The following frequently asked questions have come in from readers of our blog as well as current and prospective members of the Dental Solutions and Wellness Complete discount programs. Each succinct answer also includes a link where you can learn more if you wish.
If you have a question that’s not addressed here, contact us and we’ll be delighted to answer you.
What is a dental discount plan?
A dental discount plan is a membership program that offers members discounts off the retail cost of general dental care and advanced dental care services performed by a participating dentist. The member pays a small fee monthly or annually to maintain membership in the program. When using the card for to save on a particular service, the member pays the dentist directly at the time of service.
What's the difference between a dental credit card and dental discount card?
A dental credit card is like any other credit card: it offers a limited amount of funds which you can use in lieu of cash at the time of service. The card then allows you to spread out payments on a monthly basis to make it easier to cover expensive procedures. In exchange, you are charged interest on the amount of money you borrowed.
A dental discount card is proof of membership in a dental discount program which is presented to a participating provider at the time of service. The provider will apply the plan’s contracted discounts to their normal fees for services you receive and you will only be responsible for the remaining balance. Since you are not borrowing anything, there are no limits on how much you can save, no interest charges applied, and you don’t need to pay anything back.
Note: In most cases, it is possible to use both of these tools to comfortably afford dental services. If you’re a dental discount plan member, simply visit a participating provider and obtain your discount, then use the dental credit card to finance the remaining balance.
Is a dental discount card the same as dental insurance?
No. For a full explanation of a dental discount card plan, see the first question on this page, What is a Dental Discount plan?
Unlike a dental discount plan, dental insurance is regulated under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and other applicable local, state, and federal law. Coverage requires payment of monthly premiums. Additionally, each insurance plan has its own rules and requirements regarding necessary waiting periods, deductibles, copayments, coinsurance, and coverage maximums.
How is a dental discount plan an alternative to dental insurance?
A dental discount plan is considered an alternative to dental insurance because it helps control the cost of dental care to make it more affordable through a different approach. There are no barriers to membership and every application is approved. Instead of paying monthly premiums for insurance coverage on select dental services, a monthly fee for membership in a dental discount plan offers preset discounts for services at a participating dental office. Many people benefit from using a dental discount card, including seniors on Medicare or with a fixed income, students, employees without dental insurance, adults turning 26 who are coming offer of parents’ insurance, and part time employees.
Where can I use a dental discount card?
A dental discount card can be used to obtain discounts on general and advanced dental services at any participating dentist’s office.
How much savings does a dental discount plan offer?
The Dental Solutions dental discount plan offers discounts averaging 20% - 50% off retail costs for general and advanced dental procedures.
Contracted discounts differ between regions due to marked differences in competitive retail fees. If you have questions about specific fees in your area, contact us for more information 1-866-272-7515.
Who qualifies for a dental discount program?
There are no prerequisites or special qualifications for membership in a dental discount program. Payment of the monthly or annual membership fee affords full and unlimited discounts to members.
Under the Dental Solutions program, one monthly membership fee of $9.95 or an annual fee of $109 includes everyone living in a household.
Can a dental discount card be used for a cosmetic procedure?
Yes. A discount dental program includes savings on cosmetic dental procedures, including teeth whitening, composite fillings, and many orthodontic appliances and procedures. We recommend contacting the participating dentist prior to obtaining services to learn the specific services or products they will be providing and what discounts are available.
Can a dental discount card be used for oral surgeries?
Yes. Many oral surgeons are included in the Dental Solutions panel of participating dentists, and most surgical procedures are available from these providers at a discounted rate. We recommend thoroughly discussing your options and available discounts with your oral surgeon before choosing what’s best for your unique situation.
How can I save on wellness and health appointments?
Using the same savings program as a dental discount card, there are health savings cards available for discounts on vision products and procedures, prescriptions, chiropractic care and hearing services. At Dental Solutions, our Wellness Complete card offers a discount on these health services and dental care through participating providers.
How much does a dental discount plan cost?
For example, the Dental Solutions dental discount plan is available for $9.95 per month or $109 per year (offering a 10% savings when billed annually.) For just $12.95 per month (or $142 per year,) you can also receive discounts toward vision care, prescriptions, chiropractic care, and much more through the Wellness Complete discount program.
Where can I find affordable dentists?
The average retail cost of dental care is dictated, in part, by geography. However, all dentists are operating a business in a competitive market with a finite number of potential customers. Therefore, even the most expensive dentists typically understand and appreciate the value of participating with options such as dental discount plan, dental insurance, and other programs that encourage cost savings for the patient.