The Difference Between Dental Discount Programs & Traditional Dental Insurance

Maintaining your oral health is essential to a healthy lifestyle. Most people want to make the commitment to improve their oral health, but have a hard time choosing between traditional dental insurance and a dental discount program.

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Therefore it’s important to understand how the differences between dental insurance and dental discount programs can affect you.

Dental Insurance

Dental insurance policies can be typically characterized by monthly premiums, deductibles and annual maximums while dental discount programs are designed to be as accessible as possible; they do not share any of the characteristics of dental insurance.  The monthly premiums for typical dental insurance policies may be as much as $50 a month for individuals and in excess of $100 per month for family plans.
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As an alternative, dental discount programs are far less expensive. Dental discount programs start as low as $6.95 per month for individuals, $11.95 per month for couples and $15.95 per month for families. In addition, if you shop around you can find dental discount plans that include free vision care.
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Usually, people using dental insurance must meet a deductible before their dental insurance starts to cover their dental care; when making comparisons it’s therefore important to consider the cost of the deductible as one of the overall costs associated with dental insurance.
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Annual deductibles typically vary from $50 to $100 per covered individual; it is difficult to put an actual cost on the deductible because it depends on the specific dental insurance policy owned.
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Dental discount programs do not have deductibles. Instead, dental discount program members pay a membership fee that qualifies them to pay discounted rates at participating dentists at the time services are rendered.
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Most dental insurance plans cap the amount of reimbursement to an annual maximum that is typically $1,000 to $1,500 per year. The insured person is then responsible for any costs over and above the annual maximum.
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Dental discount programs do not have annual maximums. Program members are able to use their discount dental cards as often and as much as they want to. There is absolutely no limit to the amount of money members can save by using their dental discount program.
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People with dental insurance policies often moan about the time-consuming red tape they are forced to face, including the need to provide written claims, exclusions on pre-existing conditions and the excessive waiting periods for major procedures.

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As an alternative, easy to use dental discount programs are designed to save member’s time as well as money! Nearly all dental insurance policies require policyholders to go through a tedious and very time consuming written claims process, every time they have a claim!
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There is no such tedious paperwork and hassles for dental discount cardholders; discount dental program members simply present their membership card to a participating provider at the time of service to receive their discounts.
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Dental insurance plans will often either refuse to cover certain procedures or impose a long waiting period. If you are considering dental insurance you need to be aware that many dental insurance policies have exclusions on pre-existing conditions and may require up to as much as a 18 month waiting period before paying for any major dental treatment.
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As an alternative, dental discount programs are free of such limitations and become active almost immediately, allowing program members to join and start saving on their dental care as quickly as possible. Further, dental discount programs offer significant savings on dental specialties, such as orthodontics and teeth whitening, while most dental insurance policies rarely cover such procedures.
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The escalating cost of dental insurance makes dental insurance inaccessible to a large number of individuals and families.
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Very cost-effective dental discount programs are accessible to individuals, families and businesses as an alternative to costly traditional dental insurance. Dental discount programs are also an easy and flexible way for businesses to save time and money on valuable dental care for their employees.
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Despite the differences between traditional dental insurance and dental discount programs, some of them can even be used together in certain situations to maximize savings.
To summarize, dental discount programs are an affordable and easy to use alternative to traditional dental insurance and offer program members substantial savings on most dental procedures.
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Although it’s impossible to accurately compare the costs of traditional dental insurance with dental discount programs, I have estimated a comparison based on a family of four.
Typical dental insurance would carry a premium cost of around $1200 per annum while a dental discount program would cost around $192 in annual membership fees.
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Assuming 4 oral exams, 4 teeth cleanings, 1 root canal and 1 extraction over the course of a year the standard dentist’s bill would be around $1184. With traditional insurance the actual cost to the policyholder would be the deductible or approximately $200. With a dental discount program the dentist’s bill would be around $465, all of which would be payable by the discount card member.
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The bottom line makes interesting reading; the total cost using traditional dental insurance would be approximately $1400 (annual premiums plus deductible); the total cost with a discount dental program would be approximately $657 (annual membership fee plus the actual cost at the dentist).
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Is it any wonder that around 30 million Americans (about 10% of the population) are now using dental discount cards?
Author-David_Sheath
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/446517

Tooth Enamel Facts

dreamstime_xs_7043375Tooth enamel is the cover on each of your teeth and it protects them from damage. When dentists talk about tooth decay, they’re usually talking about erosion of the enamel covering your teeth. The enamel around your teeth allows you to eat foods without hurting your teeth.  Take good care of your enamel and your teeth will continue to be protected for many years.

 You Know it When You See It

Enamel is the part of the tooth that’s visible when you look in your mouth.  The hardest substance in the human body, it’s harder than your bones.  But, Enamel is susceptible to acid and build-up of bacteria.  Decay happens when enamel is exposed to these substances.


Enamel’s Job

When you chew, damage to your teeth can occur.  Usually your enamel is hard enough to prevent teeth from being damaged while you are eating.  The enamel insulates your tooth so that you don’t feel discomfort when you eat or drink something that’s particularly hot or cold. The nerves in your teeth are sensitive to temperature.  Pain from hot or cold foods is a sign the enamel is eroding.

Cracks or chips are a common occurrence.   Accidents, sports injuries, and chewing hard foods all can contribute to tooth cracks or chips.  You may become aware that the enamel has cracked if you feel pain while eating, especially if you’re eating something hot, cold or sugary.  It’s a good idea to look at your teeth occasionally in a mirror.  You might notice a chip or crack in a front tooth.

 

Color Matched Fillings

You might notice that some popular singers never show fillings when they open their mouths to  belt out a song.  That’s because they have color-matched fillings in all their teeth, including the ones in the back.  Color-matched, metal-free fillings are rapidly becoming the restoration of choice for top dentists.  And, they are an ideal solution for the restoration of teeth that contain minor decay, cracks or replacement fillings.

 

Tooth colored fillings are dental fillings that restore and mimic the natural appearance of the tooth structure. In addition to restoring teeth that have fractured or decayed, tooth colored fillings may also be used cosmetically to change the size, color and shape of teeth. This is particularly useful in closing gaps between teeth, repairing chipped teeth, and making teeth appear to be more straight or even.

 

Protect Your Precious Enamel

Preventing damage to your tooth enamel is preferable.  Once it is gone, you can’t replace it.  Unfortunately, there is no procedure to regrow enamel.  Crowns and Amalgam-free fillings, which we use, are the best course of treatment.  Nobody likes to get a filling. This is why we recommend frequent cleaning and exams.  For more information on how your enamel is doing, give us a call at 619.298.0821.