Every day involves a series of decisions. Some are mundane and others are potentially life-altering. While deciding among dental discount plans isn’t typically considered life-altering, it is a very important decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. After all, maintaining your oral health is a serious matter.
So, how do you determine which dental discount plan is right for you? Here are a few tips to guide you as you consider this decision:
Remember the top priority
As you compare options, it’s vital to have an understanding of your priorities. In the end, this decision should be based on which dental discount plan is going to provide you with access to the best and most affordable dental services to maintain your oral health.
Compare the monthly/annual fees
Assuming you are comparing at least two different discount plans, look at the monthly or annual membership cost of each program in relation to what services and discounts they offer.
If one or more of the plans you’re comparing are outside your budget, or if they require a higher membership fee for significantly less in the way of savings or services, it’s likely it won’t be the right plan for you.
Compare savings and included services
"Pay attention to who the plan includes. Some plans charge different rates for individual and family discount dental cards. On the other hand, some dental cards, like the one offered by Dental Solutions, include everyone in the household for one low monthly or annual fee."
You’re likely to find that many of the dental discount plans you compare have very similar or identical fees. So, the next step is to compare what services are included, and what expected discounts are available on each service.
Most programs will publish percentage discounts off normal retail cost for dental services in a range (such as 20%-40% off) because of the wide variation of retail costs in different geographic areas, while some guarantee a particular dollar amount or percentage discount on specific services.
Beyond the amount of the discounts being provided, pay attention to the list of available services to ensure that items you or your family will need are included. For example, nearly every discount dental plan offers discounts on general dental services like a biannual cleaning and standard x-rays. However, orthodontic, implants, and other more involved services may not be provided at all or may involve rules and restrictions that are different from the standard services.
While reviewing savings and services, also pay attention to who the plan includes. Some plans charge different rates for individual and family discount dental cards. On the other hand, some dental cards, like the one offered by Dental Solutions, include everyone in the household for one low monthly or annual fee.
Compare the availability of local providers
Obtaining a significant discount on dental services doesn’t matter as much if you need to travel far distances to access the dentist. Not only will you end up using some of the money you save filling your gas tank, you may also be less likely to take full advantage of the services offered, since getting to the dentist requires so much added time.
On the other hand, a dental discount plan with numerous local participating providers that are convenient to you and that you can be comfortable visiting, is more likely to be of value to you or your family dental care in the long term.
A dental card as an alternative to insurance can be a great savings tool for many people. To decide which dental discount plan is right for you, it’s important to take an objective look at the following details:
- Each plan’s membership fees
- Each plan’s estimated or guaranteed discounts
- Each plan’s scope of services
By making these observations and comparisons with a priority on getting access to quality dental care, you should be able to determine which dental discount plan is best for you.