Did you know that most of our readers prefer DentalInsurance.com for their dental insurance needs?
You may be surprised to learn that dental insurance isn’t your only option when it comes to paying for dental care. You can find many options to consider before choosing an insurance policy if you are concerned about cost. Be sure to consider all of your options to find the best one for you before choosing to forego dental coverage altogether.
1. Dental insurance
You can access many ways to get dental insurance, whether you need it for your family or just for yourself. The easiest way to get dental insurance is through your employer. Although employers are not legally required to offer dental insurance, your employer may offer it as part of the employee’s benefits package. Check to see if your health insurance plan through your work offers dental coverage before purchasing an individual plan.
Additionally, if you get health care coverage through the ACA health care marketplace, you’ll likely be able to get dental coverage through the marketplace as well. Some health insurance plans include dental coverage, but you can also purchase a standalone dental insurance plan. You can buy a dental plan alone from an individual dental insurance provider for as little as a few dollars a month. The right dental insurance plan can make dental care easy and affordable, so all you have to worry about is your dental insurance premiums and your percentage of your care costs indicated in your insurance.
2. Find a low-cost or free provider
A number of dental offices offer dental services to uninsured or low-income people. They typically use a sliding scale to determine payouts. You can contact local dental providers to see if they offer this or if they know of other practices that offer their services at a low cost.
Most dental offices do not offer their services for free, but it is possible to find free medical clinics that can provide dental care for free. These clinics are usually for those who cannot afford health care, so you will need to be eligible to receive these free services. Eligibility is generally based on your income. You can do research to find and contact a free clinic in your area.
3. Find a dental school
Dental students should have hands-on experience in providing dental services before they graduate, which is why dental colleges offer services through the school at a much lower cost. You can sign up for student dental care at certain schools where they offer it. All students are supervised by a licensed dentist during the treatments you receive, ensuring that you receive the proper care. Check with local dental schools to see if they have vacancies and if you can enroll.
4. Sign up for a dental discount plan
Dental Discount Programs offer dental services at a lower cost in exchange for a membership fee. You can sign up for the discount plan and then access deep discounts. You usually don’t have to wait for access to care like you would with dental insurance. The plan has no cap or coverage limit, so you can get expensive dental care at a lower, discounted price. However, not all dental offices honor these types of programs.
You can access several options when it comes to dental financing. One option is to consider a personal loan that allows you to pay for dental care services. Although financing can be a flexible option, your loan may have a high interest rate. You will also most likely need a good credit score or a good financial relationship to get a dental finance loan.
6. Save and pay upfront
A number of dental providers may offer discounts to those who pay cash for dental services. If you save your money and pay in advance, you may pay less for the service you need. Although this may seem like a major undertaking as dental services are not the cheapest, it can be a viable option if you are not in dire need of services.
7. Dental grants
There are many types of medical grants, including dental. Although they can be useful for paying for services, they usually come with a long list of requirements. You can research online to find the grants available to you, but be sure to read the requirements carefully to determine whether or not you are eligible. It is important to note that these grants generally have longer waiting periods. So if you need care right away, it may be best to consider another option from this list.
8. Non-profit organizations and charities
Many charities and nonprofits provide financial assistance for medical expenses. These expenses generally include dental services which are not usually covered by insurance. Some dentists also donate their time and equipment to organizations to help provide their services to those who cannot otherwise afford them. Depending on the service, some or all of the expenses may be paid. However, most of these organizations and charities only offer this option to low-income people.
Benefits of dental insurance
Dental insurance is probably the first option you will consider when looking for ways to pay for dental care. Although dental insurance has its benefits, the policy you purchase will have limitations. If you’re unsure if dental insurance is the best option for you, first consider the pros and cons of buying a plan.
- Cost of controls: It’s no surprise that having dental insurance makes dental care much more affordable if you need it. Most dental insurance policies focus on preventative care, allowing you to control the cost of larger procedures and treatments that may be needed. Dental insurance also allows you to control personal dental expenses related to your dental care and that of your family. If you did not have insurance, you would be required to pay the cost of the treatment in full.
- Helps to avoid future problems: When you have dental insurance, you are much more likely to schedule annual checkups. These preventative services allow a dentist to see if any problems arise. If problems are discovered sooner, you end up avoiding more complicated issues with your teeth and mouth than if you didn’t have annual checkups. This practice not only prevents future health problems, but also avoids having to pay for these more complex health problems in the future.
- Better overall health: Oral health is not only good for your mouth and teeth, but it can actually affect your overall health. When your oral health is not taken care of, you can end up facing an increased risk of heart disease and other conditions. Additionally, oral diseases can make it difficult to speak, eat and sleep when not treated properly.
Disadvantages of dental insurance
Dental insurance has benefits and can be worth it in many cases. However, since insurance is not the only option you have, it is good to understand the possible disadvantages of this option before choosing a policy.
- You risk losing money: Assuming you don’t have any major dental issues, you might end up going to the dentist once or twice a year for an annual checkup, x-rays, and cleaning. In this case, you could end up paying more in dental premiums than if you had paid for these services out of pocket.
- Coverage may be limited: While there are probably dental insurance plans that provide coverage for some of the most expensive and extensive dental treatments and procedures, most don’t. Cosmetic procedures and orthodontics are generally not covered, which can limit the usability of your dental insurance policy and its value. Most dental insurance policies also set strict limits, which you could soon exhaust if you have a serious dental problem.
Compare dental insurance
Benzinga offers information and reviews on the following dental insurance providers. If you decide to purchase a dental insurance plan, consider starting your search with some of the links below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you purchase stand-alone dental insurance?
Can you purchase stand-alone dental insurance?
Yes, it is possible to purchase stand-alone dental insurance from a private provider. Many dental insurance policies cost less than $30 per month and can help you get both preventive services and corrective procedures.
Does dental insurance cover veneers?
Does dental insurance cover veneers?
Dental insurance does not cover optional or cosmetic dental treatments. Since veneers are usually installed for cosmetic reasons, your dental insurance will not pay for them.
To determine the best dental insurance providers, we scoured every carrier in the United States. We have winnowed the list by only including companies that have a large coverage area and a wide range of products. To further break down the list of the truly best dental insurance providers, we’ve given weight to carriers that offer discounts, are available in all states, and have multiple payment plan options.
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