance - or, buying both policies from the same insurance company.  By getting your dental and vision insurance together, you can save money on both sets of premiums.  Unfortunately, though, that's an option you rarely find with a discount dental plan.  It's a great low cost dental option, but you'll have to find vision coverage elsewhere.