Almost all dental diseases are preventable, but nearly 25 percent of people have lost all their teeth by the age of 65 and above. Twelve percent of American adults have also suffered advanced gum diseases.
Poor oral health is associated with alarming numbers, especially as more than 21 percent of the population are forgoing the recommended twice-a-year dental visits and the necessary dental treatments for their oral health.
The American Dental Association’s 2015 Oral Health and Well-Being in the United States report identified cost, fear, and inability to find a convenient schedule or location as top reasons of adults in shrugging off the visit, with cost leading the list with 59 percent. The figures are not surprising as dental fees also saw a rise by 20 percent over the past decade.
With costly dental procedures, how can people attain healthier mouth? The answer might lie on dental insurance or a dental discount plan.
Dental Insurance or Dental Discount Plan?
Dental insurance is a type of health insurance. It is designed to protect policyholders from dental costs. Additionally, it enables policyholders to avail treatments such as basic routine check-up and tooth extraction. On the one hand, a discount plan is a membership-based program which offers discounted rates on the maintenance and intervention on dental health.
Dental insurance is priced around $350 a year and is dependent on the dental insurance policy. It is also billed monthly. A dental discount plan usually accounts for half the price of an insurance plan and is paid annually.
Dental insurance also requires the insured to pay for covered services before the insurance plan commences. Called annual deductibles, the amount can range from $25 to $50 per covered individual. A discount plan requires no deductibles.
Also, there are no caps or annual limit on the benefits of a discount plan, unlike dental insurance which has $1,000 to $1,500 limit per year.
Dental insurance has waiting periods especially on pre-existing conditions and rarely covers dental specialties like orthodontic treatments. With a discount plan, no waiting period is experienced. The coverage of a discount plan may also include orthodontics and teeth whitening.
Both dental insurance and dental discount plan involve participating dentist networks, set prices for their members, and annual renewals. If you have preferred dentist, make sure to inquire if he or she accepts the insurance or discount plan.
It is also vital to do thorough research and understand the scope of the programs before subscribing. Signing up to either dental insurance or a dental discount plan will depend on your condition and the treatments that you might be needing. Assess your needs to know what plan might be best for you.