The first question that you may want to ask here is “what exactly are dental discount cards?” Well, dental discount cards or discount dental cards, as some people call them, are an alternative dental plan other than traditional dental insurance. The card allows you to receive substantial discounts off of the regular cost of dental care. You simply join one of these plans, receive your card within one to three business days and then you can visit any dentist within the network of the plan. You can receive savings of anywhere from 10-60%, depending on the plan.
You’re probably wondering how this is a benefit to you, especially if it isn’t dental insurance. Am I right? Let me do a brief comparison of the two, after which, I’ll direct you to where you can get all of your questions answered. Fair enough? All right then.
Dental insurance used to be relatively easy to get and was quite affordable. Our parents had the advantage of working a job for 20-30 years, getting retirement pension and were provided all of their necessary needs while they were employed such as medical and dental insurance. Unfortunately, those days are over. 20-30 year retirement plans are a rare commodity these days and most employers simply can’t afford to provide medical coverage for their employees, let alone dental insurance. This leaves you with the option of either paying full price at the dentist office or buying private dental insurance.
Honestly, dental insurance these days isn’t what it used to be. There are waiting periods of anywhere from six months to two years on pre-existing conditions. This means that if you have a bad tooth that needs a root canal (example) you may have to wait 6-24 months before your insurance coverage kicks in. Even then you probably won’t be totally covered. You’ll still be responsible for making your premium payments each month AND you’ll have to pay your annual deductible before your insurance will pay one cent for your care. Most things like cleanings, flouride treatments, x-rays and general maintenance work will be covered immediately AFTER you pay your deductible. Also, dental insurance plans can cost as much as $100.00 per month for a family of four and that is simply out of the price range of most people. This is why only three out of ten people in the United States have any type of dental care. They simply can’t afford it.
Dental discount plans are just what they say they are. You have a group of dentists that have joined a discount dental plan network and agreed to perform dental procedures for substantial discounts, as long as the treatment is paid for in full at the time of the visit. Now, you might be thinking, “pay at the time of the visit? Won’t that be expensive?” It might be, depending on what you need to have done. Let’s use the root canal example above. The dental insurance won’t cover you until you’ve gone through their waiting period. Your only other option is to visit the dentist and pay full price. Well, with a discount plan you could have up to 60% of the fee eliminated. You were going to pay full price before or continue to suffer with the pain. Is it expensive? Well, root canals are not cheap, but they’re a heck of a lot less expensive with the discount card. Also, all pre-existing conditions can be taken care of, there are no age limits, etc.
Before you go and spend money on dental insurance, either for an individual, group or family plan, I highly recommend that you look into what the dental discount card plans have to offer.