When it comes to meeting with your dentist for a six-month checkup, you may be wondering how you’ll pay for treatment, especially if you are uninsured. Whether your employer doesn’t offer dental insurance, or you simply cannot afford to pay for a plan, it can be daunting attempting to care for your smile without the protection of available coverage. But did you know many dentists provide patients with the option to enroll in a dental savings plan? Read on to learn more about these programs and if one might be right for you.
What is a Dental Savings Plan?
Unlike traditional dental insurance that includes deductibles, annual maximums, pre-authorizations, waiting periods, and monthly premiums, a dental savings plan is an alternative payment option for patients needing oral healthcare.
Viewed as a discount program, many dentists make it possible for patients to pay a membership fee to join, which provides access to basic preventive dental care as well as discounts on other available services.
No two dental savings plans are alike, so the terms and conditions will vary. However, it is an excellent way for patients seeking high-quality service but cannot afford the expense of private dental insurance.
What Makes It Beneficial?
Many dental savings plans are grouped into categories: preventive treatments, minor restorative care, and major restorative services. This is actually similar to the benefits offered through an insurance plan; however, the single cost paid per year covers the expense of many of these treatments (i.e., dental examinations, X-rays, cleanings, an emergency visit, fluoride treatments, etc.). If it does not, patients can receive a special discount on all other services available in-house.
What makes a program like this so beneficial is:
- Patients can avoid potentially long wait times that come with some insurance plans
- There is no deductible that must be met or annual maximum that is closely monitored
- Plans are usually available for adults, children, and periodontal patients
- These savings programs are often more affordable than traditional dental insurance
Is a Dental Savings Plan the Right Option for You?
Before deciding whether you should opt for a dental savings plan, make sure you are considering all factors. These might include:
- A dental savings plan can be ideal if you need minimal or extensive dental care. It’s important to understand the state of your oral health to determine if the services you might need along the way are covered under insurance or not, as this can help you decide the best way to save money.
- If you’re between jobs, a dental savings plan can help you keep your oral health on track without worrying about paying out-of-pocket for each individual treatment.
- You’re retired and no longer receiving insurance through your employer but want to maintain your smile as you age.
By doing your research and surveying your options, you can determine how best to move forward with paying for necessary treatment. If a dental savings plan is the way you want to proceed, make sure to ask about the details and prepare to enjoy a healthier smile.
About the Author
Dr. Krista Cayo is a dentist in St. Peters who earned her dental doctorate before going on to receive her certificate in Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD). Dedicated to helping patients receive exceptional, affordable dentistry, she is pleased to provide a dental savings plan for children, adults, and periodontal patients. If you are interested in saving money on your next visit, contact us via our website or by calling (636) 928-9693.