Will A Dental Discount Plan Save You Money?


I have had the good fortune to experience a comprehensive dental insurance in my lifetime.  For a small monthly premium (usually $27 or less), my family and I could enjoy twice-a-year cleanings, annual x-rays, and routine repairs with little or no out-of-pocket expenses.  Now that I’ve jumped headfirst into the world of self-employment, my days of enjoying low-cost dental coverage are gone.  So I tried a dental “discount” plan for the first time ever.  Here’s what I have found.

The cost of coverage varies.  I personally pay less than $80 a year to cover my entire family under the discount plan.  There are 6 of us, so this could be an excellent value in the long run.  I would like to point out, however, that most plans run between $90 and $200 a year for similar coverage (we enjoyed a deep discount as part of a self-employed association group membership, which I paid separately for.)

The type of coverage varies.  For most plans, your actual benefit comes in the form of a “discount” off each billable service.  This can come in the form of a percentage off your cost for each procedure, but most commonly equates to guaranteeing that you will pay “no more than $XX” for each particular billable service.  Unlike insurance, your dental bill isn’t sent to a payor to process, negotiate down, and return to you.  This means you will most likely know at the time of service how much your visit has been “discounted,” and payment will be due at time of service.  Cleanings, X-rays, fillings, caps, and most other common dental and orthodontic procedures are usually covered, if only at a small discount.

Your dental health may determine the value of a plan.  Quite simply, if you are one of those fortunate folks who waltzes into your dentist for a twice-a-year-cleaning and one x-ray, with no additional services needed, this may not work out to your advantage.  The cost of premiums have to be less than the cost of services to keep you from bleeding cash.  If you don’t see yourself going to the dentist regularly (or won't be needing any work done), you might want to calculate if you’d be better off without the discount plan.

Your location can affect savings.  The first time I used my plan, my husband and I both went in for a regular cleaning, x-rays, and fluoridation.  Upon presenting our discount, the receptionist informed us that we saved $10 on our $210 bill.  This seemed strange to me, so I asked her what their normal cost of doing business was.  It turns out, that since we are rural, and the cost to do business is low, they charge the same amount as the “discounted” price of our plan.  We would have paid almost the same amount, regardless of using a discount plan.  (And without the discount plan, I would have saved $80 in premiums.)  In larger cities, where dental prices are higher, the discount plan could have more of a positive affect on your bottom line.

You can utilize your HSA to save even more money.  Whether your dental plan was a good decision or not, you can still save some additional cash by using an Health Savings Account.  The small amount of saved tax money, coupled with the discounts, might make it a sweeter deal than just paying cash.  (My HSA gives me checks and a debit/credit card.  Be sure to ask your dentist what kinds of payment they take, since you will most likely be paying at time of service.)

Will I get a dental discount plan next year?  Probably not.  Yes, I saved some money, but it was only because I ran into some unexpected fillings (7 to be exact.)  The savings of $20 per filling, coupled with the $10 saved on my initial cleaning, would save me a grand total of $150 this year.  Subtract the cost of my annual premium of $80, and I only saved a measly $70 (and this is with substantial work being done, which hopefully won’t be repeated next year.) 

I would suggest looking at your dental discount plan from a strictly "bottom dollar savings" mentality.  Call your dentist of choice, and see what they already charge for the most common services.  Compare this cost with the cost you will incur under the savings plan. If there is a minimal difference between the two, you will know that the “discount” isn’t much of a discount, after all!

But for those who could stand to benefit from a dental savings plan, DentalPlans is a great place to start looking for one that'll best fit your needs. The site allows users to search, compare, and select from more than 30 discount dental plans that offer savings of 10% to 60% off most dental procedures. Just type in your ZIP code to search available plans, dentists in your area who participate, and the costs of the plans.

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Guest's picture

So, what are you doing next year. My family is also on a "discount dental" program - it is not enough. I would love to buy a secondary dental but do not even know where to start looking.

Guest's picture

I have been practicing for 20+ years. I have yet to see a plan that saves money on quality dental care. Typically, the plan is an advertising gimmick used to get you into an office that you might not have chosen otherwise.

Guest's picture

@anonymous and other dentists.

I'm just wondering why dental care is so expensive. Aside from the one time cost of equipment, and other facilities costs, what makes it so much more expensive than a typical primary care health physician?

From what I understand, being a dentist is more risky than a Family doctor and this needs to be taken into account.

I know someone who had a cleaning done for under $30, cash, with no other costs associated. That's really good considering what most people pay for dental premiums and only get one or two cleanings a year.

Guest's picture
Miss Melissa

I manage a medium-sized dental office that is doing extremely well. We are currently producing and collecting 20% more than last year, and last year was the best year we'd ever had. Money is still tight, and we have to be very careful or we'll go under like many other dentists in our area. Our doctors are above-the-norm talented, extraordinarily conscientious, and scrupulously honest, (and 2 out of the 3 are very frugal guys). Our fees are not the cheapest or the highest in our area- we are about 70th percentile. A "cleaning" in our office is $84. BUT, our registered dental hygienists -all top-graduates with at least 5 years experience- spend no less than one hour "cleaning" the teeth and educating the patient. Each hygienist makes between $40-45 per hour. Not including the THOUSANDS of dollars we spend on rent, the hundreds of thousands on our equipment, the supplies we buy - and by the way, that toothpaste, floss, the toothbrushes, etc that you take home? We PAY for those - throw in repairs and maintenance on highly sensitive equipment (usually billable at $180/hour), payroll taxes, benefits for our employees, business insurance, malpractice insurance, licensing with authorities, continuing education costs, administrative costs, etc (I could go on, but it even makes ME want to gouge my eyes out); and the simple truth is that "cleanings" are a loss-leader. We make little to nothing on "cleanings" after we cover costs.
The dentist that replied earlier is correct- dental discount plans are nothing more than a gimmick to get you to go to an office you may not have otherwise chosen. You are paying money to a 3rd party who is selling the right to access a PPO network or discount doctor; they have no relationship with the doctor, and the doctor receives nothing from them other than their name listed in a book or on a website. Although it is possible that you can find a reputable doctor who accepts a legitimate PPO insurance plan, and is forced onto the list as part of his contract, most likely what you will find are either miserable chain clinics, new doctors, or doctors who are desperate for patients- any patients. 5 years ago, I worked for an unscrupulous dentist who joined all of the discount plan networks, and then spent HOURS planning ways to manipulate the plans so that when patients came in as members of any plan, they would end up paying just as much- if not more than- a regular uninsured cash patient. She made me charge patients for things like "sterilization" and "oral hygiene instructions" and a myriad of other nonsense that is a given in a normal office under normal fees. I didnt last there very long- I couldn't stomach the tactics and dishonesty. She also had someone unlicensed doing those "cleanings" and would charge for porcelain-fused-to-gold crowns, but give people porcelain-fused-to-base metal crowns, etc. I quit, and never looked back.
I am VERY frugal. But you get what you pay for.
Don't pay for third-party discount plans.... save yourself the trouble, and establish a stable relationship with a dentist that you really like, tell him you like him and his staff, and explain you'd rather pay his usual/customary cash rates minus a 10% cash discount in exchange for paying at the time of service. If he's reasonable, he'll give the discount no problem- it's less than the hit he takes on PPO patients. And if you're nice and tell him you enjoy him and his staff, he'll be flattered, and you'll be treated well - because trust me, our favorite patients are the polite cash patients with an appreciation and an understanding of value-for-value, rather than the PPO people who for the most part treat us like we're there to give them "what's free".

Guest's picture

So because you worked for a shyster who didn't adhere to the agreed up plan rates that means plans are a gimmick? I don't follow your reasoning. So if I pay less to a reputable dentist he's suddenly going do a lousy job? It's one thing if the rates are originally reasonable, but the dentists I have going to charge exorbitant rates without the discount, for example, $150 for deep cleaning a single quadrant without a discount, $122 with a discount. I'm not going to the dentist to flatter him, may be he should be flattering me.

Linsey Knerl's picture

A big thank you to the dental employees and dentists who replied on this topic!  Saving money requires you to be informed, something that is hard to become in regards to dental pricing.  I really appreciate the comments!

Linsey Knerl


Guest's picture

I'm a solo business owner and choose not to have dental insurance (which is hard to find and expensive) and instead pay cash for my son and I. If anyone has ideas of what WOULD help in my situation, to save money, I'd love to hear it.

Guest's picture

We spent $40 on a discount plan last year and it saved us $0. Our dentist's office said our cash-payment price was cheaper than the plan's "discounted" price. We chalked it up to live-and-learn and did not renew.

Thank you to those in the dental profession who took the time to respond to this thread.

Guest's picture

I have no dental insurance and need quite a bit of work done. I havent' had dental coverage in twenty years, and barely make rent most times (I work as an independent contractor and have no real recourse to this)

So I haven't been to the dentist in over ten years. I know this is terrible- The last time I went I had my teeth cleaned and x-rays taken. I need all four wisdom teeth out and have several cavities and now, years later, a few cracked molars. I can't afford to have the work done and have quite terrible credit since my divorce, meaning that no office I have spoken to would allow me to make payments. I'm not religious so I have no church group to fall back on.

I wish I knew where to start, to deal with my bad dental health, but I simply have not enough funds to do it. I make just enough not to qualify for federal assistance. I have no children. I'm under the age of sixty (there's a clinic here for: you guessed it: parents of small children, and the elderly.)

I can't seem to find any way to even get in to see a dentist to begin with, let alone a way to pay for the care.

Any dentists have any advice for me? I live in a small town in Oregon. And no, there are no dental school near me. (I don't own a car, either. Part of being poor is also, being frugal.)

Guest's picture
Jack Beasley

I think the teeth should be the lowest priority on your list, given the other issues. If you can find a way to go across the border into mexico, there are dentists that charge very reasonable fees for work. You need to do some research on this however.

Guest's picture

I really wish this post would have come up before I shelled out the cash for our plan. I just got my wife in for a checkup at our "normal" dentist. By normal, I mean he's the one in our neighborhood; we've actually never gone enough to have a dentist of our own. Anyway, we walk out with a $3800 estimate. Cavaties, a crown repair, and a mouth guard that she "has to have" because she bikes. Oh, and we have no dental insurance and his cash discount is 5%. FAIL!

We can pick up insurance for $50/month (Delta Dental is what he suggested), but they won't cover any of her work for at least 6 months. So, I did some searching and found the discount plans. We signed up for the Aetna Dental Access plan.

I contacted a new dentist (the original wasn't on the list), and talked with the receptionist. She sent me a list of prices for a few random things & their prices were almost identical to the other dentists. She seemed to know about the plan and said that it would save us roughly half. They contact the benefit company for updated pricing on each visit she said.

The wife's first appointment is coming up, so we'll see what happens. I'll try and drop back in to update you.

Guest's picture

I signed up with 1dental I need a lot of work done and my teenage daughter who is 18. They have a list of providers in the network and I called several of them until I found a general practice that will do root canals. with the plan on her molar tooth including filling will be $500 + the temp filling of 120 the cost could have been easily 900 -1000. So I'm thankful for the savings and my daughter get to keep her tooth. I have two teeth in the front that will cost me $339 per tooth for root canals. There is no waiting period and you can save with the right discount program. I took my 11 year old and 15 year old for full xrays, cleaning, office visit, flouride for $300 don't know if this is the best plan out there or not but it did save me some. My providers are in Columbia. SC. You really have to call around to check prices. If you know of a better plan let me know as well.

Linsey Knerl's picture

Keep us posted!  I believe that is the same plan we went with.  (And I'm sorry to hear your wife will be needing so much work done... she's in my thoughts.)

Linsey Knerl

Guest's picture

This is a very interesting post, and the comments have been so helpful. Thank you to the professionals and customers who have added their comments. I've been trying to figure out how to get a second dental plan - our primary plan is okay, but with 6 mouths to care for, I'm looking for a way to insure all the stuff that our primary insurance doesn't cover. I would love to know if anyone has any experience with secondary dental coverage. My dentist's insurance person says that it isn't uncommon, but it usually comes from having two working parents with insurance.

Thanks for a great article!

Guest's picture

One option to help cover costs is the use of a medical credit card, but you have to be careful. I have a Care Credit care (through GE Money) and it has been very useful. Generally, I set up the amount of my total annual dental costs after insurance (Delta Dental is a good insurance) in my flexible spending account. When I go to the dentist, anything I have to pay is put on Care Credit, and then I pay off the card when I'm reimbursed from my flexible spending account. The few times I've had to use it when I didn't have the amount in flex spending, I just divided the total amount by the number of months without interest. Each dentist (vet, doctor, etc) who accepts it will give you a period of months where you don't have to pay any interest. I ALWAYS pay it off in full before the promotional period ends, and so wind up getting to make payments on necessary dental work without paying any interest. But, if you don't pay it off before the promotional period ends, then they charge you high interest (25% or more) and charge you interest for the entire promotional period.

Guest's picture

I would like to add that I am in need of a lot of dental
work also. I have 2 broken teeth. I have to get there very soon.
So, I got individual health insurance for myself and my daughter
through Anthem Blue Cross and we for a small amount of $20.00 each got HMO premiere. I am going to use this. I have had individual health HMO and PPO. PPO is great because you can go where ever.
However, I cannot afford it because it is almost $100.00 for my self and my daughter. So this one is good enough. But you should check into it. I think it always helps to have dental insurance.

Guest's picture

I read the posts and short of the waiting game )as those of you with dental insurance have to find out if they'll do what they say) it sounds rather dreary for those of us struggling financially....

One thing I kept waiting to see was the fact that Dental Schools employ a "Dental Training School" where the public is welcome to go and get work done for EXTREMELY CHEAP OR FREE....they learn and we get what we need!. Is there a risk that you'll get a student who is rough? yep...but they also have licensed dentists on hand to supervise so any problems can be addressed immediately.

The last time I tried this, I found that not only did I get a full...FULL set of X-rays to take with me when I left, but the girl (student) was so nervous, I could practically fall asleep because I didn't feel a thing! Honestly, I've had more trouble with "experienced" dentists who get in there and act like they're rebuilding the Empire State Building!

Another benefit of this is that the faculty and students are all very nice, not jaded by years of "irritating" customers or insurance issues.

I've been a single parent for many years, when you have to budget on a shoestring....You look for the darn shoe maker.

Guest's picture

I guess it depends on what town you are from. Pittsburgh has a great dental school- BUT they charge almost as much as a regular dentist. Upon needing a root canal & a retreated root canal I was quite disappointed when I found out that there was little difference in price & it was an hour away. On a side note I thought that once you shelled the money out for a root canal & crown that you were set for life- no such luck! The roots can get infected & who knows what else. And of course because a re-treatment is complicated I had to go to a specialist in endodonics. Luckily the receptionist was friendly with my husband while he waited and told him about a discount plan (Aetna Dental Access) that would save us $650. And on $2900 I was thrilled to death. She was nice enough to delay billing. And she signed us up for the GE Care Credit program that offers no interest for $18 months. Next week when I see the dentist to get crowns I'm hoping that Aetna will once again prove helpful.

Guest's picture

I got a discount dental plan in 1997 and our family has saved thousands. We also make money referring others.

Bill Simms

Guest's picture

One question I have about dental billing would be nice to know for sure. I would guess that dental billing probably runs into the same issues that "medical" billing does. I might be wrong, but I'm wondering if the "summary bill" hospitals give, is the same thing your insurance company get's when you are getting stuck with the difference.

A very informative article on billing will open your eyes to the tactics of hospitals and medical providers. I do not doubt dental clinics and dentists can also participate in this. Be informed and know your rights.


Guest's picture
Bargain Shopping

Yes, I think the billing programs for most businesses, whether medical or dental, run into the same types of billing/insurance issues and the problems really can't be blamed completely on the professionals. The types of software they use in the office makes a big difference in the amount billing mistakes that occur. Perhaps people should start talking to their dentists about switching, preferably to a web-based dental software. There are fewer billing and privacy issues with this type.

Guest's picture

I'm shocked at how many people seem to be in the same situation I am. Due to pregnancies and family oral health issues, my teeth are falling apart. I also need to have my bottom wisdom teeth removed because they're growing parallel to my jawbone instead of up through my gums.
I'm in constant pain and can no longer eat solid foods. I visited a dentist and found out that just removing the wisdom teeth would cost just over $3000. I'm a full time student who was laid off 6 months ago and have been unable to find work since then.
How can I afford that kind of money? I've checked into Dental Schools and there are none within a 6 hour drive of where I live. I checked into dental plans and that's what led me here. Are there any other solutions out there for people like me? I don't expect my dental work to be given to me for free, but I certainly can't afford what I was asked to pay. I understand dentists must cover their costs and pay their employees, but there has to be someplace I can go. I miss being able to chew.

Guest's picture

try 1dental.com that is the discount plan I am using and it have great savings for tooth extractions but my dentist are in SC that may be a big difference.

Guest's picture

I totally agree with this. It is not enough to just have a discount dental plan. Guess you get what you pay for.

Guest's picture

I used HumanaOne's Texas Dental Plan, a discount plan in Dallas, and got extractions for $38 each. Dentists around here start out at $159 per extraction and then some advertised cheaper.

Even the only "public" dental clinic around here, the Martin Luther King Clinic, wants a lot more than $38 for an extraction. Another semipublic dental clinic, Community Dental Centers, wanted $75 per tooth for extractions. Both were supposedly on a sliding scale.

Our local dental school, Baylor, is exorbitant now. They raise their fees all the time, and they are not cheap.

Then I got full dentures for about $1400 and soon will have to pay a $304 relign fee. Some dentists in Dallas demand and get $2400 for full dentures.

I am very satisfied with my dentist. He is ethical and good. I could have "dentist shopped" and gone to various ones advertising this-or-that. I'd already paid someone else $89 a pop for extractions.

When I found the good dentist on my plan, I stopped dentist shopping. I don't think I should have to pay $7 a month to get lower rates, but one plan told me it protects the patient and the dentist. So, by his taking the plan, he increased the chance I would finish the whole job with him too.

Guest's picture
good life

Hey I got tired of paying a monthly fee for discount plans. It doesn't make sense that I have to pay $12.95 just to get a discount...Other than Healthsouk.com does anyone know any other free discount plans?

Guest's picture

As with anything you pay for as a consumer, the best practice in choosing a dentist or dental plan - discount or otherwise - is to understand your family's needs and be able to sift through the many options available to you as a consumer to find the option that will work best for you - the one that will provide the value you deserve. Discount dental plans are a viable solution for many individuals and families! With a reputable dental discount plan, a family of four can save on average $1,000 to $1,200 a year! When you factor this against the program fee you'll pay for access to the discounts these contracted providers will provide, it can be a great alternative to paying cash or to opting for dental insurance. Today, there are several dental marketplace sites that can help you choose the dental plan that's right for you and even shop for the right dentist or dental specialist based on consumer reviews. The same dentists you can access as a cash paying patient are the same dentists and quailty of dentists you can access through a dental discount program. A great advantage of a dental discount program is that you have the freedom to choose from an entire network of participating providers - you aren't limited to one! You simply have to find the one that's right for you - that rule of thumb applies to your dental plan of choice as well as your choice in the dentist who will care for you and your family, and it applies whether you're paying cash, covered by dental insurance or using a discount program. Something else to think about in considering the value a dental discount program can provide, and an added bonus to many discount dental programs, is that you can often purchase a discount dental plan that includes other health- and wellness-related products as part of your low monthly or annual fee. Often times, you can purchase a dental and vision savings program that for the same program fee that covers your entire family, provides savings on dental care as well as vision care! Other products typically available can include discount prescription, hearing, chiropractic and more. So when you consider the discounts on your dental services against the program fees you'll pay for access to the discounts, consider the savings you can realize beyond dental and look for a program that saves you on more than just dental! If you take the time to fin the dental discount program that's right for you and your family, you find the dentist who provides the care and treatment you trust, and you opt for a discount program that includes more than just discounts on dental care, you will get what you pay for...and you'll be glad you did!

Guest's picture

I have been offering discount dental plans to groups and individuals for ten years, and there has never been an incident during that time that someone came back and reported that they did not save enough money to at least pay for their membership plan. Compared to insurance pricing, the cost to buy a discount plan is typically 10% of what you pay for insurance, and the value is significant. Most people save an average of 50% whenever they visit a dentist, and they can use their plan right away for immediate savings and as often as they want. Consumers win.

Dentists win because they fill up empty chair time, there is no cost to participate as a provider, and they get immediate payment at the time of service without the hassle of filing claims and waiting to get paid.

Overall, I would say that discount dental plans are valuable to both consumers and to the dental industry. Even the National Assocation of Dental Plans agrees.

Guest's picture

What's with the Dental Discount Plan that Dental insurance don't have?

Guest's picture

Angel, when you buy a dental discount plan, you have these pluses to enjoy:
1.) Less expensive fee for plan.
2.) No waiting.
3.) No forms to file.
4.) No limit on how often you can use the plan.
5.) Nationwide access to providers.
6.) Immediate savings.
7.) Transparent fee schedules.
8.) Portability.
9.) All household members can be included.
10.) Save a lot on the cost of procedures.
11.) Everyone is accepted.
12.) Citizenship not required to join.
13.) Ability to use with some insurance plans.
14.) You can use a pre-tax plan (FSA, HSA, HRA) to pay for procedures.
15.) Rates for membership to the plan typically do not increase over time.

You can see that discount dental plans are very helpful to save you money.


Guest's picture

Well, this article is written based on 1 experience & 1 Discount Plan in 1 area.
Carefully shopped Discount Dental Plans CAN be BIG money savers based on your needs & how well you shop & compare those plans!

ALL Dental Insurance Plans have caps on annual benefits, normally $1000 or $1500 (my understanding is that ObamaCare doesn't really address Dental Services, Insurance, Caps).
ALL Dental Insurance Plans have waiting periods, frequently 1 year for basic fillings & 2 years for more complex procedures, even 3 years on some plans before covering things like dentures or braces.
Even after paying your premiums for 2 years, things such as Root Canals, Crowns, etc are only covered at 50% under most plans.

Compared to Discount Dental Plans:
NO Waiting Periods or minimal waiting period of a couple of months.
NO Caps on annual benefits.
Good Discount Plans you know up front what you costs are for procedures.
Annual Costs are generally cheaper then annual Insurance costs.
No Deductibles.

Insurance thru my employer (& typical of most Dental Insurance Plans) would be $15.90/month.
$1500 Cap. $75 Deductible. 6-month waiting period on preventative care. 1 year waiting period on basic services. 2 year waiting period on major services.
Preventative AFTER deductible are free or under $10/service.
Simple Procedures are covered at 60% to 80% after 1 year.
Major Services are covered at 40% to 60% after 2 years.

My Current Discount Dental Plan (& typical in my area):
$10.99/month + $7 service Charge per payment (pay full year at one time & only pay 1 service charge).
Coverage begins the 1st of the month AFTER enrolling if enrolling before the 15th.
$25 Office Visit CoPay except exam & preventive have NO co-pay.
NO deductible.
NO Annual Limits.
Most Preventative Services & bitewing X-Rays are NO CHARGE.
Basic Services on average for my zip code are discounted 60% to 75%.
Major Services on average for my zip code are discounted 40% to 60%.
Orthodontic Plans run $125/month for 12-months & have a $25 copay per visit with NO ADDITIONAL CHARGES.

My Experience with 3 different insurance plans & 32 different discount plans:
*Discount Pans tend to have fewer providers to choose from ... but they still have some top rated providers!
*Both Insurance & Discount Plans provide about the same coverage, if anything the discount plan is cheaper for preventative service & equal on major services.
*Discount Plan begins IMMEDIATELT, Insurance has wait periods.
*Discount Plan has NO annual limits, Insurance has a $1500 limit.
*Monthly Premiums .... if paid full year at a time 50% cheaper for the discount plan.

So, pay less in premiums & have coverage immediately with no annual caps & no deductible & coverage pretty close to or same (even better) then the insurance plan
..... or ......
Pay for insurance, have deductibles, waiting periods, annual limits, & get about the same coverage once your coverage starts to take effect (after your waiting period).

Guest's picture
William Walkingstick

Seems a few ideas tossed around by professional plumbers, electricians and fix it guys may be the ultimate answer. If your toilet is running over, hey you have a problem. The idea is for all these tradesmen to band together and when pricing a job one of their questions is, "Are you a doctor, veterinarian, dentist or attorney?" In the event the answer is "Yes" their normal rates go up 1000%.
I have some doc friends in South America. They make normal wages just like the blue collar workers. I dont ascribe to this "Walk on water" self proclaimed philosophy that is harbored in the heads of most of our domestic professional docs, dentists, etc.
Some of my doc pals in South America make around $15,000 in US dollars per year. Dentists as well. I would strongly suspect the dental health in many cities in South America is much better than in the states. No, its not the currency exchange numbers, it is the reality that no professional services are worth what the American way sees it as being worth. It is, quite simply, unethical profiteering. So, if you are one of these professionals and your toilet is running over one day, it just may cost you over $10,000. to get it fixed!

Guest's picture
discount plans work

My discount dental plan just saved me more than my ex-husband's reputable, big-name dental insurance plan did for my 15-year-old son's braces. We found a strongly recommended orthodontist who would accept both the dental insurance and my Careington discount dental plan. The dental insurance plan paid a $1,000 maximum orthodontic benefit. But my Careington discount dental plan saved me an additional $1,300...$300 more than the insurance benefit! We are extremely pleased with the office and the orthodontist who participates on the Careington plan (the orthodontist and his staff are fans of discount plans, too), and I am especially happy that I was able to use my discount plan to save so much on something my son needs. And this is just one real-life example of how a discount plan really can make a difference, with or without insurance!

Guest's picture

I am a big fan of the Dental Discount plan as well! My program, DentalCALL, saved my family thousands of dollars on dental work last year alone! I love my dentist and he was already a participating provider of the DentalCALL network. I referred 5 of my friends to DentalCALL (getting a free month for every referral) and found that they have providers across the United States too. I have an agent that helps me through any and all of my needs. If I call Monday - Friday 9-5pm I will always get a live person. There is no automatic renewal, I can renew on my own and opt out at any time. We are currently getting braces for my son which is saving us $2,350 for the 2 yr treatment alone!! You can't beat that with a stick! Also, my girlfriend who has insurance through her husband's employer, took her daughter for the ortho consult and found out that she would have had to pay $4,500 after the insurance claim. Then she decided to use the DentalCALL where she only had to pay the $3,650 submitted a "self claim" and in turn only put out $2,150! What a way to save! Dental discount plans are the way of the future...

Guest's picture
Michael Kowalsky

Discount plans are indeed great but you have to do your homework before purchasing one to make sure you get a plan with providers in your area who still accept that plan. It's not uncommon for a discount plans to list several dentists in a particular ZIP code and - once you sign up for the plan - you find out later that none of those dentists still accept the plan.

Guest's picture

gee, everyone isn't young with a family so this article says nothing to me. Since insurance companies ream single people to the tune of $38/month for singles while charging whole families only $45/month this article is painfully useless to me. Most dental insurance plans hardly cover anything more than the basics so if you need serious work finding a dentist who discounts could save you tons of dollars. My retiree dental plan only covers 25% for crowns and root canals and you pay a $50 deductible for each visit - and they decide what they will cover. They treat your oral health like it's not even part of your healthcare while science is showing that dental health is crucial to overall health. So much for healthcare reform in my lifetime. It's all about the insurance companies isn't it?

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Guest who wants to help

Hi Guest! Have you considered a discount dental plan? Their monthly fees are very reasonable for a single membership, and the savings can really add up and make a difference. With a discount dental plan, you can save on routine and preventive dental care as well as more costly services and specialty treatment. I think it may be worth the time to see what's available to you and how it may help you save on the dental care that is so important to your overall health.

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I love Aetna Dental Access for my family of four. I joined the plan a week before I needed some major work done, the office manager at my dentist office told me about it because I could not afford the $6500 quote for the work needed, no dental insurance. She told me my cost after joining would then be $3900, I about fell out of my chair when she told me the plan only cost $5 a month to cover my entire family! I did not believe her until she showed me the Aetna fee schedule and explained how it worked. The discount plans fee schedule is the same exact fee schedule as Aetna's dental insurance plan. She sent me to elevenbenefits.com to sign up, she said they sell Aetna's discount plan cheaper than any company out there including Aetna itself. I saved the $2600 getting my work done that next week, yeah! My two kids have gone in now for routine teeth cleanings and we saved 46% on that, not to bad for $5 bucks a month. So I have paid a total of $40 bucks now and saved about $2700, what's not to love about that. I tell all my friends about Aetna's discount plan now. Just for my curiosity I started shopping around the internet to compare the cost for it, it was amazing to find it as much as $200 a year for the family and as cheap as $55 a year at elevenbenefits.com. So it makes a huge difference where you buy it and make sure your dentist is in the network and that they know they are in the network!

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DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY with Aetna Vital Savings! TOTAL SCAM! When my dentist applied the discount to his Treatment Plan, I only realized 3% savings...FAR FROM the 15-50% savings promised by Aetna Vital Savings. I spent $179 on a "Family Plan" with Aetna Vital Savings and because it took me more than 30 days to figure out this scam after purchasing it, Aetna REFUSES to refund me any money! My dentist said this is one of the worst plans he has had to deal with...in many cases, the Aetna pre-determined "discount" price is higher than what my dentist charges! $179+$20 enrollment fee DOWN THE DRAIN! Drink and spit on that Aetna!

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